August 2, 2013 (Page 23)
petitioners in the 2012 presidential election challenge say that they
have succeeded in producing a “mountain” of evidence sufficient enough
to discharge the burden of proof placed on them and to obtain a
favourable decision from the Supreme Court.
According to them, the evidence they had adduced at the close of trial remained unchallenged in all material effects.
These sentiments were contained in the address of counsel for the
petitioners which was submitted to the court on Tuesday, July 30, 2013.
The petitioners’ address said, among many other things, that to
prosecute their case, they filed and relied on 10,119 pink sheets which
spoke to the nature of the violations, malpractices and irregularities
grounding the petition.
According to the 176-page document, the respondents, on the other
hand, failed or refused to file any pink sheet, except the 17 pink
sheets the Electoral Commission (EC) was compelled to tender in evidence
on the penultimate day of trial in an attempt to rebut damning evidence
led against it.
“This was so, even though the EC is the body constitutionally
mandated to conduct public elections and referenda, and notwithstanding
the fact that it is the official custodian of the pink sheets in the
election,” it said.
It said beyond reliance on inconsequential reports of election
observers, the respondents, in effect, tendered no evidence of substance
of their own, adding that they all sought to whittle down and reduce
the number of pink sheet exhibits the petitioners had filed on technical
grounds of defects in the labelling of the pink sheet exhibits.
“They seized the slightest occasion to hurl baseless attacks of
criminality, forgery, the manufacturing and smuggling of pink sheets
into evidence, even though unsubstantiated, on petitioners,” it said.
According to the document, the Chairman of the EC, who was the
returning officer of the presidential election, “with respect”, cut an
unconvincing figure with his evasive, inconsistent and contradictory
answers during cross-examination, pointing out that “his credibility by
the end of the trial was all but gone”.
It said the petitioners had shown, by the sheer depth and weight of
the evidence adduced at the trial and the force of legal arguments
advanced in the address that there had, indeed, been substantial
constitutional and statutory violations, malpractices and irregularities
in the 2012 presidential election and that those violations,
malpractices and irregularities had a material effect on the results of
the election as declared by the EC.
The document said the decision that the Supreme Court would finally
arrive at would have fundamental and far-reaching consequences for the
future of democracy in the country.
“It will either affirm the commitment of citizens to our democratic
journey and bolster their confidence in democratic institutions and the
rule of law or undermine their belief in the political and legal
institutions of the nation,” it held.
According to the document, what all citizens expected from the
highest court of the land was the interpretation and enforcement of the
Constitution and the law and their application to the evidence adduced
in the trial without fear or favour, “as the judicial oath of the
learned justices of this Honourable Court requires of them”.
“It is, accordingly, the respectful submission of petitioners that a
case worthy of all the reliefs that they seek has been made out,” it
It said the Constitution insisted that only valid votes be taken into
account in the determination of the validity of the election of the
President of the Republic.
“That is the clear teaching of Article 63 (3). The consequence is
that if the invalid votes, totalling 2,622,551, attributed to the first
respondent are taken out of 5,574,761 votes declared for him, the
total valid votes the first respondent, in fact and in law, obtained are
2,952,210, representing 41.79 per cent of the valid votes cast in the
“The declaration made on 9th December, 2012 by the second respondent
and set out in the Constitutional Instrument of the President Elect
Instrument, 2012 (CI 80), made under the hand of the chairman of the
second respondent, was, therefore, made wrongfully and this court is
respectfully invited to hold that his election was invalid and to set
aside same as null and void.
“In the premises, this Honourable Court is respectfully invited to
hold that the first petitioner, having obtained 4,0157,12 valid votes
cast, as a result of the annulment of 1,233,186 invalid votes from the
figure of 5,248,898 declared for him by the second respondent, resulting
in first petitioner obtaining 56.85 per cent of the valid votes cast,
should be declared by this Honourable Court as the winner of the 2012
presidential election,” the document further submitted.
Categories of irregularities at 10,119 polling stations
• Over-voting affected 1,722 polling stations, while voting without biometric verification occurred at 2,020 polling stations.
• The irregularity of absence of presiding officers’ signature occurred at 638 polling stations.
• Use of duplicate serial numbers on pink sheets affected 8,987 polling stations.
• The analyses of the petitioners are all backed by details of the
polling stations, including polling station names, polling station
codes, pink sheet serial numbers and votes secured by the various
candidates at the various polling stations contained in Volume 2 of the
• The petitioners also showed in their addresses that all the four
main irregularities on their own had a material impact on the results
declared and that annulling the polling stations affected by any of the
four irregularities would mean that the declared winner, John Mahama,
did not secure the required over 50 per cent.