April 16, 2013 (Page 20)
More than 7,000 witnesses have given evidence in the form of sworn
affidavits to back the legitimacy of President John Dramani Mahama, who
is being challenged at the Supreme Court by three petitioners.
The evidence of the witnesses is also in support of the National
Democratic Congress (NDC) claim that its candidate, President Mahama,
won the elections fairly.
The witnesses are mostly voting and
counting agents who were on duty at the various polling stations cited
by the petitioners as among the places irregularities took place.
total of 250 boxes containing affidavits from the 7,000 witnesses who
were drawn from the regions, constituencies and polling stations where
alleged electoral malpractices took place are currently in the custody
of the Supreme Court registry.
Court clerks who were drawn
from various courts to assist the Supreme Court registry clerks were
spotted busily stamping the piles of documents while a Member of the NDC
Legal and Communication Team, Mr Victor Kwadjoga Adawudu, looked on.
Due to the large volumes of documents, the court clerks rounded up around 6:49 p.m. to continue with the filing process today.
The Electoral Commission (EC) which is the second respondent in the petition is expected to file its documents today.
presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the December
2012 polls, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, his running mate, Dr Mahamadu
Bawumia and the Chairman of the NPP, Mr Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey are
calling for the annulment of 4,670,504 votes cast in 11,916 due to what
they termed, “gross and widespread irregularities” but the respondents
have denied the claim.
The General Secretary of the NDC, Mr
Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has deposed to an affidavit in the form of
evidence on behalf the NDC.
He has also been given the Power
of Attorney by the President to testify on his (President’s) behalf
during the hearing of the petition.
The Power of Attorney is
dated April 15, 2013 and is currently among the exhibits presented to
the court by the President and the NDC.
An affidavit dated
April 15, 2013 and filed at the Supreme Court registry stated that
President Mahama was the duly elected President of Ghana and won in
eight out of 10 regions in the country and for that reason, “the
announced results, therefore, demonstrated the will of the Ghanaian
The affidavit went on to state that the NDC won 148
out of 275 seats in Parliament, thus attaining a clear majority in
Parliament, as against the NPP’s 123 seats.
It said the
process of voting on the two days had been testified to by
polling/counting agents representing the President and the NDC who have
testified from personal knowledge in affidavits which have been filed
before the court as to what took place in each polling station where
petitioners claim something went wrong.
The processes of
voting, sorting and counting of ballots papers and the declaration of
results were done openly and in the full glare of the public, observers
and the polling/counting agents of the various parties.
were procedures by which any party who was dissatisfied with the
results or any of the processes of voting could, on the spot, lodge a
written complaint. In most of the polling stations in respect of which
the petitioners have raised issues in this petition, the 1st
petitioner’s polling/counting agents signed the pink sheets, documenting
the declared results without raising any complaint,” the affidavit in
support pointed out.
Reacting to the petitioners call for the
annulment of 4.670,504 votes, the affidavit said, upon counting and
examination of the pink sheets submitted by the petitioners in proof of
their claim the President and the NDC found the total number of pink
sheets submitted by the petitioners as exhibits in proof of the various
permutations of alleged violations, irregularities, omissions and
malpractices “is 8,621 and not the 11,842 alleged in the affidavit filed
by 2nd petitioner nor the 11,916 polling stations as alleged in the 2nd
amended petition of petitioners and confirmed by counsel for
petitioners in open court”.
It said out of the 8,621 pink
sheets, 115 had absolutely no data on the basis of which any of the
petitioners allegations the subject matter of the petition could be
According to the affidavit, “further 373 were
duplicated adding that there was no logical, arithmetical or other basis
upon which the petitioners came to the conclusion that 4.6 million
votes cast in the December 7 and 8, 2012 presidential election should be
“The petitioners’ claims are not supported by the
documents they have submitted in support of their case. Also, their
statements about the malpractices, irregularities, omissions they
alleged have not been consistent with each other,” the affidavit in
Touching on the various forms of
irregularities cited by the petitioners, the President and the NDC have
responded to each allegation as follows:
said in respect of all the pink sheets exhibited on over-voting, in no
instance were the petitioners alleging that the valid votes cast
exceeded the number of registered voters at the polling station adding,
“what the petitioners are alleging to be instances of over-voting are in
reality patent clerical, and sometimes, arithmetic errors in recording,
which have no material effect on the actual votes publicly cast,
sorted, counted and recorded.”
According to the two respondents, a number of the pink sheets did not support in any manner the allegation of over-voting.
affidavit said based on accounts of the NDC’s agents at the polling
stations, no voter voted without prior biometric verification.
affidavits sworn to by our polling agents and filed before this
Honourable Court confirm that in all the polling stations in respect of
which they swore their respective affidavits, voters were biometrically
verified before they were permitted to vote,” it pointed out.
on the President’s statement referred to by the petitioners that where
there were still challenges with the fingerprint verification machines
voters be allowed to vote without prior fingerprint verification, the
affidavit explained that the President’s statement was a reflection of
his recognition of the constitutional rights of Ghanaian citizens.
any event, the statement of 1st Respondent (President) was not the
basis of any decision of officers of 2nd Respondent (EC) in conducting
the elections,” the affidavit in support held.
Different results on pink sheets having the same polling station code
affidavit said the EC had explained that where polling stations had
been used for special voting which preceded the general voting, two
separate results would appear on the pink sheets with the same polling
station code, one representing the results of the special voting, and
the other those of the general voting.
Unknown polling stations
the issue of voting taking place in 23 polling stations outside the
recognised 26,002 polling stations, the respondents have held that all
the said polling stations existed and were all part of the 26,002
polling stations that were created by the EC for the conduct of the
December 2012 elections.
According to the affidavit, the
petition was an act of bad faith and a brazen attempt by the petitioners
to find some reason to question the validity of the December 7 and 8
Presidential Elections after they had lost.
period after the close of polls, media houses throughout the country
announced results as they were declared and reported tallies, which were
consistent with the final results declared by 2nd Respondent,” the
affidavit pointed out.