Tsatsu accused of threatening Bawumia
Mr Philip Addison, Counsel for the Election petitioners on Thursday accused Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, Counsel for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) of threatening Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the second petitioner.
Mr Addison raised the objection when Mr Tsikata sought to remind the witness that he has sworn an oath on the Holy Quran to tell the truth at all time.
Mr Tsikata intimated that the witness may be defiling the holy book if he should lie adding that he stands liable to the crime of perjury if he is found culpable.
However, Mr Justice Atuguba, the presiding judge said the objection could have come in another form and thus overruled it.
He however told Mr Tsikata to proceed cautiously else the court will intervene.
Mr Tsikata presented another set of pink sheet exhibits, which were tendered three times, two with the same exhibit number, and the third with a different exhibit number.
He then asked the witness to confirm if the polling agents of the petitioners were present and signed those pink sheets. He also asked the witness to confirm whether there was any form of protest raised by the polling agents.
Dr Bawumia in answering said there ought not to be official protest raised by the polling agents before petitioners can proceed to court.
He said however that the polling agents signed the pink sheets but did not raise any protest on the face of the pink sheet.
Mr Tsikata also presented another set of pink sheet exhibits which have been duplicated and asked the witness to confirm if they were signed by the NPP polling agents and there was no indication of protest.
Dr Bawumia confirmed the polling agents signed the document adding that an agent signing the document does not make the illegality that happened at the polling station legal.
Mr Justice Atuguba however cautioned the witness to leave out the issue of legality. He said the matters of the law can only be dealt with by the panel.
Mr Tsikata also asked the witness if he was aware of results being declared at various polling stations on the eve of the December 7, 2012.
Dr Bawumia affirmed and added that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was clearly in the lead when the results started trickling in on the eve of December 7 but something happened on December 8, 2012.
Mr Tsikata then proceeded by presenting another set of pink sheet exhibits with exhibit numbers duplicated and asked the witness to read out the results on the pink sheet and to confirm if the numbers have been duplicated and whether the polling agents signed.
Dr Bawumia read and said the exhibit numbers have been duplicated and was signed by the petitioners polling agents but the figures on the pink sheet were entered once in the analysis.
Mr Tsikata then gives another set of pink sheet exhibits to the witness to check and that the exhibit numbers have been repeated three times, two of which were generated manually and the third exhibit number generated electronically.
Dr Bawumia confirmed the manual generations of the exhibit numbers were fraught with errors and that was why the NPP had to do the electronic generation of exhibit numbers adding that the figures were entered once.
Mr Tsikata then probed further by asking if the witness can confirm that the signatures on the pink sheets were authentic signatures of their polling agents.
Dr Bawumia said they have cause to suspect some of the signatures on the pink sheets but their attention is not so much on whether the pink sheets were signed by their polling agent but rather the irregularities on the face of the pink sheets.
Mr Tsikata also asked the witness to confirm if there were three pink sheets of the same polling station and whether or not the polling agents of the petitioners signed them.
Dr Bawumia confirmed that the pinks sheets were repeated three times but with same exhibit numbers, signed by their polling agents but entered once in the analysis.
Mr Tsikata asked the witness if he noticed the mislabelling for the first time.
Dr Bawumia said he became aware of the mislabelling when they were putting together the case and that is why they shifted to electronic labelling, which also appears to have suffered some labelling deficits.
He assures the court however that the figures on those pink sheets were entered once in the analysis adding that he was not aware that the duplicated and triplicate pink sheets were added to the list of exhibits which were tendered in evidence.
Mr Tsikata presented a new list of pink sheet exhibits which have been quadrupled and asked the witness if the polling agents signed the copies of the pink sheets.
Dr Bawumia confirmed that those pink sheet exhibits have been quadrupled but added that they were entered only once in the analysis.
Dr Bawumia attributed the duplications to photocopying of the pink sheets but maintains they were only used once.
He stated that “You don’t win the case by the quantity of your papers but the quality of your analysis.”
Mr Tsikata after the recess continued with the cross-examination of the witness and asked him to confirm it there was repetition of the exhibit and that polling agents of the petitioners signed without raising any objection.
Dr Bawumia confirmed there was a repetition of the exhibit and that his polling agents signed but raised no objection.
Mr Tsikata then suggested to witness that the polling agents signed to assert the accuracy of the results in the polling agents but Dr Bawumia disagreed, saying the signature was only to affirm whatever happened at the polling station including irregularity.
Mr Tsikata further asked the witness to read regulation 36 (2) of C.I 75.
Dr Bawumia after reading said the regulation he just read, supports the statement he has been making that the polling agents only sign to confirm whatever happens at the polling station and not to authenticate and certify the results.
At that juncture, Mr Justice Atuguba cautioned Mr Tsikata not to be asking the witness questions of law, adding that those issues would be clearly dealt with by the judges and not Bawumia.
Mr Tsikata said he only raised the issue because of the obvious familiarity of the witness on the issues to do with C.I 75.
Mr Tsikata went ahead and presented to the court a list of 70 pink sheet exhibits on which he would cross examine the witness. He asked if witness can confirm that the pink sheets have been duplicated.
Dr Bawumia affirmed but said the first respondent won in those polling stations because the irregularities perpetrated in those polling stations inured to his benefit.
Mr Addison also raised an objection as to how the counsel for the third respondent was executing his cross-examination.
He said Mr Tsikata cannot continue to adopt this piecemeal approach and prayed the court to direct the counsel to provide the list of duplicate or triplicate pink sheets even if there are thousands of them so the court can deal with once and for all.
Mr Tsikata however said if there is a delay, it is entirely the creation of the petitioners.
He argued that it was entirely unusual to have duplications and triplication of the exhibits adding that the respondents were entitled to have a clear set of pink sheet exhibits from the petitioners and once they did not have that they cannot be blamed for delay if they try to sort out these duplications.
He said he would demonstrate to the court that these duplications were only to shore up the numbers of the petitioners affidavits and to deceive the court.
Mr Justice Atuguba agreed in part with Mr Tsikata but advised him to expedite action on the list of duplicates.
Mr Justice Atuguba also alerted counsel for the third respondent that the curtain on Thursday proceedings will be drawn very soon.
He directed counsels on all sides to sit early on the next adjourned date which is Monday to sort out the duplicates, triplicates and quadruplicates before hearing starts at 9.30 am.
Earlier, the Supreme Court ruled to dismiss an application filed by Mr Benoni Tony Amekudzi “an amicus curia” on the grounds that it was not properly laid before the court.
Mr Amekudzi had filed an ex-parte motion at the Supreme Court seeking to draw the courts attention to some violation of the law in the hearing of the presidential election petition.
Mr Amekudzi in moving his motion read the preamble of the 1992 constitution in support of his application.
Mr Justice Atuguba asked Mr Amekudzi to follow the necessary procedures and not give speeches.
He was also asked if he signed an affidavit in support of his ex-parte motion as an established mode of trial. Mr Amekudzi said he did not.
Mr Philip Addison, Counsel for petitioners said the application by Mr Amekudzi has not been properly laid.
He said there is no fact to support it and that it is “partisan” and should be rejected.
Mr Tony Lithur, Counsel for first Respondent said he supports counsel for petitioners for the “first time”.
Mr James Quarshie Idun, Counsel for second respondent said for the first time supports Mr Addison along with Mr Lithur.
Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, Counsel for third respondent asked that the matter be dismissed.
The panel of judges ruled to dismiss the application.
Mr Amekudzi however challenged the other lawyers for preceding the hearing on a mistake and wonders what right they have to call his application an error.