There is this weird reasoning inexorable being foisted on unsuspecting Ghanaians that Mr Asiedu Nketiah could not tell the court figures of NDC’s internal collation which suggested that none of the two leading candidates in the 2020 election crossed the constitutional threshold of 50%+1 pursuant to article 63(3) when he mounted the witness box.
To those grudgingly rejoicing over this, because Mr Asiedu Nketiah did not mention any figure, it suggested that the NDC could not collate results of last year’s election.
It is not strange that spokesmen of the legal team of the 2nd Respondent have latch on this to explain what happened in court when indeed the ‘meat’ of what really transpired in court has been left unattended to. They can only resort to this mundane and ‘self stimulating’ piece of news because of how the witness threw counsel for the 2nd respondent off gear. Latching on this line of questioning clearly shows that lawyers for 2nd respondent and their minions do not understand the real issue raised by the Petitioner which is up for trial.
Surprisingly, not even the issues set for trial have been able to cure the malady of lawyers for the 2nd respondent. Admittedly, this question was posed by one of the Justices but lackeys of 2nd Respondent believe the answer makes add-ons to their argument.
Most of the questions Mr Akoto Ampaw and some of the Justices asked was a testament of how they have, respectfully, misconstrued the issues and are rather asking inconsequential questions, seeking to probably build castle in the air. One of such is the request for Mr Asiedu Nketiah to tell the court figures of NDC’s internal collation which suggested that no candidate won the election. Though it was not Mr Ampaw who asked the question, but if he had not limited himself to scripted questions, he would have changed direction when in a response to one of his questions, Mr Asiedu Nketiah said “we are judging the EC by its own Bible.”
What this simple means, and this has been the case of the petitioner right from the embryonic stage of the petition, is that the petition was filed on th basis of the EC’s own declared results. Mind you, collations done by political Parties, no matter how authentic they are, are provisional results. A Party may rely on its own collated figures to challenge the validity of an election. In that case, it will be figures of that Political Party against figures of the EC. This was what happened in 2012 when Akufo Addo and two others presented their figures to the court as against the EC’s declared results. Today in court, Mr Asiedu Nketiah reminded Akoto Ampaw of this to tell him that the 2012 petition was not the same as the 2020 petition.
In the 2020 petition, the petitioner decided not to use his own collated results but rely on the EC’s own results which he alleged, when computed properly, does not give any of the two leading candidates the required percentage to be declared winner of the election. In this case, the petitioner does not need to file any documents to prove the number of votes it’s collated figures gave him. Indeed, both the petition and witness statements poignantly captured this explanation so as to guide the court. All what is needed is the declared results of the EC to prove whether the petitioner’s assertion is correct or wrong. It is trite that the EC is the custodian of original copies of all electoral materials and as such, if a Party relies on it’s figures to challenge the results, the logical thing to do will be to confront the witness with the EC’s figures.
Without prejudice to the petition, and without any malice, questions about who made what statement during and after the EC’s declaration in the video played in court today do not address the issues raised by the petition. Assuming counsel got Mr Nketiah to admit that he declared Mahama the winner of the 2020 elections, how does that affect, for instance, a flawed declaration by the EC? What counsel ought to have done was to use the documents the Petitioner relied on upon to file the petition to deflate the witness. Unfortunately, this was not done as Counsel was heard whispering to his colleagues that the witness could not be confronted with the EC’s figures. May be, counsel knew that any attempt to do that will weaken their defense and instead be a major boost to the Petitioner’s argument.
What Mr Akoto Ampaw did, which has worsened the EC’s plight, was to confront the witness with new figures probably from the NPP’s collation to prove that the 2nd respondent indeed got 50%+1. These figures were completely at variance with what the EC declared on December 9, and it’s a correction on December 10. Mind you, the NPP does not declare results. It is the EC that has that constitutional warrant to declare results. What Mr Akoto Ampaw did today was to confirm the Petitioner’s claim that the EC’s declaration was in error. If the 2nd Respondent has a figure which suggests that it won the election, that figure is alien to the EC and is not stated in any official document of the EC.
In this petition, seeking to discredit a witness like Asiedu-Nketiah will be worthless and the best thing to discredit will be the EC’s document which formed the basis on which the petition was filed.
Amorse Blessing Amos
Deputy Greater Accra Regional Youth Organizer-NDC