Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, the vice presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP)in the 2012 Election, is given many accolades when his name is mentioned in NPP circles. He is variously known as a renowned economist and banker of international repute. This may be due to the fact that Dr Bawumia may have dazzled his NPP colleagues on several fronts.
But when people give you so many accolades, they tend to expect more from you in terms of performance and behaviour. You create doubts in the minds of people and tend to lower their estimations of your strengths when certain pronouncements from you fall short of their expectations.
Dr Bawumia may have done that when on Wednesday he gave himself up when he demonstrated that as a banker, hedoes not know anything certain basic banking laws or regulations.
Under cross-examination by Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, the lead lawyer for the NDC in the Supreme Court petition on the results of the 2012 Election, Dr Bawumia was asked by Mr Tsikata what happens if a cheque is presented to a bank for cashing and it is found that the figures of the amount is different from the words.
To the amazement of those watching on television and those in court, and perhaps to Dr Bawumia's employer-in-waiting (African Development Bank), Dr Bawumia answered that when such a discrepancy occurs, the cheque must be annulled.
Even when Mr Tsikata drew Dr Bawumia's attention that the information he has given was incorrect he adamantly maintained his stand.
When Dr Bawumia returned to the witness box on Thursday, Mr Tsikata brought the issue back by asking Dr Bawumia, a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, if he knows anything about Uniform Commercial Code. Again to amazement of all, Dr Bawumia who is touted as an excellent banker told the court that he does not know.
Not to let the issue on discrepancies on a cheque go away so easily, Mr Tsikata further asked Dr Bawumia if he is aware that under the Uniform Commercial Code, when the amount of a chequeis unclear, the written words are considered to be the correct amount. But Bawumia further insisted that the figures on the cheque will still be the correct one.
To educate those of my readers who do not know anything about Uniform Commercial Code, it is one of the promulgated uniform acts that serves to harmonize the laws of sales and other commercial transactions.
The code also seeks to avoid confusion on the figures and words written on cheques. Sometimes the figure of the amount written on a cheque may not match the words. For instance somebody may issue a cheque and may write 100 GHC in figures but in words may state just 10 GHC.
When such a thing occurs the Uniform Commercial Code enjoins that the words on the cheque must supersede the figures. This is something basic that every teller will tell you. But according to the Banking Gospel of Bawumia, when such a situations occurs, the cheque has to be nullified. Dr Bawumia stated emphatically that the cheque must be thrown away.
We seem to have a very big issue on hand. And Bawumia may be thinking that whatever he says today will go away when the court case ends. Future generations may come and pour on everything uttered by those who are involved in this landmark court case. And it is upon this, that generations yet unborn will judge every individual involved in the case.
At this point, I will be very worried if I am one of those who interviewed and gave the AFDB job to Bawumia. If the various discrepancies in his evidence gathering, alleged cooking of numbers, alleged lies and other allegations are proven, I will be concerned if I am to work with Bawumia.