Tsatsu Tsikata, counsel for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) caused a stir when he produced in court today a letter written on December 9, 2012 by Jake Obetsibi Lamptey, Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).It was addressed to Chairman of the Electoral commission, Dr. Afari Gyan.
It was the intention of counsel for NDC Tsikata to get the witness to confirm that the issue of same serial number irregularity did not feature in the meeting between the petitioners and the EC.
The letter, he said was found in paragraph 19 and 20 of the affidavit filed by Johnson Aseidu Nketia on 15th April this year.
He reminded the witness that he had sworn in paragraph one of his affidavit that he had the authority to speak for second and third petitioners, Nana Akuffo Addo and Jake Obetsibi Lamptey.
In the said affidavit, the witness could speak “in respect of matters within his personal knowledge and information”.
This intention was met with objections by counsel for petitioner’s Philip Addison.
Lawyer Addison said his witness could not answer the questions asked because “the document is not in evidence”.
He argued that his witness wasn’t the author of the letter addressed to the Electoral Commissioner. He could wait and ask his witness, Johnson Aseidu Nketia.
He further referred to the Evidence Act, Section 61 which states that “A witness may not testify to a matter unless sufficient evidence is introduced to support a finding that he has personal knowledge of the matter.
(2) Evidence to prove personal knowledge may, but need not, consist of the testimony of the witness himself.
(3) A witness may testify to a matter without proof of personal knowledge if no objection is raised by any party”.
After both parties had given reasons for their positions, the panel of judges met briefly to decide on the matter.
They ruled that the objection had been overruled by majority decision 8-1. Their decision was based on Section 125 relating to business records.
Dr. Bawumia went ahead to read the letter which complained of “widespread and systematic abuse of the [election] process”.
It attributed the abuse to president mahama’s exhortation that people be allowed to vote without using verification machine where they had broken down.
It requested for an audit of verification machines to establish that it tallies with the votes cast.
It also asked the EC for a recollation of presidential ballot at collation centers.
Lastly, it asked for a meeting with second respondent, Chairman of the EC, Afari Gyan before he declares the final results.
Bawumia early on said he will not be surprised that same serial number irregularity did not come up because that particular irregularity was innocuous.
It had to take a painstaking professional eye to notice that form of irregularity.
He added that merely because it was not raised at that meeting does not preclude the petitioners from raising it now.