wpid-wpid-8663178341875814.jpgIt was all drama at the Supreme Court on Wednesday when Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission appeared very confused about the very electoral system he is supposed to supervise and how it works.

The day, which saw Counsel for the 1st and 3rd respondents, Tony Lithur and Tsatsu Tsikata end their cross examination of the EC Boss, saw lead counsel for the petitioners start his cross examination of Dr. Afari Gyan.

While cross examining the witness, Counsel Philip Addison sought from Dr. Afari Gyan who was the returning officer of the 2012 General Elections, if indeed he declared the 2012 Presidential elections on the basis of 26,002 polling stations as he had earlier told the court.

Dr. Afari Gyan who appeared clearly unsure of the answer to give stated that Presidential elections are declared on the basis of 26,002 polling stations and that as at the time he declared the 2012 General elections, he believed that the declaration was based on 26,002 polling stations.

Counsel Phillip Addison put it to the witness that at the time of making the declaration, the returning officer did not know the number of polling stations on which basis the declaration was being made, to which Dr. Afari Gyan answered ?I had no basis of knowing the number of polling stations?.

Counsel Philip Addison proceeded to question Dr. Afari Gyan on the biometric verification system introduced for the first time for the 2012 General Elections.

Though, the law mandates that every voter ought to have been verified before voting and though the EC had maintained in the run up to the elections and also in the course of the ongoing trial that each voter had gone through biometric verification before being allowed to vote, Dr. Afari Gyan strangely informed the court that if he was a presiding officer during the December 2012 Elections, he would have allowed paramount chiefs for example who could not be properly verified to vote.

However, more hard times were to come for Ghana?s Electoral Commissioner when Counsel Philip Addison moved to cross examine on the processes involved during the biometric registration exercise.

At this stage, Dr. Afari Gyan, who has been in his job for the last twenty years, appeared completely lost on the processes involved. Counsel Philip Addison to begin with, sought from Dr. Afari Gyan information on the Form 1A.

Surprisingly, after being asked if he knew the form 1A, Dr. Afari Gyan retorted ?What is the form 1A? My Lords, I would like to see what the form 1A is. I don?t keep these things in my head?.

Counsel Philip Addison proceeded to give Dr. Afari Gyan a copy of the form 1A which is the basic form on which information of the prospective voter/ registrant is taken. Even after being given the form 1A, Dr. Afari Gyan appeared completely na?ve on what the form 1A was. Counsel Philip Addison suggested to Dr. Afari Gyan that it was the form 1A on which the voter/ registrants information was captured before it was entered into a computer but this took Dr. Afari Gyan several minutes to concede after earlier stating that the information on the voter was captured directly into the computer but not through the form.

Ghana?s Electoral Commissioner stated that the process Counsel Philip Addison was describing might have happened in earlier registration processes but that in the latest exercise, the information was captured directly into the computer.

?Well, nowadays we are doing it directly. You are talking of a situation which does not obtain to the biometric registration. That was the situation in the previous registrations. This form is incorporated into the biometric system. This information was captured directly?, he said.

Interestingly, Counsel Philip Addison educated the EC Boss on the fact that the form 1A which he had been shown was printed for and used in the 2012 Registration exercise and that as such the form he was holding was relevant for the 2012 exercise. It was after this explanation that Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan accepted that the form 1A was indeed used as was being described by the petitioners? counsel.

Counsel Philip Addison suggested to the EC Boss that after filling out the form 1A and capturing it unto the computer, the information was then printed out as the form 1C. This the Electoral Commissioner agreed to.

At this stage, Counsel Philip Addison suggested to Dr. Afari Gyan that it was the bottom left corner of this form 1C that was separated and laminated into the voters ID card. The Courtroom was however thrown into laughter when Dr Afari Gyan stated ?my lords, I am not a registration officer, I don?t know these details?.

Counsel Philip Addison pointed to Dr. Afari Gyan that he had already given evidence on the form 1C and that he should just admit or deny if he is aware, that it is the form 1C?s bottom left portion which is transformed into a voters? ID Card. At this stage, Dr. Afari Gyan again humbly accepted the fact, confirming Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia?s testimony earlier to the court when he stated that the form 1C was what was transformed into the voters? ID card after its bottom part was separated.

Counsel Philip Addison suggested to Dr. Afari Gyan that at the end of the registration day, the information was stored unto a pendrive or an SD Card, to which Dr. Afari Gyan agreed to. Shockingly, when Counsel Addison asked Dr. Afari Gyan if he knew what an SD card was, Dr. Afari Gyan stated very strongly that ?No, my Lords, I do not know.?

-NPP Communications Directorate

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