Mr. Ato Dadzie, one of lawyers appearing before the Supreme Court for John Dramani Mahama, the President of Ghana whose election is under petition at the Supreme Court stated once that there has been no Smoking Gun revealed by the Petitioners. This article seeks to present the Smoking Gun facts to him and to the public and to explain why the Supreme Court will revise the results of the elections based on the evidence presented by the Petitioners and make Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, the rightful winner and President of Ghana any time this month. This article will discuss the two key elements of the Smoking Gin: the bloated voters register and the EC’s collusion, incompetence and deliberate negligence.
The Duplicate Polling Station Sheets and the Bloated Voters’ Register
Before discussing the bloated voters register and the EC’s collusion, I would like to give readers a drawing of where the NPP’s leadership is coming from. In October of 2012, the USA arm of the NPP election monitoring team reviewed the elections results from 2000 to 2008 and concluded that due to the massive scale of the election fraud, the Electoral Commission (EC) was in collusion with the perpetrators of the fraud. Naturally, the leadership of NPP was quite skeptical of this conclusion and its resulting implication that some of NPP’s agents were cooperating with the NDC and EC officials to change polling station results in favor of the NDC in some areas.
Fast forward to 2012
In filing the election petition, the NPP provided clear evidence of duplicate polling station sheets with votes of 2.6 million votes that benefited President John Mahama. This duplicate polling station votes constitutes the Smoking Gun. To put these 2.6 million duplicate polling station fraudulent votes into context, it is important to consider the following developments. Between 2000 and 2008, NDC votes for four regions grew by 100% while NPP’s grew in line with normal demographic changes. The question therefore becomes what is causing the significant growth in NDC votes in the four regions (Ashanti, Accra, Northern and Western). If it is the case that voter turnout is increasing, then one is saying that all of a sudden a large number of Ghanaians came to vote and they all voted in one direction for the NDC. Further, an analysis of the constituency results showed that NDC vote increases were concentrated in certain constituencies only, with the NDC votes in some of these constituencies increasing between 100 to 300 percent. These increases did not make sense when one considers the fact that NPP’s votes in these constituencies were also increasing and also the fact that there were no local social, economic and political developments to explain the increase in voter turnout and NDC votes.
To further understand the fraud one needs to take into account the process by which the voters register is established. While this article will not consider the corrupt manner in which STL was awarded the contract for implementing the biometric voter registers, it is notable that the voters register increased from 11 million voters in 2008 to 14 million voters at the end of the registration exercise. This voters’ reconciliation exercise excluded the participation of other stakeholders such as all the political parties and served as a template for the EC and STL to be bloat the voter register. Furthermore, the technology enabled significant multiple registration and many children to be added to the voters’ register. In the end the whole purpose of the biometric registration was defeated by the fraudulent activities undertaken by the EC working with STL. This was a systemic and enterprise-wide effort to undermine the very existence of the EC to provide free and fair elections.
With the introduction of the biometric registration, the registered voters as a percentage of the population increased to 56% percent from 46% percent in 2008. Even in 1992 there were complaints of the bloated register of one million votes. At that time we had 46% voters as a percentage of the population. With biometric registration we have 56%, which is quite high when one considers the fact that 9.8 million Ghanaian are under the age of 14 and not entitled to vote. Of the 15.4 million Ghanaians qualified to vote (excluding the large numbers of children between 14 and 18), 14 million registered voters represent 91 percent of the voting age of Ghanaian voters. Clearly, it is obvious that the biometric registration facilitated the bloating of the voters register, instead of reducing fraud and bloating of the register
Further, to give readers an idea of how bloated Ghana’s voters register is, compare Ghana’s voters register as a percentage of the population to other African countries that have bloated voters’ registers. Kenya (34%), Senegal (41%), Nigeria (41.7%), Tanzania (42%) pales into insignificant if you consider Ghana has 56% which equates to 6 million voters which should not be on the register.
|% of registered voters to the total population|
EC Collusion and the Smoking Gun
Afari Gyan, the EC, when asked why they printed duplicate polling station result sheets said that they, the Electoral Commission, printed duplicate pink sheets because they thought there will be more candidates because Mrs. Rawlings had intimated she will go to court and others have obtained filing papers. This was an obvious lie for the reasons discussed below. First, Mrs. Rawlings was excluded from participating as a candidate, after the nominations had closed. Those who had taken papers to file as independents would not have been able to file their nominations since the deadline to file nominations had already passed. Second, the polling station sheets booklet had nine copies, with a copy for each of the presidential candidates and the EC retaining the ninth copy. Third, the names of the presidential candidates were on the sheets.
Now, if the EC thought there were going to be any more candidates, based on what the whole world knew, there would have been only one more candidate, Mrs. Rawlings. Thus, ten copies could have been printed of each pink sheet in a booklet. Besides, the EC could have ordered a booklet of 13 copies of each pink sheet as the EC did order for the parliamentary elections.
The reason why the EC ordered duplicate booklets of polling station sheets was a deliberate and intentional action to facilitate the fraud of introducing fraudulent votes into the election results. It had nothing to do with any perceived increase in the number of presidential candidates. There were no duplicate polling station sheets for the parliamentary elections so why order duplicates for the presidential elections with the same names of candidates and the same serial numbers? If the EC was expecting more names, then the duplicate booklets should have been left blank. Yet they were not blank. They had the same names of candidates. Had Mrs. Rawlings been declared qualified to contest the presidential elections by the courts, what would the EC have done with the duplicate booklet to ensure her name is on the pink sheets? Your guess is as good as mine.
Even if one accepts Afari Gyan’s unsatisfactory answer that he thought there were going to be more candidates, then it is appropriate to ask the following questions:
When did you know that there were not going to be more candidates? Was it before the order went to Buck Press to subcontract the order for the pink sheets to an UK company? Was it before the polling station sheets were delivered to Buck Press in Ghana? Was it before Buck Press delivered the sheets to the EC? Was it before the elections? We must know. Those of us who were not privy to the EC deliberations but have limited information know that, as far back as November 1, 2012, there were only 8 candidates. In any case before the EC ordered duplicates, did the EC inform the parties since this was outside the normal procedures unless you consider ordering duplicate polling station sheets normal?
What did you do when you knew there were not going to be more candidates? Did you call to amend the order to print? Did you take action to prevent the printing or the delivery of the already printed duplicate polling station sheets? Did you take action to take control of the duplicate polling station sheets when presented to you by Buck Press to prevent undermining the electoral system? Did you take action to segregate the duplicates and prevent them from entering the election system and adulterating the results?
Clearly, these questions indicate that there were several instances and avenues available to the EC and Afari Gyan from preventing the duplicate polling station sheets from adulterating the electoral system. Did the EC inform the parties of this material information? Did the EC take action to segregate the duplicate polling station sheets? If the EC did take action, how successful were the EC actions?
How did you act to prevent entries on the duplicate polling station sheets from entering the system? Specifically, explain to the world how this was done to prevent the adulteration of the electoral system by the duplicate pink sheets.
When did you know that the duplicate polling station sheets had entered the system and adulterated the system and when you became aware of the adulteration, what did you do and who did you communicate to and did you communicate to the parties? In other words, what actions did you take when you became aware of this material information? Was it before, during or after the elections? Did you inform the parties? Did you learn about the corruption of the electoral results by the duplicate polling station sheets from the NPP filing or you knew yourself? If you knew yourself when did you inform the parties and the public?
There are other relevant questions that Afari Gjan should answer, but because of time, I will only mention a few below:
· Did you communicate to the parties and the public about the printing, the existence of the duplicate polling station sheets and the adulteration of the electoral system by the presence of the duplicate polling station sheets?
·Can you explain to the public and the parties how the duplicate polling station sheets got into the system with 2.6 million votes benefiting John Mahama? If you cannot explain can you tell the public why one should accept a perverted set of documents as part of the proper process?
· Have you ordered duplicate polling station sheets before in other presidential elections? Can you explain the results of the 2000 and 2008 elections where four regions experience 100 per cent growth in the votes of NDC while NPP was still growing in accordance with demographic rate?
· Do you believe that you should not have communicated this material information to the public and the parties?
·Do you think one should believe your assertion that the duplicate polling station sheets entered the system by accident and not that this is a deliberate action to introduce fraudulent votes to the benefit of John Mahama at the expense of Nana Addo?
The EC Approach
To be successful in undertaking the fraud in the 2012 election, the EC and its collusion perpetrators worked with each other. The EC did not have a pre-printed or prepared pre-formatted collation sheets which included sequentially pre-numbered- and predetermined polling station lists. In addition, the EC collation offices were deliberately not mechanized. Also, the fraudulent perpetrators determined which constituencies had the poorly educated and less vigilant NPP agents to enable their fraud. Further, they ensured that there were no computers used at the collation offices, except paper collation sheets in a manual exercise that is fraught with deliberately errors and irregularities. With this framework, the fraudster knew that after declaring the results of the parliamentary elections most of the agents leave and are uninterested in the presidential results. Thus, significant weakness exist which allowed the fraud to be perpetrated at the expense of Nana Addo and to the benefit of John Mahama.
EC and Afari Gyan’s Bizarre Defense
It is very interesting to read the EC response to the petition filed by NPP at the Supreme Court. Extracts of the response states that the NPP is complaining of another type of fraud instead of the fraud they indicated immediately after the election results were announced and therefore they should be left alone. How bizarre! The EC is saying that the NPP is somehow complaining that they have stolen say Tilapia fish but when they searched them they found out that they have stolen sword fish so they ought to be left alone. How interesting!
The revelation of the ordering and printing of the duplicate polling station sheets (pink sheets) and the subsequent introduction of fraudulent results on these pink sheets by EC officers and their NDC cronies, point to a smoking gun which points to the perpetration of fraud with the collusion of Afari Gyan, Sarfo Kantanka, Akomea and several members of the EC district officers working in conjunction with the specially selected Presiding officers to undermine the very system for which the nation has appointed them, paid them resourced them and expected them to deliver a free and fair elections. Instead, the twisted minds of these officials taking advantage of the easy going tolerance of naked corruption, gross incompetence, woeful negligence and waywardness of many in the society allowed a crooked plan to result to undermine the outcome of the 2012 elections and prevented the announcement and election of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo as President of the Republic of Ghana. . The Supreme Court must be bold and decisive and correct this egregious, unconscionable and deliberate injustice to the people of Ghana and to Nana Addo, Dr Bawumia and the NPP by twisted minds of top EC officials.
Sourcve: Charles K. Amoo-Asante
Anti-Corruption and Pro Growth & Development Activist