Whatever the ruling, the ongoing Supreme Court challenge of Ghana's 2012 Presidential elections is guaranteed to go down in law, academic, and history books as well as documentary films as one monumental case.
Thanks to GTV Live and myjoyonline.com, some of us in the diaspora are able to follow the court's daily proceeding on the Worldwide Web. We watched or listened to the lawyers question, suggest or put it to Dr. Bawumiah, the second petitioner. We followed Mr. Asiedu Nketiah as he touted his experience from a rural bank in nowhere against one from Ghana's Central bank. Finally, the EC chairman himself is in!
On Friday, May 10 2013, following the Supreme Court's decision to allow an audit of the 'Pink Sheets' the NPP presented to the court, a commenter posted on the GTV Live feed that 'Ghanaians are too know, ' with the NPP Election Petition. 'Too know' is a local parlance for overindulgence, extravagance or unnecessary exaggeration. The commenter cited the swift decisions from the United States and Kenyan Supreme Courts in similar election petitions.
Is the commenter right? Is Ghana being 'too know' with this case? Well, it is complicated; there are these and there are that extenuating circumstances. The law requires bla, bla, bla Short answer: Yes! Ghana is 'being too known' PAAAA!
COMPARISM WITH BUSH V. GORE, DECEMBER, 2000
Comparing Ghana's ongoing convoluted electoral challenge to the straight forward 2000 Bush v. Gore case is like comparing Gari to an orange. One is a multi-process complex carbohydrate; the other is a simple fruit. Vice President Gore, the challenger in Bush V. Gore sought to count every vote; Nana Addo on the other hand, wants to throw away counted votes to get victory - a more complicated process.
In the Bush V. Gore case, Florida State law allowed manual recount of votes in a close election. The recount was ongoing when the secretary of the State, a Bush supporter, certified the official results and declared George Bush the winner with just about 345 votes out of millions cast. Gore went to the Florida Supreme Court to seek remedy. A statewide recount was ordered. Both Bush and Gore rushed to the US Supreme Court. The Court had to rule on two simple questions. (1) Was the Florida Court ordered recount constitutional? (2) If no, could a viable remedy be found within the remaining time frame?
COMPARISM WITH THE KENYAN ELECTION PETITION, 2013
The 2013 adjudicated Kenyan election petition and Ghana's ongoing case are distant cousins. They both allege collusion between the electoral commission and the declared winner. Both claim the winner's numbers were padded while the competitors' numbers were reduced. Both cite shifting voter register, over voting, unreliable biometric machines that broke down leaving millions of unverified voters who were allowed to participate in the election.
The remedy request is identical. The Supreme Court should throw out millions of votes and make the petitioners' winners to PROTECT THE INTEGRITY OF THE ELECTION. In Ghana, the NPP is asking the Supreme Court judges to sing the party's anthem, 'NANA IS A WINNER.' Since the Kenyan Supreme Court ruled against their petitioners, does a similar fate await Ghana's three compadres?
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GHANA AND KENYA
Not necessarily! There are substantial differences between the hurried job the Kenyans did and the meticulous legal process Ghana is following. The Kenyan Constitution does not codify the petition process. It gives lots of discretionary powers to the Supreme Court. The court used those powers to adjudicate the election petition in just 14 days. That is less than the number of days Ghana's petitioners took to put their case together.
Unlike Kenya, Ghana's constitution spells out election petition process in black and white. It (the constitution) gives the Court ample time to do its work. That makes the pace slow and many Ghanaians are frustrated with the snail pace trial. Folks need to understand that court cases are won largely on process and rarely on truth. The petition is in Court because of process and not because of truth.
TRUTHS IN GHANA'S ELECTION
1..Since Ghana's inception, every general election has been plagued with irregularities and corruption.
2. The 2012 general election had less irregularities and corruption than any previous election due to new laws by Parliament and measures the EC put in place with or without the parties agreement.
3. It is impossible to prove that a ruling party and the EC colluded to perpetuate electoral fraud.
4. The Supreme Court's decision will not change any Ghanaian mind about the 2012 election.
5. The losers of the case will adapt a new propaganda anthem titled 'Supreme Court is/was bias' or 'Supreme Court is/was bought' and partisan conspiracy theories will explode to heaven's door.
'Pink sheets are like bank checks!' No! 'Pink sheets are like bank deposit slips!' Wow! Who saw these choices on the 2012 Presidential Ballot paper? These process induced false choices are just drops in the 'Ghana too know' bucket. The mother of all 'too knows' is the Court sanctioned KPMG pink sheet audit. How on earth did a simple housekeeping question become a gargantuan international accounting task? The plaintiffs filed a specific number of individual pink sheets as exhibits with the Supreme Court registrar. Obviously the competent Court registry counted and issued a receipt for the exhibits.
When lawyer Tsikata said in open court that the Court did not receive 11,842 pink sheets, the registry should have provided the answer. If Tsikata had gone on to challenge the registry's answer, this author thinks the Court should have ordered the exhibits counted in open court under the full glare of all.
What irony? Ghana's Presidency is being challenged because the Electoral Commission allegedly could not correctly organize, count and record millions of ballot from 26002 polling stations nationwide. And the adjudicating Court cannot correctly count 11,842 pink sheet exhibits in its custody without international help. God help Ghana! Soon this case will be litigated on KPMG's bias towards one party!
Written and submitted on 5/31/13 by L. Kojo Yeboah, Raleigh, NC United States.