How Asiedu Nketia’s testimony contributed to Mahama’s defeat
Johnson Asiedu Nketia, ‘star witness’ for NDC flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama, inadvertently caused the loss of the election petition at the Supreme Court.
Mr Nketia, the party’s chief scribe, could not offer a convincing testimony to change the outcome of the 2020 presidential polls.
The seven-member panel presided over by Chief Justice Anin-Yeboah, delivered a two-hour judgement on Thursday, March 4, detailing the loopholes in Mr Nketia’s submission under cross-examination.
Mr Nketia, was the first to testify and was duly acknowledgement by the judges. However, he was left holding the baby in the petitioner’s defeat.
According to the Chief Justice, the testimony of Mr Nketia confirmed that the petitioner John Dramani Mahama had no basis for being in court.
Justice Anin-Yeboah then went on to read exchanges that accounted for the judge’s refusal to order a re-run between the petitioner and the second respondent Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
John Dramani Mahama, was in court challenging the declaration of the December 7 elections that saw the NPP candidate Nana Akufo-Addo emerging victorious.
The NDC flagbearer presented three witnesses (Johnson Asiedu Nketia, Dr Michael Kpessa-Whyte and Robert Joseph Rojo Mettle-Nunoo) to testify on his behalf.
But the testimonies of the other two were described as fanciful.
Below are excerpts of the cross-examination between counsel for the second respondent Akoto Ampaw (AA) and Johnson Asiedu Anketiah (JAN) on February 1, 2021.
AA: I am saying that from the declaration in the video clip that we just saw, which really is the basis of all your case and you should know what is in it, the total number of valid votes that the second respondent obtained is 6,730,413?
JAN: That is correct my Lords
AA: The total number of votes that the petitioner obtained from the declaration announcement of your exhibit ‘A’ is 6, 214, 889
JAN: That is so my Lords
AA: And I am also putting it to you that if you do a sum of these valid votes…
By court: You asked this question about an hour ago more than or twice and it has been answered.
AA: Can you tell the court what is 6, 730, 413 as a percentage of 13,121,111?
JAN: My Lords is 51,29453 ad infinitum. So it can be round up to 51.295%
AA: So, 51.295% not so
AA: What about the petitioner, his total valid votes are 6, 214, 889. What is this sum as a percentage of 13,121,111?
JAN: It is 47. 365569 ad infinitum. So it can be rounded up to 47.366%
AA: So you admit that from the Chairperson of first respondent declaration on December 9, the second respondent crossed more than 50% threshold?
JAN: From the declaration as announced
AA: From the figures that we just calculated, these figures which were announced, if you do them as a percentage of the actual total valid votes, these are the percentages you get for the petitioner and the second respondent. That is what I am putting to you?
By court: Mr Ampaw, when you recapture your question, this is what raises the difficulty. Your previous was, the second respondent crossed the 50% threshold. In recapturing, you changed the second part. So kindly stick to the question
AA: I am saying that from the calculation of the figures of petitioner and second respondent, second respondent nearly crossed more than 50% threshold?
JAN: Well if the figures are correct, yes
AA: Again, you see that when you calculated the percentage for the second respondent you came to a figure of 51.295%
JAN: Yes, my Lords
The Chief Justice said per the above exchanges there was no doubt the petitioner’s team accepted that the total valid votes cast was 13,121,111 and not 13,434,547 as erroneously described by the Chairperson of the first respondent on December 9, 2020.
It was the view of the panel that the evidence in court confirmed that the total valid votes cast was 13, 121,111.
It was at this point of the cross-examination that the CJ stated that there was no legal basis to contend that a different figure of 13, 334 574 was used as total valid votes in measuring the more than 50% threshold.
The Chief Justice continues reading
AA: So, you admit that it is completely wrong for anybody to use the total votes cast as a basis for determining the percentage of votes obtained by different candidates?
AA: Anybody who does that cannot be accepted anywhere in Ghana
JAN: Yes my Lord
AA: I am putting it to you that you used this erroneous figure as a basis for calling for your re-run?
JAN: The question again, I want to get the question again so I can answer
AA: You cannot use that wrong figure as a basis for your claim that there should be a re-run between the second respondent and the petitioner
JAN: Yes my Lord
It will be recalled that at the end of Mr Asiedu Nketia’s cross-examination, he was asked by Justice Yaw Appau if he knows what the actual figure the petitioner and the second respondent polled in the election.
To which he simply replied in the negative, “No, I do not know and I did not bring any figure to court.”
The Chief Justice, on the other hand, described the testimonies of Dr Michael Kpessa-Whyte and Robert Joseph Rojo Mettle-Nunoo, as unworthy for consideration and merely a combination of fanciful tales.
The two persons were representatives of the petitioner, John Dramani Mahama, in the strongroom of the Electoral Commission (EC) during the collation of results for the 2020 elections.
The court said their testimonies were based mainly on what allegedly happened in the Strong Room during the final collation and the fact that they failed to sign the final form of the presidential election scored because of the disagreements they had with the Chairperson.
“They recounted a fanciful tale of how the Electoral Chairperson refused to heed their complaints and some irregularities they noticed in some of the collation forms that came from some of the regions.
“We describe this evidence as fanciful because, despite these alleged protests, they went ahead to verify and certify 13 of the 16 election regional collation sheets,” Justice Yeboah said.
Aside from the CJ, the other panel members were Yaw Apau, Samuel K. Marful Sau, Nene Amegathcher, Professor Ashie Kotey, Mariama Owusu and Gertrude Torkornoo.