The Legal team of the Petitioners in the election results challenge case says the end of Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata’s cross-examination of key witness Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia marks the “beginning of the end” of the matter.
The Spokesperson for the Petitioners’ legal team, Ms. Gloria Akuffo told journalists after Tuesday’s hearing that “its a great relief”, adding that: “it marks the beginning of the end”.
Mr. Tsikata, Lead Counsel for the governing National Democratic Congress ended his cross-examination after 13 days at it.
During the period, Mr. Tsikata took a lot of flak from the Lawyers on the Petitioners’ side who accused him of attempting to unnecessarily delay the process.
There were also times when the Bench of the Court expressed similar sentiments.
Mr. Tsikata however noted that the end of his cross examination was subject to the auditing of the pink sheets tendered in evidence by the Petitioners.
International Accounting and Auditing firm KPMG is the referee agreed by all the parties involved in the matter to do a head count of all the pink sheets to ascertain the number tendered in evidence.
The counting was ordered by the Bench at the instance of Mr. Tsikata.
The case has been adjourned to Wednesday May 22, 2013 for the Petitioners to start their re-examination.
At Tuesday’s sitting however, a brief power outage forced the Court to suspend proceedings for a few minutes.
GUNMEN SHOT and killed a hotel security guard at Bantama on Monday dawn after they stormed the place in an attempt to rob guests. This is the latest incident in the series of gun violence that has put the city of Kumasi on edge.
The victim, who was identified as Joseph Adusa Ayisi, was going about his usual operational duties at the Ashanti Hotel when the gunmen struck and killed him in cold blood after shouting, “Thieves! Thieves!!”
The 35-year-old was shot in the chest at the hotel’s reception as he attempted to foil the robbery attack on some expatriate guests of the hotel, who were said to have visited the area at the weekend.
ASP Yusif Mohammed Tanko, Public Relations Officer of the Ashanti Regional Police Command, who confirmed the tragic incident, told DAILY GUIDE one David Amoah, 30, had been arrested in connection with the episode.
According to him, the suspect, after committing the act, was immediately arrested by a police patrol team in the vicinity that had been called to the scene.
He said the police retrieved some cartridges from Amoah, following a search conducted on him upon his arrest. He also believed that the suspect managed to throw away the weapon used in committing the crime as he was pursued for a long time.
“We are also trying to establish whether he acted alone or with some people,” ASP Tanko stated, and asked to be given some time to enable him to thoroughly investigate the case.
Kumasi has been on edge all week, with police gearing up to combat the spate of violent crimes that have hit the city hard over the past few weeks.
Police personnel are patrolling areas in the city, where most shootings in the metropolis have occurred.
A resident of Bantama, who spoke to DAILY GUIDE, said the violence in her neighbourhood was forcing families to hold their members hostage in their own homes, for fear of them being shot.
Pleading anonymity, the young lady disclosed that the criminal gangs in the neighbourhood were known and mostly found at the Bantama M/A Primary/Junior High School during the day, smoking and gambling.
The latest shooting to death of the security guard comes shortly after five masked men gunned down Prince Opoku Anto, nephew of NPP Ashanti Regional chairman, Fredrick Fredua Anto, at a popular drinking spot at Dichemso in Kumasi. This brings to four the number of persons gunned down recently in Kumasi.
The counting of Pink Sheets in the on-going election petition has taken a strange twist, as lawyers for the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and President John Dramani Mahama are pushing for it to be stopped.
A member of the NDC legal team, Abraham Amaliba, claims the party thinks the process has been “compromised” saying the counting as ordered by the Supreme Court must be stopped.
The call comes closely on the heels of widely criticised misgivings expressed by the party’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, long before the inventory taking and counting process commenced.
Right after the court sitting on Monday, DAILY GUIDE sources said that counsel for the ruling NDC ,Tsatsu Tsikata, allegedly tried to ‘gate-crash’ the venue where KPMG was doing the counting, but was denied access, because he had not been accredited to be there.
Matters then came to a head when Mr. Tsikata allegedly demanded to monitor the exercise but he was reminded that the NDC already had representatives in the room as the court order had stated.
Not having his way, Mr. Tsikata reportedly requested a meeting with President of the panel trying the case, Justice William Atuguba, to impress on him to vary the court’s orders in respect of the counting in order to allow them intermittent access.
It is not clear whether the respondents’ counsels were able to meet Justice Atuguba. Nonetheless, DAILY GUIDE learnt that the issue is expected to come up strongly when the court sits today.
The NDC and President John Dramani Mahama’s lawyers were seen pacing up and down the vicinity of the venue, where the counting was taking place.
Interestingly, it was the NDC that requested for the count of the number of pink sheets attached as exhibits by the petitioners; therefore, their purported action would come as a surprise to critics.
According to Mr. Amaliba in an interview with Accra-based Asempa FM, the NDC suspects the pink sheet exhibits in the custody of the court Registrar has been tampered with, even though inventory for the exhibits were jointly taken by all representatives in the petition, including representatives from the Judicial Service.
This has led to the suspension of the counting at the instigation of the NDC. The NDC claimed their representatives at the venue had indicated the appearance of new boxes of pink sheets.
Mr Amaliba told Citi Fm that after complaints by his team, “the Judicial Secretary then ordered for the suspension of the auditing pending tomorrow, [where] we will then make a formal complain to the bench and then they will give us the guidelines on how to go about it”.
He added: “At the last adjourned date that was on Thursday, we took an inventory of the number of boxes containing the pink sheets that are to be audited by KPMG. Now today it turned out that our observers came out from the counting room to inform us that there were additional boxes that have been introduced with the existing boxes”.
But Gloria Akuffo, a spokesperson for the petitioners in the landmark case has debunked the grounds of the NDC’s protest.
“This morning, when they [KPMG] were to start the actual work, representatives of all the parties including the court officials and KPMG officials went to where these boxes were being kept and they were taken to the conference room where the counting was to take place”, she said.
In an interview with Citi Fm, she stated that all along, all the parties had agreed on the process as it progressed, but on Monday morning when actual counting was to commence, the inventory showed that two boxes of the pink sheets were “missing”; “…together -with all representatives of the parties, they joined the officials [of the Judicial Service], they went to where the boxes were being kept where they retrieved one of the missing boxes…as work progressed, they were able to retrieve the other box.”
“Work continued smoothly without complaints from any party,” she said, adding that the representative of the petitioners in the “Strong Room” kept her informed.
According to Ms Akuffo, after counting progressed for a while, a representative of the respondents in the Strong Room left the room, and work had to stop until his return.
But he later called from outside to say that work could go on without him.
Apparently he was confident in the monitoring role of his colleagues in the room.
“In the course of the work, counsel for the respondents, including Mr.Tsikata, Mr. Lithur and Mr. Quashie-Idun stormed the room.”
They were consequently ordered by representatives of KPMG to leave the room because they were not accredited to be there.
DAILY GUIDE sources explained that they saw the lawyers for NDC, the Electoral Commission and President John Dramani Mahama pacing up and down the vicinity of the venue for counting.
Joseph Windful, a Senior Partner at KPMG confirmed the incident, saying that the internationally acclaimed auditing firm would steer clear of the raging confrontation and resume its work when the parties sort themselves out.
“We’ve got to have patience until our engagement partner meets with the other party and sort out whatever issue that is of contention, and after that, we carry on with the assignment,” he told Citi Fm.
“You know, our appointment is as referees; referees do not get involved in the game, we don’t play part of the game, we referee. That’s exactly the role we are supposed to play and that’s what we are doing.”
Following persistent argument over the actual number of exhibits said to have been tendered by the petitioners, the nine-member panel chaired by Justice William Atuguba sought the help of KPMG to account for the actual number of exhibits tendered.
The accounting firm has the duty of “specifying in respect of each pink sheet, polling station name and its code number and exhibit number if any,” the court stated.
“In doing so the said referee should make a true and faithful count of the said exhibits of pink sheets according to and under the various categories of alleged electoral malpractices in issue before this court.”
The court said the professional fees to be charged by KPMG should be shared equally between the parties and added that each party is at liberty to choose two representatives for the counting exercise as observers.
KPMG has since opted to do the counting free of charge.
The Tesano Divisional Police Command has arrested two soldiers and their civilian accomplices believed to be members of a robbery syndicate terrorising customers who visit banks within Abeka Lapaz.
The suspects are Lance Corporal Obeng Darko aka Stylish, 29, and Lance Corporal Dasmani Faisal, 27, serving at 49 Engineer Training School and 48 Engineer Regiment respectively while Christopher Quainoo, 27, and Isaac Larbi, 25, are unemployed civilians.
They are currently in the custody of the Tesano Police assisting in investigations.
Briefing the media, Chief Superintendent Francis Aboagye Nyarko, the Divisional Commander together with Chief Superintendent, Lydia Yaako Donkor, the District Commander, said of late police had been receiving series of complaints from the banks located at Abeka Lapaz that customers who used their facility were always attacked and their monies taken from them.
This made police intensify their intelligence on persons who moved in and out of the bank.
On May 18, 2013, police spotted suspect Isaac Larbi, who had earlier visited the bank and made phone calls while observing the movements of customers having huge sums of money on them.
Police became suspicious, and arrested the suspect for questioning.
Using him as bait, the last number dialled on his mobile phone was called and when the person picked the call, he was asked to come over since everything was ready.
Within some minutes, suspects Lance Corporals Obeng and Dasmani came in a taxi together with Christopher.
They were immediately whisked away to the station for questioning by the police.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the two soldiers and the civilian came to the bank to do their nefarious activities.
They later confessed robbing people that they suspected possessing huge sums of money, leaving the bank. They, however, pleaded for mercy since that was their fourth time.
According to the suspects, they only had GH¢350 from their first victim and out of the money, Isaac was given GH¢50 as his share of the booty.
With the second and third robberies, suspect Isaac had GH¢50 and GH¢70 as his share but refused to mention the amount they took from the second and third victims.
The two soldiers were later linked to the abduction of a 25-year-old staff of the same bank, who was taken away by soldiers and a civilian on May 11, 2013.
According to the police, the soldiers on their way, searched the victim for money and since they found none, they pushed the victim out of the car upon reaching Apenkwa, near Achimota, and bolted.
A report was later lodged with the station for investigations.
The four suspects would be sent to court while police continued with their investigations.
Meanwhile, Chief Superintendent Nyarko has urged individuals who might have fallen victims at the hands of the suspects to report at the Tesano Police Station.
The Counsel for the President and the National Democratic Congress have called for the suspension of the counting of exhibits ordered by the Supreme Court.
The Counsel claim there had been attempt to introduce additional boxes of exhibits, which were not part of the exhibits inspected by all parties prior to the commencement of the counting exercise.
This was contained in statement signed by Mr John Asiedu-Nketia, General Secretary of NDC and issued to the Ghana News Agency on Monday.
The statement said together with the Counsel for the Electoral Commission, a representation has been made to the Deputy Judicial Secretary for the suspension of the count pending further orders of the court.
It said Counsel have also asked for improved security for the exhibits in order not to compromise further the integrity of the process.
Dr. Ishmael Norman, Director of the Center for Disaster Resilience and Leadership Studies of the University for Health and Allied Science (UHAS) has revealed that Ghana spends 70 million dollars annually on disasters alone.
He said the country also spends 4 million dollars monthly on fire disasters, saying, “Every two hours and 15 seconds, catastrophic fire occurs somewhere in Ghana,” and advocated for a serious behavioral change on communities and leadership of the country to deal with the situation.
Dr. Norman was addressing a day’s workshop on disaster resilience studies at the Dungu campus of the University for Development Studies (UDS), which was mainly attended by lecturers of the UDS.
The workshop was aimed at mapping curriculums of the UDS to incorporate disaster resilience studies and eventually develop degrees and post graduate programmes in disaster risk management courses to enable the country to fully deal with perennial disasters.
Disaster Resilience Studies is a new programme being funded by the USAID and spearheaded by the Tulane University in the USA, to systematically strengthen global humanitarian and disaster risk management leaderships in some selected global universities.
Dr. Norman observed that leadership in the country has not taken disaster issues seriously, claiming that, the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) lacked the needed capacities to deal with disaster issues in the country, saying that, “More than half of the staff of NADMO does not have expertise.”
He said the Ministry of Finance does not also have available funds or budgetary allocations specifically for disasters in the country and suggested that the government should consider allocating funds for such purposes, since many disasters are occurring in the country.
Dr. Norman also suggested to the Government of Ghana to take legal action against the Burkinabe Government for the perennial spillage of the Bagre dam, which causes flood in Ghana and its attended destruction of life and property.
He said the country could win the case and monies accrued from the legal actions could be used to develop affected flood areas and compensate individuals affected by the Bagre dam spillage.
Mr. Dennis Chirawurah, a Lecturer at the UDS School of Medicine and Health Science said the UDS would begin a short course in disaster resilience studies this year and roll out a postgraduate programme in the same field in the 2014/2015 academic year.
He assured the public that the university had the needed human resources to undertake the course, which he indicated, could impact positively in the handling of disaster issues in the country.
Professor Gabriel Ayum Teye, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the UDS observed that the country was experiencing many disasters lately, saying “We cannot prevent disasters but we can manage them well…why should our leaders wait till disasters occur before trying to find solutions”.
He noted that much of the country’s poverty situation had been aggravated by natural and man-made disasters, saying, “If it is not bush fires then it’s a conflict.”
Activities at the Calvary Methodist Church at Adabraka in Accra last Saturday came to a standstill, as sympathizers who turned up for a memorial service for a woman and her son, both of whom passed away recently, all rushed to catch a glimpse of Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
The attendance for the memorial service was unusual, with a long line of vehicles snaking along the road on the side of the church towards the Electoral Commission head office.
The same vehicular traffic situation was replicated on the frontage of the church facing the main road from the Psychiatric Hospital towards the TUC traffic intersection.
The church was bursting at its seams even as the compound itself overflowed with sympathizers who were there to pay their last respects to the deceased persons- Mary Quaicoo and her son, Frederick Minta Quaicoo.
The star witness in the ongoing election petition hearing, Dr. Bawumia, said he was at the church to pay his last respects to the late Mrs. Quaicoo, and her son, whose death occurred in London three weeks after his mum’s.
Dr Bawumia however became the cynosure of the solemn occasion as many mourners who were excited by his presence chanted “Bawumia, Bawumia, Bawumia”, temporarily disrupting the proceedings for close to 30 minutes.
Dr. Bawumia’s bodyguards worked extra hard to keep the crowd from falling on him, as he made his way into the church.
After taking his seat, another bout of applause erupted when the pastor formally acknowledged his presence.
At the end of the programme, came the unofficial yet disorderly photo session, as everybody rushed to have a picture with the guest.
Before one could say Jack, commercial photographers who had swarmed the place had mounted makeshift stands to sell Dr. Bawumia’s pictures, which were lapped so quickly that observers marvelled how the young man had become so popular among many Ghanaians.
The election petition hearing, many concluded, had projected Dr. Bawumia’s image beyond the election campaign session last year.
“Not even the IEA-sponsored presidential and vice presidential debate has projected his name as the election petition hearing has,” quipped a curious onlooker.
Many of Dr. Bawumia’s admirers were setting eyes on him for the first time.
Even as the pastor conducted the service, some attendees occasionally turned to look at the ever-smiling Dr. Bawumia.
Those who could not turn up for the service were said to have expressed regret for missing the opportunity to meet the man whose name is more synonymous with the election petition hearing than being a running mate to the NPP flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo during the last election.
A 95-year-old woman was burnt to ashes when fire razed a three-bedroom self-contained house at Dansoman SSNIT Flat area, adjacent Chriz View Hotel, early Sunday morning.
A man and his wife as well as occupants of the house who also sustained injuries were rushed to the Korle Bu teaching hospital for treatment.
The old woman, yet to be identified, was said to have been trapped inside her room when the fire started around 3:20am Sunday morning, according to police reports.
An eyewitness told DAILY GUIDE that the house was occupied by Harry Owusu, owner of the house together with his wife and 95-year-old mother.
They were all asleep when the fire started around 3:30am Sunday morning.
Harry Owusu and his wife were rescued in time by the fire service personnel who visited the scene, but unfortunately the old lady who was believed to be asleep when the fire broke out was burnt into ashes before she was seen.
Meanwhile, when the paper contacted Chief Superintendent Frank Adufati, the Accra Regional Crime Officer, he said the charred body of the old woman had been deposited at the Police Hospital morgue for preservation while investigations continue.
He said when the police got to the scene shortly after the fire outbreak, the number of occupants of the house was unknown until Mr. Owusu and his wife were rescued.
They then revealed that the old lady was trapped in one of the rooms but it was too late to save her.
The man and wife also sustained severe injuries and were rushed to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital for treatment.
The Deputy Public Relations Officer of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), Billy Anaglatey described the incident as pathetic and said the cause of fire has not been established yet but investigations are ongoing to ascertain it.
He revealed that two fire tenders were used in putting out the fire which started around 3:20am when everybody was asleep.
It took about an hour for the fire personnel to put out the fire.
He urged owners of houses to create more escape routes in their homes for future events of fire outbreaks.
More often, owners only leave one escape route in a house containing more rooms and when there is any fire outbreak, it becomes difficult to save victims who get trapped.
He said fire could start at the entrance of a house, so there is the need to always create more escape routes in case of such eventualities.
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has observed with great concern that the overly and obsessive politicization of all national discourse which is fuelled by the media is too dangerous for the country’s fledgling democracy.
He said obsessive politicization and nepotism have taken the centre stage of the nation’s multi-party democracy and even affected all state institutions which are supposed to be independent as prescribed under the 1992 Constitution.
This, he said, was inimical to the cohesion and advancement of the nation.
He said the country is so much polarized that what is good for one group of people is scandalously bad for another group and vice versa, depending on which side of the political divide one finds himself and that is tearing the fibre of the society apart.
“We have allowed politics to dominate our lives and influence our thoughts that nothing else seems to matter to us but the good of the party we support,” he observed
He said from appointment of heads of institutions to awarding of government contract, there have been so much partisan politics that the national good is regrettably thrown overboard.
Speaking at this year’s democracy lectures organized by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) on the theme “Advancing Together” at the National Theatre in Accra on Friday, the Asantehene said the restoration of multi-party democracy took the tough and brave leadership of former President Jerry John Rawlings who was himself a military government leader.
The function was chaired by the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, Archbishop Gabriel Charles Palmer-Buckle and attended by a cross-section of Ghanaians including former President Jerry John Rawlings; Frank Agyekum, special aide to former President John Agyekum Kufuor who came to represent him; the presidential candidate of the largest opposition party, New Patriotic Party(NPP) in the last general elections, Nana Akufo-Addo; Prosper Bani, Chief of Staff who represented President John Mahama; Dr Abu Sakara, presidential candidate of the Convention People’s Party(CPP) in the last general elections; Christian groups, the clergy, academicians, traditional leaders, ministers, parliamentarians, judges and students.
He explained that former President Rawlings’ tough leadership broke the chain of military rule to usher the country into another constitutional era after a long spell of military dictatorship stressing that our new found democracy should not be sacrificed on the altar of ‘do or die party politics’ and tribalism.
He said politicians have taken advantage of democracy and party politics to completely ‘undo’ their political opponents whether through fair or foul means just to win political power, without thinking about the overall development of the country.
“In the 20 years since the restoration of multi-party democracy, one unchanging feature of national politics has been scandal,” he said pointing out that every government has been affected by one scandal or the other, some true but others blatantly and maliciously contrived.
These scandals, he said, whether true or false, as propagated by the politicians, have affected how people vote in national elections.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu noted that every party in opposition has been benefitting from scandal-mongering only to find itself at the receiving end when the scale of electoral fortunes change, stressing further that such situations could not help the electorate to make independent assessment of the performance of the government.
“If you wean a people on a diet of scandal, you should not be surprised they grow up with no appetite for good news”.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu opined that while in advanced and established democracies, electoral fortunes are determined by the state of the economy, the cost of living and the number of people in gainful employments, the opposite is the case in Ghana, where politicians feed voters with what he described as ‘demonic’ propaganda, because the 1000 jobs created by a government, the roads it builds as well as the numerous infrastructural projects it inaugurates would not make any impression on the voter because of the “petty indiscretion of a petty party official”.
“The combination of scandal and the heat generated by ceaseless party propaganda has left us with no appetite to take in good news of national achievements.”
He made a particular reference to Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson, a papal candidate, to support his arguments explaining that the Ghanaian cardinal serving at the Vatican was named as one of the possible candidates to succeed Pope Benedict when the pope announced his retirement in the course of the year but Ghanaians failed to rally behind him to get the position.
According to him, when Cardinal Appiah Turkson was selected as one of the qualified candidates, Ghanaians, including Christians and politicians, never showed any interest in such an important development because Cardinal Appiah Turkson was not a politician.
According to him, while Argentina and the whole of Latin American declared days of prayers for one of their own, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who was eventually selected as the next pope, Ghanaians completely relegated the possible selection of Appiah Turkson to the background.
“Cardinal Appiah Turkson’s elevation to that highest level could have brought glory and a lot of socio-economic benefits to the country but as a people we failed to rally behind him to get the position probably because he is not a politician or a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) or the New Patriotic Party (NPP).”
He indicated that another canker which was posing a serious threat to multi-party democracy in the country is the phenomenon of ‘serial callers’ who spew venoms and abuse at their political opponents.
“The leaders we choose to manage our affairs, in or out of government, are daily at the mercy of this new breed of howlers and their culture of insult and abuse,” he said, stressing that the phenomenon should not be allowed to continue and that leaders at all levels and from all sides of the political divide, needed to be protected from these abusers.
He blamed the politicians and media practitioners working especially with the electronic media for fuelling this negative development.
He noted that it is the same politicians who have been funding these serial callers to ‘destroy’ their political opponents on air while those working with the radio stations have been encouraging that by giving their platforms to these serial callers to abuse politicians and political leaders.
“We seem to have no room for sober independent thinking and no scope for the enquiring mind and intellectual discernment.”
He said the media was an important tool that galvanized the nation to win the struggle for independence and that the media had been a powerful force in the political transformation of the country and that it was time for the media to re-assess its importance to national development and lift itself from mediocrity and praise-singing.
“In today’s environment, public office holders are right to feel tainted by the brush of party politics and I see the danger that many high quality professionals may decline to serve their nation because they would not want, on principled grounds, to be unjustly tagged as party hacks.”
He said currently the nation is facing economic challenges and massive gap infrastructural needs, education and healthcare delivery issues, adding these critical challenges facing the economy required tough leadership decisions on one hand and national consensus on the other.
He called on the government to take a decisive action on illegal mining which is destroying the environment and frequent industrial strikes which are have negative impact on productivity.
The Asantehene also called on Parliament to look critically at the situation where new governments abandon projects started by previous governments with millions of taxpayers’ money going to waste, saying Parliament in a bi-partisan spirit should enact a law that would compel any new government to complete all projects started by the previous government to help save the nation a lot of money and also accelerate the country’s development.
Even before the Asantehene started his lecture, he had acknowledged that as a prominent and respected King, he was taking a huge risk to enter a “dangerous political minefield that one risks getting blown apart by the incendiary force of combined misinformation, misrepresentation and misconception”.
He said the framers of the Constitution, since independence, have always been careful not to yield to the notion that universal adult suffrage is the sole guarantor of democracy but rather fashioned a constitution which fuses the country’s traditional values into the new democratic concepts and ensure that the new constitution they create are anchored on the foundations of time and tested traditions of the country.
“I have always argued, and evidence is plain to see, the mayhem suffered by many African countries owes a great deal to the collapse of the traditional values and institutions in those societies. Wherever those values and institutions are allowed active role, they have added extra glue that helps to keep the nation bonded together,” he said adding that the time had come for people of the country to take a deep and sober reflection of their actions and deeds in relation to the forward march of the country’s democracy.
“What I bring to the table is for us to look critically at ourselves and what we have been up to and particularly listen to what we encourage our friends and supporters to say about our colleagues and our perceived political opponents and then we can ask ourselves is that what we want and where will it lead us to?”
In her welcome address, the chairperson of the commission, Charlotte Osei, said the democracy lecture was instituted in 2012 as part of the annual Constitution Week to educate citizens of the country who are the ultimate source of authority in the country’s democracy on their civic responsibilities.
She noted that this year’s theme, “Advancing Together” for the Constitution Week, was chosen because “we believe that providence has graciously brought us together as a nation and so there is the need for us to ensure the inclusiveness and participation of all historically marginalized groups in our society in our governance”.
The Police are holding two motorbike-riding youth over their wild goose chase for pink sheets currently at the centre of the landmark electoral dispute at the Supreme Court.
In search of the ‘valued documents’ ironically, the motor riders whose identities were not immediately known, stormed the Commercial Court in Accra last Thursday evening, instead of the Supreme Court.
The suspects, who were now languishing in cells at the Ministries Police Station, dashed to the court after it was announced that KPMG, the accounting and auditing firm, had accepted to audit the pink sheets free of charge.
It was also not known who sent them on such a delicate mission.
When the young men turned up at the Commercial Court in search of the contentious pink sheets, they were received nicely by an official of the court.
Having put forth their weird request, the court official subdued his surprise and assured his unusual guests that he was going to fetch the keys so he could open the vault where the pinks sheets were being kept.
They waited and held their breath, but instead of returning with the pink sheets, their host came with policemen who whisked them away, ending their wild adventure.
The police were tight-lipped over details of the two adventurers and what informed their confidence to venture so close to the court on such an impossible mission.
The incident was the second weird episode to befall the election 2012 pink sheets.
National security personnel who turned up at the Supreme Court a fortnight ago seeking access to the documents so they could render a special protection to them made unsavoury headlines for the National Security Co-ordinator, Lt. Col. Larry Gbevlo-Lartey (rtd).
Members of the public became more alarmed when they learnt that it was the General Secretary of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) who had ordered the national security operatives to go and protect the pink sheets.
The Judicial Secretary, Justice Opoku Acheampong did not accept the offer of protection, stating that it was not needed.
There had been a marked police presence at the Supreme Court since then.
The hearing of the election petition resumes today at the Supreme Court where NDC lead counsel, Tsatsu Tsikata is cross-examining Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the petitioners’ star witness.