Court Adjourns Election Case To Tuesday

The Supreme Court has adjourned to Tuesday, April 30, hearing on the election petition case which entered its eighth day on Monday. After a long weekend break, Counsel for the Electoral Commission (EC), Mr James Quarshie-Idun continued his cross examination of Dr Mahamudu Bawumia when the Court resumed sitting Monday morning, but soon brought his interrogation to a close. With Mr Quarshie-Idun�s exit, the Lead Counsel for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Tsatsu Tsikata got ready to take his turn to cross examine the witness, who is second petitioner in the case. However, Mr Philip Addison, Counsel for Dr Bawumia, objected to Mr Tsikata�s interrogation of his client, arguing that since the first and third respondents had a common interest in the case, and since Mr Tony Lithur, Counsel for President Mahama had already cross examined Dr Bawumia, another interrogation by Mr Tsikata would be unnecessary. The Court, however, over-ruled Mr Addison�s protest, thereby permitting Mr Tsikata to begin his cross examination of the witness shortly before the Court went on a recess for lunch . In the course of interrogation, Mr Tsikata tendered a list of exhibits and asked witness to go through the documents. He then asked why the petitioners were demanding an annulment of votes in those exhibits, especially when they could not prove on the face of the pink sheet that people voted without verification. He further questioned whether the petitioners were not going contrary to their own slogan which said �let my vote count�. The Presiding Judge, Justice William Atuguba intervened and cautioned Mr Tsikata to desist from introducing any political coloration into the Court�s proceedings. Still pinning his cross examination on the specific issue of voting without verification, Mr Tsikata presented a bunch of pink sheets to support his case of challenging the petitioners allegations on the issue. Mr Tsikata asked if on the basis of one or two people who voted without verification, all the votes on the pink sheets exhibited should be annulled. He further went on to state that in all those cases the poling agents present did not raise any red flag or make a report of people voting without verification. "If you put somebody there to protect your interest, you will expect that the person will protest if there were wrong doings," Mr Tsikata argued, and went on to ask Dr Bawumia if any of the petitioners� polling station agents complained that people had voted without being verified. Dr Bawumia replied that he could not tell if there were official complaints or protests by the petitioners� polling agents. He added, however, that what he could attest to was the evidence on the pink sheets which indicated that people voted without being verified. President John Dramani Mahama, the EC and NDC are first, second and third respondents respectively, while Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party in the 2012 polls, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, his running mate, and Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, NPP Chairman, are first, second and third petitioners respectively in the landmark election dispute currently being handled by the Supreme Court. Hearing continues tomorrow.