July 4, 2013 (Page 16)
KPMG, an international audit firm, has completed giving evidence with respect to the audit it conducted into pink sheets at the heart of the ongoing presidential election petition.
The presiding judge, Mr Justice William Atuguba, discharged the firm’s partner, Nii Amanor Dodoo, conditionally with the explanation that he might be recalled when the court needed him.
Meanwhile, the court expressed its profound appreciation to the firm for its patience, contribution and expedition in the conduct of the audit.
Mr Dodoo’s evidence
Answering questions under cross-examination from Mr Tony Lithur, counsel for President John Dramani Mahama, the witness said there were instances when data captured in the set of pink sheets for the President of the court were not found in the registrar’s set, and vice versa.
Mr Dodoo said there were also instances when polling station codes and exhibit numbers did not match, adding that the KPMG did not merge those instances.
Acccording to the witness, the KPMG situated its audit within the task set out for it by the court.
Mr Lithur also cross-examined the witness on the labelling of the exhibits.
The task of KPMG
All the parties in the election petition agreed that the procedures to be carried out shall be as follows:
A count setting out the total number of all pink sheets filed at the registry by the petitioners according to the manner in which they had been set out under paragraphs 44 to 67 of the affidavit of Dr Mahamadu Bawumia filed at the registry of the Supreme Court on April 7, 2013. (Paragraphs 44 to 67 generally give a break-down of the specific combinations of constitutional and statutory violations, irregularities and malpractices).
Provision of the exhibit number, if any, the polling station name and code and number of pink sheets filed at the Supreme Court registry.
The firm was also tasked to draw a comparison between Mr Justice Atuguba’s set of pink sheets and that of the registrar.
Electoral commission cross- examines Mr Dodoo
Mr Dodoo, who is also the Head of Audit Tax at KPMG, told the court during cross-examination by counsel for the EC, Mr James Quashie-Idun that a total of 13,926 pink sheets were counted and out of which 1,545 were not added to the final analysis because either, the polling station names, codes or exhibit numbers were not eligible.
The witness said a test run was conducted on 12,381 pink sheets, out of which 9,504 exhibit numbers appeared only once, while 5,470 polling station codes appeared only once.
He said there were 8,676 unique polling station codes (that is, polling station codes that appeared only once).
According to the witness, there were 6,911 occasions when polling station codes appeared more than once (replication) and said there were also other occurrences where 2,877 exhibit numbers appeared more than once.
Mr Tsatsu Tsikata’s turn
Answering questions under cross-examination from the lead counsel for the NDC, Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, the witness informed the court that the pink sheets were packaged in boxes and envelopes and explained that the envelopes were in the boxes.
He said the “P” series of labelling of pink sheets contained the largest number of pink sheets and said they contained 58 per cent of the entire pink sheets.
Asked if the representatives of all the parties in the petition were present, the witness answered in the affirmative.
He said each of the parties was made to look at the 1,545 ineligible pink sheets and all agreed and confirmed that, indeed, they were not eligible.
Mr Dodoo further confirmed that each representative was given a daily copy of the list of entries made for pink sheets during the audit.
Mr Tsikata cited the names of the representatives of the petitioners as Mr Kwaku Asirifi and Mr John Attafuah as captured in page four of the final audit report and got a confirmation from Mr Dodoo that at no point during the entry of the registrar’s set of pink sheets did any representative state that the entries were made in error.
The witness told the court that at no point did anyone say the count was incomplete, adding that all the parties confirmed the exhibits as set out by the star witness for the petitioners – Dr Bawumia.
The witness informed the court that most of the numbering in the “P” series did not match exhibit numbers and stated that, for instance, Dr Bawumia’s affidavit listed 6,822 pink sheets in the “P” series but the list the firm was provided with amounted to 7,182 pink sheets.
For instance, he stated that the labelling of some of the pink sheets in the “P” series was found to have either been duplicated or overlapped.
He said some exhibit numbers, polling station codes and or polling station names were duplicated 22, 15, 14, 10, six and five times.
Mr Tsikata took the witness through each lot of the duplications, but Ms Justice Rose Owusu advised counsel to leave that for the address stage.
Mr Dodoo told the court that the registrar told him there were instances of documents filed not being enough, adding that those documents were called for, but indicated that the request was not fully met.
The Bench seeks clarification
There were a number of questions from some of the panel members who all sought clarification from the audit report.
Mr Dodoo took the court through some of the appendices in the audit report and what most of them stood for.
Mr Justice Paul Baffoe-Bonnie queried if there was no way the eligibility of the 1,545 pink sheets could be ascertained, to which the witness answered that KPMG’s task was to refer to only the registrar’s set.
He also indicated that the KPMG had made recommendations to the court on what needed to be done on the 1,545 pink sheets, adding, “We could not refer to any other source rather than the registrar’s copy.”
Mr Dodoo said he was informed by the registrar that the court generally required a minimum of 10 copies of documents to be filed and said there were instances when the documents filed fell below 10.
Hearing continues today.