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Live Texts: Day 11 of Election Petition
From: Ghana|Myjoyonline.com          Published On: May 6, 2013, 00:35 GMT
 
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Live Texts: Day 11 of Election Petition

1020: Panel of nine judges take their seat at the Supreme Court to begin Day 11 of the substantive hearing of Presidential Election Petition.

Counsel for the four parties take turns to introduce their team of lawyers to the bench.

Bawumia takes his seat in the witness box, to continue four days of cross-examination by Counsel for the third respondent, Tsatsu Tsikata.

Bawumia is reminded of the oath he swore when he first mounted the witness box.

Caution

1030 Presiding Judge William Atuguba asks why the counsel on all sides did not sit to sort out the debacle on the pink sheet duplications before hearing began. He says the court will put its foot down if their advice is not taken.

One of the judges take serious exceptions to a phrase which described judges as "timid." Whilst he did not mention any name, Myjoyonline.com can safely assume the learned judge is talking about an article written by Gabby Asare Otchere Darko in the wake of the ruling given by the judges in the Bernard Mornah case. Gabby described the judges ruling as "timid."

Counsel on all sides accept the query from the judge and agree to be circumspect in their utterances.

1035 Tsatsu Tsikata continues his cross-examination. He tenders in a polling station exhibit in which he says there are no exhibit numbers.

Another warning from another judge.

As Bawumia looks through the exhibit given him, one of the judges issues another warning that the air-condition in the court must never be switched off. She says if the people who come to the court to watch proceedings feel cold they should be properly dressed the next time they come to court and stop suffocating them by putting the air-conditioners off.

Bawumia continues perusing the exhibit pink sheets given him by Tsatsu Tsikata.

Warning

1055 The presiding Judge Atuguba issues another stern warning to lawyers and journalists to be accurate in their reports of proceedings in court. He cites a typical case of the Benoni Amekudzi incident and accuses some lawyers, journalists of misreporting what actually happened. He says the court wants to be liberal but warns they will be forced to take action if they are taken for granted.

Tsikata continues his cross examination. He asks witness to look at the last three of 76 pink sheet exhibits given to him and tell the court whether the pink sheets were manually generated; whether the NPP had polling agents in those polling stations and whether or they signed.

Bawumia says the last two were manually generated and that the NPP polling agents were present and signed.

Tsikata points out to the witness, one of the pink sheets which has no exhibit number and finds out from him why there is no number.

Bawumia concedes there is no exhibit number but cannot explain why. He says the pink sheet ought to have an exhibit number but he surprised there is none.

Tsikata continues by providing another list of 38 polling station exhibits which he says have been duplicated but this time with different exhibit numbers. He asks witness to confirm if there were polling agents from the NPP and whether or not they signed.

Bawumia, after perusing the documents confirms there were duplicates but says for the avoidance of doubt none of the duplicates pink sheets was used more than once in the analysis. He also says the polling agents signed to attest what ever happened at the polling station on the pink sheet.

Commissioner of Oaths signature

Tsatsu makes a case on the failure by the Commissioner of Oath to sign and stamp copies pink sheet exhibits ans ask witness if he was present through out the process of the Commissioner. Tsikata avers that about 70 per cent of the exhibits brought by the petitioners were not stamped. He says the peyitioners submitted to the court "a jumble of paper with mislabelings, duplications and quadruplication." He says the court had ordered the petitioners to provide polling station exhibits of 11,916 but the number of exhibits provided was way below what the court ordered and that they duplicated and triplicated the pink sheets to make up the number.

Bawumia cannot confirm the figure of 70 per cent but says given the magnitude of papers to be photocopied and submitted to the court, the number of duplications brought before the court by the respondents is relatively small. He says the petitioners provided the court in its further and better particulars 11,842 pink sheet exhibits to the court. He says the petitioners are confident that they provided 11,842 out of which they struck out 700 pink sheets which leaves a total of 11,132 pink sheet exhibits before the court.

Tsatsu Tsikata suggests that the only way to resolve the total pink sheet controversy is to have the total number of exhibits counted.

Bawumia welcomes the suggestions.

Presiding Judge Atuguba cautions the counsel of the third respondent not to ask the question of "duplicates to mislead" anymore because that question has been asked and answered many times.

Tsikata continues with his cross-examination by providing another set of pink sheet exhibit. On the face of one of the pink sheets is an exhibit number which appears to have been cancelled. Tsikata asks witness to confirm if the number has been cancelled and if it is, why a different exhibit number has been provided on the same pink sheet.

Bawumia confirms there appears to be a cancellation. He says a different number has been written on top of the cancelled number. Surprisingly, that cancelled number has been repeated at the portion where the Commissioner of Oath signed. Bawumia cannot explain why the cancellation and what number the court should be dealing with ie. whether the cancelled number which has been repeated on the commissioner of oaths copy or the other number which has been written on top of the cancelled number.

Tsikata does not understand why Bawumia who claimed to be present during stamping and signing by the Commissioner of Oath cannot tell the court what exhibit number is on that pink sheet exhibit.

Bawumia retorts and says the exhibit number was generated by different people. Tsikata demands from the witness to mention at least two people who gave the exhibit numbers and who were present during signing and stamping by the Commissioner of Oath.

Bawumia mentions Akoto Ampaw, Gloria Akuffo; Counsel for the petitioners is up on his feet, demanding the relevance of the question being asked of his witness. He says asking the witness who were present during the stamping ceremony is not relevant to the court. He insists asking the witness to divulge issues that went on between himself and his counsel is unethical and must not be allowed by the court.

Tempers flare

Tempers flare as Tsikata asks Addison to "shut up" so he could continue with his submission. Addison pleads with the bench to speak to the counsel to tone down on his language otherwise they are capable of responding in like manner.

Counsel for the first respondent Tony Lithur is also up defending the relevance of the question being asked by Tsikata. But Addison again springs to his feet challenging the right of Lithur to speak on the matter. He says in what capacity is Lithur making his arguement. Is he now part of counsel for the third respondent? he asks.

Presiding Judge Atuguba steps in to calm tempers. He confers with his colleagues on the bench to give a ruling on the objections raised by Addison.

Objection Ruling

The judges sustain the objection raised by counsel of petitioner on the issue of relevance of the question being asked of the witness. They however direct the Tsikata to limit his questions regarding who was present to only those persons are not lawyers.

They also sustain the objection raised against Lithur interjecting during cross examination by the third respondent.

Tsikata continues with his cross examination in which there is another case of discrepancy on the pink sheet exhibit.

He asks counsel on the other side to make available to the witness an affidavits signed ON 7 April 2013. He asks witness to confirm if the number on a pink sheet earlier submitted to him is MB-K-770. Bawumia confirms.

Tsikata says he is unable to find MB-K-770 in the affidavits provided by the petitioners.

He asks witness why that serial number is not part of the affidavits and says what is in the Commissioner of Oath stamp, does not reflect any exhibit number.

He tenders a separate exhibit on which he wants to ask his question.

Recess

1245 Presiding Judge Atuguba rings the lunch alarm bells and says the court will return an hour time.

Tsatsu Tsikata raises a concern and says it is important that witness is not allowed to speak to his counsel or any member of his team whilst the court is on recess

Atuguba says the call for him not to speak with any other person at all has been over ruled but adds that the judges are conferring on the issue about whether the witness can have discussions with members of his counsel during recess.

Addison says if counsel for the third respondent does not want them to speak to witness. So be it. He adds that the witness is a professional and is competent to answer any question at all fired by Tsikata.

On that call by Addison, the presiding Judge rules that Bawumia will not speak to his counsel on recess.

1253Court goes on recess

1400 Court returns from recess

Court returns with Tsikata on his feet asking the witness to explain to the court why the difference in exhibit numbers on the pink sheets as well as on that provided by the Commissioner of Oath.

After perusing the documents, Tsikata asks witness to confirm if there is different exhibit number on the exhibits and that of the Commissioner of Oaths as exhibited another number.

Bawumia concedes that there is a discrepancy in the labeling but says with the further and better particulars in possession of the respondents there should be no confusion.

Tsikata asks witness to tell the court the number of exhibits numbers which are not in the affidavits.

Bawumia says 183. He says there are two categories of exhibits numbers on those selected pink sheet exhibits. One is wrong; the other is correct. He says on the face of the pink sheet one may be confused but with the further details on the better and better particulars there should not be any confusion at all.

Tsikata finds out from the witness how many days it took for the Commissioner of Oath to sign the document and who were present during the signing of the documents.

Objection
Addison rises with an objection. He says the counsel on the other side is being speculative on his line of questioning and has been repetitive.

Tsikata fires back saying Addison is showing a mark of "inexperience" when it comes to cross examination.

Judges uphold the objection raised by Addison and asks Tsatsu to make progress in his cross-examination.

Tsikata tenders another set of pink sheet. He asks witness to confirm if polling agents were present in that polling station and whether or not they signed it.

He also asks witness why the figure on the top of one of the pink sheets does not correspond with the other on the Commissioner of Oaths.

Bawumia explains that the labeling has changed and adds that the exhibit number on the further and better particulars confirms the change.


Over voting

Tsikata tenders in one pink sheet where an allegation of over-voting has been made. He asks the witness to confirm if indeed there was over voting as claimed in Paragraph 50 of their affidavits.

Bawumia concedes that on the face of the pink sheet there is no case of over voting.

Tsikata presents another pink sheet exhibit in which allegations of over-voting, voting without verification and other irregularities have been.

Bawumi concedes that on the face of the pink sheet there is no over voting but adds it may well be part of the initial exhibits that had been struck out. He says on the issue of over-voting, at least 53 of them have been deleted from the initial list of exhibits and this exhibit may well be part of the deleted ones. He adds however that the petitioners are willing to make concessions where there are genuine case of errors.

Tsikata presents one more exhibit in which he says there is no case of over voting. He asks witness to confirm if there is over voting. Bawumia confirms there is no over voting on the face of the pink sheet but says he is not sure if that particular pink sheet has been deleted fromthe original list.

Tsikata again presents another pink sheet exhibit and asks if witness can confirm if there is an over voting. Bawumia confirms there is over voting because the space for the total number of voters in that polling station has been left blank adding, that is a way of hiding the crime of over voting.

At Mame Krobo Polling Station, Tsikata insists there is no over voting as alleged by the petitioners.

Bawumia says on the face of the pink sheet it is true there is no over voting, but adds those pink sheet may well be part of those pink sheets which have been deleted.

Tsikata tenders yet another pink sheet exhibit and asks the witness to confirm if there is over voting.

Bawumia confirms there is over voting because the total ballots issued were 533 but the total ballots counted is 535.

Tsikata insists that the number on C3 is 535 and not 533 as witness would have the court to believe and that there is no over voting. Bawumia also remains resolute and says the number is 535.

Tsikata defers to the court and asks it to confirm what the correct number is and whether it is justified to have the votes in that particular polling station annulled.

He moves on with his cross examination and asks witness to confirm if there is another case of over voting on a pink sheet exhibit he has tendered in evidence.

Witness confirms there is an over-voting because the addition of the total ballots garnered by the candidates exceeded the total number of ballots issued. Interestingly, however, in words the figure is different. Bawumia says based on the figure in numbers there is over over-voting even though in words there is no over-voting.

Tsikata presents another set of pink sheet exhibits in which he says there is no over-voting. Bawumia insists there is if the figures are tabulated.

Tsikata then asks witness to do the tabulation himself. Bawumia mentions the figures and tabulates on his calculator. He mentions the figure and stands by his allegation that there is over voting.

Tsikata accuses Bawumia of adding a figure 'one' which is non-existent on the pink sheet and asks the witness to be honest.

The counsel for the third respondent brings in another set of pink sheet exhibits to be perused by the witness and on which he will cross examine the witness on. He asserts in the list of 64 pink sheets there are no cases of over voting as alleged by the witness. He provides the exhibit to the witness to look at them.

Bawumia says out of the list of 64, he has perused 46 so far. He says in three of the exhibits, he will contest Tsikata on the view that there is no over voting. Apart from those three, however, he agrees with Tsikata that there was no case of over voting. He will explain to the court tomorrow his point of disagreement.

1650 Adjournment

Presiding Judge Atuguba adjourns hearing to Tuesday, at 9:30 am.






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