It is indeed quite refreshing that the former President John Mahama and the NDC as the largest opposition party are set to file their election petition case to the Supreme Court, on 30th December 2020. Under similar circumstances in 2012, I wrote an article (https://www.modernghana.com/news/437271/ghana-at-crossroads-ecs-perceived-treasonable.html ) drawing the mind of the nation to the primary causative agents of the litigation, i.e. Returning Officers, Presiding Officers and Polling Assistants (who are mostly temporary staff to the Electoral Commission).
The dexterity of the EC headed by Mrs. Jean Mensah in executing the 2020 Elections is quite phenomenal. The EC like all human institutions cannot be perfect. The weakness of the current EC is being strongly legal and professional without being political in order to surmount all unbridled challenges coming from political parties and pseudo-political CSOs and Think Tanks playing the role of attacking dogs for political interest without cognizance to their core mandates nor the implications on the operational and legal processes of the EC.
The praise due for Mrs. Jean Mensah and the current administration for mandating Ghanaians to take over the full operations of EC is commendable. The creation of a New Biometric Voter Register with New BVMS; the organisation of the most timely, transparent and peaceful voting process and the declaration of collated figures.
2020 election was the first time an EC Chairperson categorically warned her staff of prosecution should any of them get involved in any fraudulent act for any candidate. Furthermore, the timely gazetting of the 2020 elections in order to pave way for timely legal litigation process to be dealt with, cannot be overemphasised.
The team representing the Independent Presidential Candidate in the 2020 election at the Strong room of EC had completed and collated all the figures of each candidate in 274 constituencies with the exception of Techiman South Constituency in Bono East region as at December 9, 2020. Barring the slip of eyes and tongue of declaring total votes cast as total valid votes by EC chairperson, which was however and courageously corrected on the 10th December 2020, every analysis made, based on collated available figures and materiality of the changes made in affecting the declared results were mathematically and statistically spot on.
The only possibility for Candidate John Mahama is the changes in figures on the Pink Sheets and arithmetic errors of addition and possible transposition of his figures for that of the fellow candidate and President Nana Addo. Ghanaians are yet to witness the materiality of the case with regards to overturning the declared and gazetted results. I dare say that “you can do all propaganda, Demonstrate, Shoot and kill and Burn markets, against elections declaration by EC, but Pink Sheets, Collation Sheets and CI-127(Election law) will expose you”.
The understanding and appreciation of what is at stake become clearer when one envisions the declaration by the Chairperson of EC, Mrs. Jean Mensah, as equivalent to the verdict given by the Appeals Court Justice per Article 44(2) of the 1992 Constitution.
The regional collated figures presented to Mrs. Jean Mensah by Returning and Presiding Officers of EC are certified legal evidence per CI-127 by all contesting Presidential Candidates. The Presiding and Returning Officers’ presence and signatures are the required legal evidences.
The absence or non-signing of polling documents cannot invalidate the results per CI-127 regulation 48. Definitely, it may be ignorance or sheer propaganda placed on polling agents of Candidates with regards to the validity of the declaration of elections results. The Chairperson of EC, Mrs. Jean Mensah, in her capacity cannot amend but to declare as the sovereign will of qualified Ghanaian voters as to who to lead them for the next four years.
I’ve never heard or yet to witness a gazetted verdict by Justices of Appeals Court which can be changed without recourse to legal appeals processes at the apex court. Neither can Parliamentarians appeal on the verdict just by presenting a petition to the Justices outside the Courts; nor can demonstrations, though part of the democratic process, be able to change the verdict.
Ghana is indeed at crossroads in 2020, we all condemn the security breaches and loss of life which should be investigated and the security personnel dealt with according to the law.
The act of subjugating and short-changing the sovereign will of Ghanaians is a treasonable act. Officials of the Electoral Commission (EC) committing electoral fraud with the backing of the power of constitutional mandate is tantamount to military adventurists staging coup d’état with the power of the barrel of the gun. Both acts are punishable by death or first-degree felony.
The JSC should endeavour to upgrade electoral fraud Offences as treasonable so that the sovereign will of Ghanaians cannot be changed at the whims and caprices of Presiding and Returning Officers of EC, who are temporary staff and act at the behest of political masters that could be at the blind side of EC.