Information Minister Designate and Spokesperson for the Legal Team of the Second Respondent in the Presidential Election Petition, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah believes the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has been stripped naked during Monday’s hearing of the case.
According to him, the Petitioner, Mr John Dramani Mahama and his witness, Johnson Asiedu Nketia who is affectionately called ‘General Mosquito’ were “exposed” in their inconsistent claims challenging President Nana Addo’s victory in the December 7, 2020 polls.
His comments comes after counsel for the second respondent, Mr Akoto Ampaw ended cross examining Mr Asiedu Nketia Monday afternoon [February 1, 2020].
Mr Oppong Nkrumah told the media after the hearing that Mr Mahama and Johnson Asiedu Nketia were left with eggs on their faces in their preconceived attempts to dishonour the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) and Returning Officer for last year’s Presidential Elections, Madam Jean Mensa.
“You’d notice that counsel on our side spent a lot of time exposing the inconsistencies and sometimes, even outright falsehoods that have been put out by the Petitioner and the witness who was in the witness box today,”
“We are of the view it’s been a very good day in court that today the big word is exposed. In conclusion for us today, our view is that, if your case is bad, even the most skilful general will be exposed at cross-examination and that is what we believed has happened today….
“….when you juxtapose the earlier case of we won, now to what they are saying in the witness box, about they don’t know who won, when you juxtapose that to some of the tapes we played about claims of 51% of their side now, to claims that they did not even bring numbers to court,
“If you juxtapose that between their petition that talks about vote pardon of a certain answer and now claim that it’s only samples of that number, one of the first things that come to our side was to expose some of the inconsistencies and falsehoods that have been peddled by the Petitioner and the witness,” he said.
Meanwhile, the case has been adjourned to Tuesday, February 2, 2021 where the second witness of the Petitioner will take his turn in the witness box for cross-examination.
Earlier in the day and moments before the court ended today’s sitting, the panel of judges sought further clarity on certain responses by the witness during cross-examination.
The questions came from Justice Yaw Apau and the Chief Justice, His Lordship Anin Yeboah.
Perhaps it became pertinent for the bench to seek the clarifications because during cross examination by Mr Akoto Ampaw counsel for the second respondent, the NDC General Secretary as a witness, was non-commital on providing the figures in relation to the total valid votes cast saying that was not the case in court.
It was on that basis that the bench decided to probe further.
Who Generated “Exhibit”?
Below are some of the excerpts of the questions and answers from Justice Apau and Mr Asiedu Nketia
Justice Yaw Apau: What were the valid votes cast in favour of the petitioners? General [Mosquito – in referene to Mr Asiedu Nketia alias], I know that when you purchase a pen drive, it is empty and the data on any pen drive is generated by someone, so the pen drive that you attached to the hard copy and exhibited as “Exhibit F”, who generated or placed the data on it? Because when you were asked, you said you don’t know what was on it. who generated the data on the pen drive?”
Asiedu Nketia: “My Lord as I said, honestly, I hadn’t seen the pen drive and its contents till today [February 1, 2021] and I was relying on the hard copies. But the evidence is gathered by our Elections Directorate and the Legal Directorate.”
Justice Apau: “So they gave it to you and you exhibited it as part of your evidence?”
Asiedu Nketia: “No, no my Lord, I did not exhibit that one.”
At that point, the counsel for the petitioner, Mr Tsatsu Tsikata intervened and said Mr Asiedu Nketia did not exhibit that and that it was part of the petition.
But the justices on the bench responded and insisted Mr Asiedu Nketia exhibited it as “Exhibit F” as part of his witness statement.
“You [Tsikata] swore an oath for him and he brought it to us [bench]”, Mr Tsikata was told by the court.
Justice Apau: “He exhibited it, so I want to find out, who generated it? So it means your Elections [Directorate] generated it and gave it to you and you exhibited it without seeing it?
Asiedu Nketia: “My Lord I did not see all the hard copies of the documents because of time pressure. I was discovering this thing today.”
Justice Apau: “Then I want to be very clear on these issues, very, very important to me. Now, in all the figures that were mentioned as the valid votes cast and all those things, you were saying if the figures were correct, and that there were inconsistencies in the figures. I want to ask you, Now, in your own calculation, what were the valid votes cast in the presidential elections on 7th December 2020, in your own calculations?”
Asiedu Nketia: “My Lord, those calculations are reserved for a meeting for us to reconcile the figures, because the first respondent [Electoral Commission Chairperson] herself is changing the figures, and so it is …”
But the Chief Justice, Justice Anin Yeboah then barged in and tried to simplfy matters for the witness: “Mr Asiedu Nketia, please help the court. You see, when you started giving evidence, you said you had all the representatives across the 275 constituencies, you said you put agents there and they were to, I mean collate the figures, you said it. Then he is asking you, that from that, what figure did you get, you?”
Asiedu Nketia: “My Lord I haven’t brought that figure to court.”
Justice Apau: “Ok. Then, from your own calculations, how much, what were the valid votes cast in favour of the petitioner [John Dramani Mahama], to your knowledge?”
Asiedu Nketia: “My Lord, when we discovered these discrepancies, it was difficult to even get figures…”
Justice Apau: “So you don’t know, you just answer.”
Asiedu Nketia: “My Lord I don’t know.”
Justice Apau: “Ok. then the last one. What figures from your own calculations did the second respondent [Akufo-Addo] get, as the total valid votes cast in his favour?”
Asiedu Nketia: “My Lord, I don’t have those figures here.”
Justice Apau: “Thank you, that is all.
Hearing continues Tuesday, February 2, 2021
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