EC lawyer challenges Bawumia on “ghost polling stations”

Dr. Bawumia
Dr. Bawumia

Mr James Quarshie Idun, Counsel for the Electoral Commission, on Wednesday challenged claims by Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, second petitioner in the election petition that the “22 unknown polling stations” were not part of the 26,002 polling stations used in the 2012 elections.

He said letters of application from the first petitioner appointing polling agents to the alleged “Ghost Polling Stations” were not known to the petitioners themselves.

Mr Quarshie Idun said these when he took his turn to cross-examine Dr Mahamudu Bawumia in the ongoing election petition at the Supreme Court in Accra.

Mr Philip Addison, Counsel for the petitioners, raised an objection that the EC could not cross-examine the witness on those documents since they were not part of their pleadings and was just springing a surprise on them.

He said proper foundation had not been laid by Counsel for the EC and that the document had been there since the time of filing the affidavits for them to respond to that matter.

Mr Quarshie Idun insisted that they only received the document recently by fax from their regional offices and could have been included in their pleadings.

However, later overruled the objection and allowed the cross-examination to continue.

Mr Quarshie Idun picked the document and showed it to Dr Bawumia to identify if the signature on the application letter was that of the first petition.

Dr Bawumia in answering said though the signature on the application letter was that of the first petitioner, the name of the polling station and code were different from those on the Pink Sheet.

Mr Quarshie Idun also tendered in evidence to the court the five application letters from the first petitioner appointing polling agents to the alleged “Ghost Polling Station” to monitor the December 2012 elections.

When Dr Bawumia was questioned as to whether their polling agents were not around to prevent those election violations and irregularities, he answered that the elections were run by the EC and not by polling agents and the presiding officers were the ones in charge at the polling stations.

Earlier, Mr Tony Lithur, Counsel for President Mahama, who concluded his cross-examination of Dr Bawumia today, questioned him (Dr Bawumia) whether the petitioners did not train their polling agents to check serial numbers on Pink Sheets.

Dr Bawumia replied that the party did not avert their mind to the serial numbers before the election because the EC was bound by law to protect the “integrity of the elections”.

Not persuaded by the answer, Mr Lithur further argued that a polling station was primarily identified by the code and not the serial number.

Dr Bawumia said although no formal complaints were made by party agents at the various polling stations but went ahead to endorse the results by appending their signatures on the Pink Sheets, the EC was bound to provide unique serial numbers for each polling station.

Mr Lithur also asked the witness whether he wanted “2.6 million votes wiped off” so that he Dr Bawumia would be made the Vice-President of Ghana.

Dr Bawumia in answering insisted that the votes should be cancelled because the “integrity of those polling stations have been compromised.”

Mr Lithur, however, hit back accusing Dr Bawumia of “conjuring” the idea of serial number duplication to “beef up non existing case”.

Dr Bawumia nonetheless rejected that argument and reminded Mr Lithur that the issue was more serious than what he was suggesting.

Dr Bawumia added that the serial numbers were very important that was why they were embossed on the Pink Sheet unlike the codes, which were handwritten.

“The security of the form would be highly compromised if the serial number is hand written” he added.

Source: GNA

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