The Director of Legal Affairs of the National Democratic Congress, Mr Abraham Amaliba has said that the outcome of the 2020 election petition is likely to heightened violence at the various polling stations in subsequent elections in the country.
That he said was because the judgment pronounced by the seven-panel of judges placed more emphasis on the role of the polling agents instead of that of the Electoral Commission whose job was to ensure incident free, transparent and free and fair elections at all stage of the process.
“My only fear is that with this kind of ruling it will make people begin to see the polling station as the only place you can win elections and you will have to win the elections there by hook or by crook and I am talking about violence. There is likely to be heightened or increase violence at the polling stations because of what we have seen today”.
“It appears like a nation we are begging to put more premium on polling agents than the EC”.
He was speaking about 2020 Election Petition filled by the National Democratic Congress (NDC)’s Presidential Candidate in the 2020 elections and former President of Ghana, Mr John Dramani Mahama, fallouts and judgment by the Supreme Court.
Kpessa-Whyte, Mettle-Nunoo testimonies, fanciful tales
The Supreme Court in it judgment on Thursday, March 4 described the evidence by the petitioners witnesses, Dr Kpessa-Whyte and Roger Mettle- Nunoo as mare fanciful tales and that were had no one to blame but themselves for leaving their post when they were not suppose to do so.
“As for the other two witnesses, that is Petitioner’s Witness PW2 and 3; Dr Kpessa-Whyte and Robert Joseph Mettle-Nunoo, the little said about their testimonies relative to the issues at stake, the better. They recounted the fanciful tale of how the chairperson refused to heed their complaints on some irregularities they noticed on some of the collation forms which came from the regions,” Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah said.
“We describe this evidence as fanciful because, despite this alleged protest, they went ahead to verify and certify 13 of 16 regional collation sheets.”
“In fact, regarding the testimonies of PW2 and 3, if their evidence is to be believed then they have to blame themselves for abandoning their post at the National Collation Centre at a time the verification and certification of the result were ongoing.”
“Having signed or certified these forms, the witnesses, particularly, PW3, cannot turn round to talk of irregularities in the said forms. Their testimonies were, therefore, of no relevance to the issues set down for determination and we find them unworthy whatsoever in the settlement of the issues.”
Court placed more importance on the political party polling agent than EC in Judgment
Speaking on the court’s position on the witnesses, Mr Amaliba said it was a clear indication that the country was beginning to place more importance on political party agents instead of the Electoral Commission and that would have dire consequences for the country if not addressed.
He explained, the EC’s conduct in the entire electoral process was very crucial and should have been a matter of concern in the judgment.
“How about the conduct of the Electoral Commissioner herself, why is the court refusing to believe the narrative of the two agents when they indicated that it was the Electoral Commissioner who asked them to leave and go and talk to the petitioner and so for me the fact that the court did not say anything with regards to the conduct of the Electoral Commissioner but only chastise or pass comment on the two agent is a clear indication that we are beginning to pay so much premium on agents when indeed the work belong to the Electoral Commission and the Electoral Commissioner her conduct in the election must also be a matter of concern for the court as well,” he said.