By Ivy Benson
The General Secretary of the Ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, yesterday threw the Supreme Court into laughter, when he drew an analogy between serial numbers on bank cheque books to those on ballot papers, referring to it as what transpires in the rural bank.
According to Mr. Nketiah, a.k.a General Mosquito, serial numbers allocated to each cheque book and ballot papers go through strict monitoring, unlike serial numbers on election pink sheets.
General Mosquito, who was continuing his evidence-in-chief before the Supreme Court hearing an election petition, asserted that the printing of pink sheets are very accessible, and so are not monitored, unlike that of ballot papers, whose serial numbers are monitored, and therefore, not accessible.
'I will liken cheque books to ballot papers, and not pink sheets. This is my opinion; this is from rural bank, and I don't know how it is in other banks,' Mr. Asiedu Nketiah told the court comically.
His explanation, which revealed his comical nature, put the entire court room audience, including the panel judges of the Supreme Court, into incessant laughter.
The 2012 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, his running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, and Party Chairman Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey are in court challenging the declaration of John Mahama as winner of the 2012 presidential election by the Electoral Commission (EC).
Mr. Asiedu Nketiah told the court presided over by Justice William Atuguba that the petitioners had come to court based on bad faith, as they, as well as their agents, were happy when the election was going in the favour of them, but started challenging the results when it started going against them.
Other panel members include Justices Julius Ansah, Sophia Adinyira, Rose Owusu, Jones Dotse, Anin-Yeboah, Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, Sule Gbadegbe and Vida Akoto-Bamfo.
The witness further explained that the NPP, of which the petitioners are members, starting praising media houses and the EC when the results in the 2012 presidential election were favouring Nana Akufo Addo, but when the results started turning against them, party faithful started brutalising people on the streets.
Additionally, witness said he saw as bad faith the petitioners coming to court seeking to annul millions of people's votes, while agents of their political party, Alliance for Accountable Governance, went on the streets organising 'Let my vote count' forums throughout the country.
Mr. Asiedu Nketiah also accused the petitioners of being selective in areas they claim witnessed irregularities in the 2012 presidential election, since they only selected polling stations where John Mahama won, and ignored those areas where Nana Akufo Addo won.
'I have reviewed the information on the pink sheets, and have noticed the selectivity of petitioners in choosing areas that 1 st respondent won, and seeking to annul those votes', the witness told the court.
He described the 2012 election as being the most transparent, free and fair that had ever been held in the country, noting that there was no opportunity for anybody to vote, when the person's name was not found in the voters' register.
'The use of the biometric register had been the most accurate register ever,' witness emphasised, noting that it prevents anybody from voting more than once, and further prevents people whose names are not in the register from voting during an election.
The witness asserted that only one register was used for both the presidential and parliamentary elections, and he disagreed with the petitioners that different registers were used.
Another instance of bad faith, the witness said, was exhibited by the petitioners in filing their petition, referring to their polling agents as 'exotic agents', who could not challenge any irregularity at the polls.
Mr. Asiedu Nketiah told the court that the petitioners had indicated how their polling agents at areas such as Nalerigu, Tano South and Berekum raised objections at the polls that led to the cancelation of votes at those places, and therefore, could not be described as 'exotic agents'.
The petitioners have cited President Mahama and the EC as respondents in the case, however, the NDC was later joined in as a party to defend the allegations brought against its 2012 presidential candidate.
The petitioners are asking the court to annul 4, 670,504 votes, representing votes cast in 11,916 polling stations across the country, for what they termed' gross and widespread irregularities' recorded during the December 2012 poll.
Meanwhile, the petitioners have currently reduced the number of polling stations they are challenging to 11,136.
However, the respondents have denied the assertions of the petitioners, noting that the results of the election, as declared, were credible.
Sitting continues today, May 29, 2013.