A leading member of the New Patriotic Party is rebuking the petitioners in the ongoing Presidential Election Petition for using a clueless witness to prosecute their case.
Dr Charles Wereko Brobby in a statement said the failure by the NPP to fall on a witness who is versed with the intricacies of the election procedures may well be a decision to rue when final judgement is given by the judges.
He described Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, star witness for the petitioners as a "clueless witness" who clutched on to mere "assertions, superstitions, personal interpretations of law" whereas the witness on the other side, Asiedu Nketia was "masterful" in his act.
The following is the full statement by Dr Charles Wereko Brobby
ON THE FACE OF THE PINK SHEETS OR AT THE HEART OF THE MATTER
Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby
As soon as I read that the NPP claimed not to know about STL in the 28 December filing of its PETITION to set aside the result of the 2012 Presidential elections, I called one of the leading lights in NPP’s Elections Machinery and asked him whether he had been involved in or been consulted in the preparation of the deposition.
The simple fact was that anyone who had been part of the preparations for the 2012 elections, especially those who dealt with the Electoral Commission at the national operational levels, was fully aware of STL, had been involved in the process to select them; had worked with them in getting to know the biometric process and equipment; and were fully engaged with them on election day operations.
Other eminently avoidable elementary mistakes in the petition told me loudly and clearly that there was very little consultation of those who actually worked on the elections and those who were dealing with the petition. Whether this was deliberate or simply a case of advice given and imperiously rejected, I cannot fathom. But for me it portended a potentially suicidal own goal in the 89th minute of a cup final match.
I then went on to enquire as to why no one who had actually been part of the NPP Election/Management team, especially those that had dealt with the EC, was not chosen to be one of the petitioners, the answer was one of we wanted to demonstrate the seriousness of intent of our purpose and at any rate we did not think it a serious enough omission to damage our “solid case”.
For me, the emergence of the “sleeping watchman not a deterrence for seeking justice” analogy a seeming riposte to the position taken by some of us about the role and responsibilities of polling agents, further demonstrated the wide gap between the prosecutors of the petition and the NPP Election managers in the knowledge of and familiarity with the rules, regulations and practical for the preparation and conduct of Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in Ghana.
Amongst the several documents I gathered in the run up to the 2012 elections were the two principal constitutional instruments, CI 72: PUBLIC ELECTIONS RREGISTRATION OF VOTERS REGULATIONS 2012; and CI 75; PUBLIC ELECTIONSREGULATIONS 2012. Added to the valuable source material was copies of the EC operational guidelines and training manuals derived from the Electoral laws and the CIs and setting out the DOS & DONTs of the A-Z steps for the conduct of the elections.
The sources for all of the above materials and more were my NPP colleagues who had been given the responsibilities to deal with the EC in the preparation and conduct of the elections. So no one can ever claim that the NPP did not know the rules of engagement for the polls inside out. It did and indeed the only real complaints I ever heard from the Election managers was that the leadership of the party was not listening to them or worse acting on recommendations to protest to the EC about the many infractions between what was said on paper and what actually happened in reality.
Each time the NPP managers hollered, the leadership assured them that CERTAIN VICTORY WAS IN SIGHT AND NOTHING MUST BE DONE TO POSPONE OR DERAIL THE COMING INTO POWER OF PRESIDENT AKUFO=ADDO ON DECEMEBR 7 2013. It was thus very strange to see the very complaints the election mangers had requested the party’s leadership to act on, turn up in the original NPP petition, namely: :
10. That 2nd Respondent failed to provide the Petitioners’ party, the NPP, with a provisional register of voters for each polling station in breach of Regulation 21 (2) of the Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations 2012 (C. I. 72) Thereby disabling Petitioners and their party from effectively verifying the names on the list to ascertain their authenticity.
11. That 2nd Respondent inordinately delayed in furnishing the Petitioners’ party (NPP) with the final voters’ register, delivering same in tranches up to a few days before the December 2012 election, which conduct prevented the NPP from scrutinising the said register and thereby contributed substantially in undermining the transparency, fairness and integrity of the December 2012 elections.
As far as I am concerned, and without prejudice to what their Lordships will decide at the end of the ongoing case, Asiedu Nketia mounting the witness box may turn out to be the one single act that SORTS OUT THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF in the public’s appreciation of and understanding of what really happens in the run up to the conduct of and the declaration of the outcome. Whilst no one can doubt what the EC will say and demonstrate when it comes to its turn to give testimony, General Mosquito has delivered a masterful stroke in the cause of his President.
No one can doubt the breadth and quality of the General’s knowledge of and practical experience of the processes and their imports. Indeed this was confirmed with grudging admiration by two of my NPP colleagues who had worked with the General and the EC through IPAC. They admitted he knew his onions like a berated Frenchmen, even as they quibbled with some of his definitions and timelines.
Without prompting, my colleagues contrasted the General's performance with that of the masterful 2nd Petitioner who clearly was sixes and sevens when it came to the grasp of the nitty- gritty of the rules, procedures and operations for actually doing things on the ground.
“YOU AND I WERE NOT THERE” & “ON THE FACE OF THE PINK SHEETS”. worshipfully admired by sycophantic and partisan admirers of the 2nd Petitioner, now sound ad stand as a hollow and unconvincing parry to the real handicap that Dr. Bawumia simply did not have a clue about the HOWs and WHEREFORs of running Elections in Ghana.
His cluelessness led to putting out a lot of assertions, superstitions, personal interpretations of law, which may be wickedly exposed when the law as it stands on the face of it and the interpretation as understood by His Lordships are brought together in the judgment of this landmark case.
Of course, it was not necessary for Dr Bawumia to be well versed in the intricacies of the running of elections in Ghana. By the same token, given that there is no restriction as to who can file election petitions (to qualify to give expert testimony), the failure of the NPP to include one of its Election Managers or its Chief Executive, the General Secretary as one of its Petitioner, was a major tactical blunder which they may come to rue on Judgment day.
As for the many clueless and ignorant who keeps talking about the need to revamp the Election laws of Ghana, I have bad news for you. There is nothing wrong with the basic law, rules and procedures for the conduct of elections in Ghana. Indeed, many have evolved from several years of cooperation between the political parties and the EC through the IPAC forum. I know because I was part of this for several years.
The problem is that, as with the way we do things here, we believe in the MOSES DOCTRINE that WHAT IS PUT ON THT TABLET AND COMES DOWN MANIFESTLY BECOMES DONE. What we forget is that IT IS LAW MADE FOR MAN AND IT IS MAN THAT MUST MAKE THE LAW WORK. THE NPP chose to put the weakest of its human resources at the most crucial point of the election process. It has done so since the onset of elections under the 4th republic in 1992; never taking in the lessons as the failures have been explained away in tome upon tome of STOLEN VERDICT.
For me Roland Reagan’s simple advice of TRUST BUT VERIFY should be the lesson learnt for the last time from the recurring sin of putting the party faith and fortunes in the hands of undoubtedly committed and loyal followers, who alas are fatally unsuitable and incompetent to understand let alone analyse and eke out the traps and foibles of OVERVOTING, VOTING WITHOUT BIOMETRIC VERIFICATION, DUPLICATE PINK SHEETS, ETC.
Scrutinising the said register and thereby contributed substantially in undermining the transparency, fairness and integrity of the December