Counsel for Petitioners, Philip Addison will today re-examine their star witness Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia. The witness was subjected to intense cross-examination for over two weeks by counsel for the three respondents.
Tsatsu Tsikata, counsel for the National Democratic Congress brought his cross-examination to an end, albeit temporarily on Tuesday.
Judges of the Supreme Court have taken their seats for hearing to commence.
Petitioners and respondents are in court. Counsel for the parties have introduced team members.
Addison: Do you have the Further and Better (F&B) particulars and what would you like to do with it.
Bawumia: Yes your Lordship I have and I want to tender it.
Tsatsu: The document does not need tendering. It is already part of the record. I object to the scope of re-examination.
Lithur adds that re-examination arises when it's a new matter. Addison's question is "a disguised attempt to reharsh matters". He quotes references to support his position.
Idun says he has not received full content of the F&B particulars.
He is re-examining the witness on the same matter, all respondents say.
Addison: The F&B particulars were served on the respondents, the question is not a surprise. He reads the scope of cross-examination according to the Evidence Act. He refers to a case between NDK financial services vrs Adjei and co,2005. He quotes the ruling of the judge on the case that largely permits his question for re-examination.
He adds reference Regina vrs Sach,1980. If the witness is unable to give an "incomplete account" of his story, he can be asked in re-examination to tell it again.
Presiding Judge upholds objection.“The pleadings is already part of court and therefore their tendering is out of place”.
Addison: Attempts to tender Bawumia’s analysis.
Lithur: He objects. They are trying to clean up the table. This is not a matter he can use in re-examination. It’s the wrong time. May be he can autograph it for him later.
Tsatsu: He agrees. “We have no opportunity to cross-examine him” on it he says. Its too late to tender it now. Idun supports co- respondents fully.
Addison: The respondents have every opportunity to question him on the polling stations used by the petitioners. He refers to past proceedings where Bawumia was prevented by the counsel for respondents from explaining using his analysis. This list of 704 polling station will assist the court.
Presiding judge Atuguba: overrules objections from respondent.
Addison: Dr. Bawumia you have a list of 704 polling stations what would you like to do with it.
Bawumia: I would like to tender it.
Addison: Do you have a CD- ROM version of it. Bawumia: Yes I do
Lithur: Objections! we can't ascertain what's there.
Addison: We are assisting the court. We have CD-ROMS of everything. If the court doesn't want it, that is fine.
Atuguba: It is evidence so if you want to tender it then do so.
Tsatsu : Hard copy is sufficient for the court. Tendering a CD-ROM will raise "collateral issues about authenticity" of the evidence.
Atuguba sustains objection
Addison: Tsikata said exhibit P-series, NDC 32 downwards contained double counting and padding meant to mislead the court. He asked you to provide list of counterpart serial numbers which respondent refused to tender. What would you like to do with the list? Exhibit tendered is marked E-1 to E-7.
Bawumia: I would like to tender it.
Lithur: has no objection but says the list provided has an additional section that was not part of what they have.
Tsatsu: has no objection except typographical errors should be corrected in the list petitioners provided him for his cross-examination. Idun: No objection
Addison: its the same list.Why are they raising matters now?
Atuguba: Objection overruled as regards the category section.
Addison appears not to understand what respondents were objecting. Respondent led by Tsatsu says they have not raised objections but just drawing counsel’s attention to typographical errors. Court directs that the errors be corrected later after Addison asks where the errors are.
Addison continues: Counsel for respondents suggested that you used only favourable polling stations in your analysis. He said that was bad faith. From your analysis is this true?
Lithur: Objection! There was no ambiguity in the witness’s answer. It was clear.
Addison: The scope of re-examination is not limited to ambiguity. The question is at the core of the credibility of the witness and issues of bad faith.
Atuguba: By majority 6-3 objection is sustained
Addison continues: Tsikata said he couldn’t identify on exhibit NDC 34 – a list of 20 polling stations- it’s counterpart serial numbers and you answered that 11 were part of F&B, can you tell the court the specific polling stations
Tsikata: says witness identified the specific polling stations. He shows this in the proceedings. Lithur gets up to recall if the witness did identify them
Addison says Lithur is fond of answering for Tsikata. They don’t have it on their record of proceedings.
Atuguba says he has a record of the 11 identified polling stations. Addison then refrains from continuing with his question.
Addison say Bawumia had to make some changes in the categorization of some of the polling stations as a result of quality control and further scrutiny. Which polling stations have undergone re-categorisation.
Tsatsu: Objects. The pleading of petitioners have not been amended. Their testimony in respect of quality control was specific. It is not open in re-examination to seek questions set out already. Changes may require him to do another cross-examination.
Lithur, Idun agree with Tsatsu.
Addison says Bawumia sought to refresh his memory about allegations of mis-categorisation such as mislabeling but that opportunity was denied him.
Lithur: Categorisation is so essential. If they amend it now, it completely changes their case. The judges should reject it.
Addison: we are not changing our case. The violations are evidence on the face of the pink sheets.
Atuguba says they “reserve their ruling”. Not everyone is decided on this matter.
Addison: His witness was called dishonest so many times. Can you tell the court how you arrived at your 11,158 to show there was no double counting in coming to the firm conclusion that you used it once in your analysis?
Lithur and Tsatsu says the issues of methodology is irrelevant. "That should have been a subject matter in your examination-in-chief,the time is expired", Lithur adds. He can use that in his academic dissertation, Tsatsu suggests.
Atuguba: Objection sustained by 5-4.
Addison says subject to his deferred ruling, he is done with his re-examination.
Atuguba says court is going for lunch break to return at 1:30pm
Court resumes and over rules the objection by 5-4. The ruling related to an attempt by Addison to get Bawumia to clear allegations of mis-categorisation such as mislabeling after that opportunity was denied him according to Addison.
Addison proceeds to ask Bawumia which polling station has been moved from one category to another and shows him a list they want to tender.
But Tsatsu says the list does not have any exhibit number. It has been smuggled in. Lithur adds that if this is admitted in we cannot even find its counterpart. "We need to know which exhibit they are moving", Lithur.
Atuguba rules to sustain objection. Addison asks what that means to the court. Atuguba says his ruling over-rules his earlier ruling. He prays that the court gives petitioners leave to come back tomorrow subject to the ruling with a properly labelled exhibit. It is in the interest of justice, he says.
Atuguba says Addison has "taken a bad gamble" and rules that he cannot continue tomorrow.
Addison feels he has been denied justice "through the back door".
Atuguba says he cannot take orders from the bar. Addison replies that he is not dictating to the bench. He wants to continue tomorrow.The court is curtailing his re-examination.
Atuguba says if he had retreated by not subjecting his question to the ruling of the bench.
Lithur says Addison should show some respect to the bench.