Hearing on election dispute at Supreme Court continues
As the election petition hearing at the Supreme Court enters day-six on Wednesday, Mr Tony Lithur, Counsel for President John Dramani Mahama will continue with his cross examination of Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.
Dr Bawumia who was running mate to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the December 2012 general election, is second petitioner in the landmark election dispute currently at the Court. Other petitioners are Nana Akufo-Addo and Mr Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, Chairman of the NPP.
In the course of Tuesday’s proceedings, Dr Bawumia had insisted during cross examination that there was over-voting at some polling stations, an incidence which he said could not be erased by the question as to whether or not there were NPP polling agents present at those polling stations involved.
He said even though the petitioners did not receive any compliant from their polling agents on the issue of over-voting, the evidence on the pink sheets indicated there had been over-voting.
When Mr Lithur asked Dr Bawumia if he was aware of comments made by Mr Boakye Agyarko, campaign manager of the NPP in the 2012 elections, to the effect that the election was the cleanest the country ever had, Mr Philip Addison, Counsel for the petitioners raised an objection, saying that it was irrelevant to the issues under scrutiny.
He further argued that the respondents did not include that particular question in their pleadings and could, therefore, not question the witness on it.
Mr Lithur, however, insisted that the question was relevant because the witness had given an indication that the NPP polling agents did not complain of irregularities and that if Mr Boakye Agyarko also said the elections were clean and transparent then there was no need for the petitioners to challenge the authenticity of the results declared by the Electoral Commission (EC).
The Judges after conferring, over-ruled the objection raised by Mr Addison and asked the witness to answer the question posed by Mr Lithur.
Dr Bawumia responded that he was unaware of any such statement allegedly made by Mr Boakye Agyarko. He maintained that even if Mr Agyarko did say so, the figures on the pink sheets had indicated otherwise and that, for the petitioners, was more important.
Mr Justice Jones Dotse, a member of the Court’s panel had suggested to Mr Lithur to give advance notice to the petitioners as to the specific pink sheets his cross examination would be based on, so that the questioning pattern could be followed, and also to help speed up the hearing process.
Mr Lithur had initially challenged the suggestion, saying that giving the petitioners an advance notice would take away the element of surprise which, he said, was an essential aspect in cross examination.
Subsequently, however, he promised to provide a list of the relevant sheets he would be interrogating later.
Justice William Atuguba, presiding judge, announced the Court was adjourning hearing to today Wednesday, April 24.