General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Johnson Asiedu Nketiah is being subjected to integrity test in the ongoing 2020 election petition hearing at the Supreme Court.
He is facing cross-examination on a witness statement he filed in support of the NDC 2020 flagbearer John Dramani Mahama who petitioned the Apex Court, calling for a re-run of last year’s polls.
Lawyer Akoto Ampaw, lead counsel for President Akufo-Addo (2nd Respondent) in the petition will today continue to cross-examine Mr Asiedu Nketiah.
Last Friday, the NDC General Secretary was subjected to diligent scrutiny by the lead counsel for the Electoral Commission (EC), Justin Amenuvor on matters relating to NDC’s claims on the election.
The NDC chief scribe who is popularly known as General Mosquito is also infamously credited with the saying that “every idiot can go to court”.
His comments apparently followed announcement in 2012, by then candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, that he would be going to the highest court of the land to challenge the results of that year’s presidential election.
Well, there was drama at Friday’s hearing when Mr Asiedu Nketiah wanted to prove he was not an idiot in court.
He employed the help of a calculator to crosscheck the Presidential results from the Eastern Region in answering a question from EC’s lawyer.
“I can confirm that the totals are not the aggregate of the numbers there but I don’t remember the actual figure that I got. If the court will permit me, we can add and find out what it is,” he said during his cross-examination.
He tried hard to cope with incessant pressure from lawyer Amenuvor, throwing the court into moments of frenzy as the proceedings went on.
“My lord it will be very difficult to cross-check the figures without a calculator, especially, when our mobile phones have also been taken away from us,” he responded to come discrepancies highlighted by the EC’s lawyer in former President Mahama’s petition.
Mr Asiedu Nketiah’s response was followed by Mr Amenuvor who argued that the petitioner’s witness was aware that the EC’s results from Techiman South constituency would still leave Nana Akufo-Addo as the winner of the December polls.
The petitioner, John Mahama is, as part of his petition contending that, the EC erred in its tally of the results of the constituency figures, forming the basis for its decision to reject the total tally.
However, the EC’s lawyer, insisted that the witness was aware of the results of Techiman South at the time of filing his witness statement which he believed rendered the petitioner’s analysis flawed.
However, this was rejected by the NDC chief scribe.
Whilst he was doing the arithmetic in the witness box, the momentarily disoriented Asiedu Nketiah wondered why the calculator did not work as smoothly as he wanted.
His reaction elicited more humourous laughter from the gathering in court.
At one point, one of the Judges had to plead with Mr Asiedu Nketiah to take a seat and feel comfortable enough to go through the proceedings.
However, he responded, saying, “I am comfortable, I am a teacher my lord,” which caused more laugher in the court
Validity of Election 2020
During the cross-examination, Mr Asiedu Nketiah told the Supreme Court that the petitioner and his party are not in court to challenge the validity of the 2020 presidential election.
He said they are challenging the conduct of the “Returning Officer” for the presidential election and chairperson of the EC, Mrs Jean Mensa.
During cross examination by EC’s lawyer, Mr Amenuvor, Mr Asiedu Nketiah indicated that the real focus of the case of the petitioner is to seek redress over the conduct of the EC chairperson and not necessarily about the validity or otherwise of the December 7, 2020 general elections.
Mr Amenuvor told Asiedu Nketiah that, if that was the reason, the petitioner was at the wrong forum, adding, “It is not true that the 1st Respondent (EC) padded any votes as you alleged, I am putting it to you”.
In his answer, the NDC chief scribe said, “My lord, I decline to answer to that assertion.”
But Amenuvor added, “We are using the numbers that you have brought to the court and I am saying that the total of 4,693 is what you have put down there, is that correct?”
In his answer, Asiedu Nketiah said, “I brought it as a sample. In my statement, I did indicate that this is from a sample of this particular constituency. I don’t understand sample to mean a total of the population.”
Below are excerpts from interaction between EC’s lawyer Amenuvor and Asiedu Nketiah
Amenuvor: “Now deduct the 4,693 from 510, 790, what do you get?
Nketiah: “With all due respect, I don’t see the point of the question”.
Amenuvor responded, “with the greatest respect, you are being rude to the court not me.”
“Come again (with your question),” Nketiah then asked of the lawyer for the EC.
Amenuvor: “I am saying that deduct the 4,693 from 510, 790, what do you get?”
Nketiah: “I get 506,097.”
Amenuvor: “I am suggesting that even if this your number as alleged which is denied, even if it is deducted from the total valid votes of the second respondent, he still has won by your own sheet by 51.246%, I am putting it to you?”
Nketiah: “My lord, I deny that because, you are subtracting apples from mangoes. This is a sample, if you take a sample from the population from another group, I don’t see where this calculation is coming from.
Amenuvor: “I am suggesting to you that you have no evidence to support your allegations and that is why you have brought only what you have, I am putting it to you?”
Nketiah: “My Lord, we are not in court to declare another presidential results by us. We are in Court to challenge the performance of a constitutional duty of the first respondent, and to see whether that duty has been discharged faithfully.”
Amenuvor: “If that is so, then I am suggesting to you that by your own showing, you are not in the right forum.”
Nketiah: “I decline that My Lord”.