Dr. Cement Apaak, the Member of Parliament for Builsa South has taken Gabby Otchere-Darko to the cleaners for asking if the cross-examination of Mrs. Jean Mensa will add votes to that of former President John Dramani Mahama.
The legislator is quizzing why the lawyer would be bothered by the cross-examination of the Electoral Commissioner who has decided not to testify in the ongoing election petition.
He posited that the EC Chair could be hiding something from Ghanaians hence her refusal to testify.
Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile on Saturday, February 13, 2021, Gabby wondered why the lawyers for the petitioner, John Mahama, have been so bent on getting the EC chair into the witness box before they can properly make their case.
“The circumstances are very different. In 2013, John Mahama won by 5,574,761 votes and that was 50.7%. Akufo-Addo got 5,248,898 that was 47.74%. In order for John Mahama to drop below the 50% threshold, you needed to take away 77,131 from them – just that. The difference between Akufo-Addo and John Mahama was 325,863.
“What was the evidence presented before the court? The petitioner said that there were more than 2 million duplicate pink sheets, which then goes to the heart of the authenticity of the elections. And then they spoke about polling stations that they were not aware of. That also goes to the credibility of the results from those areas. They spoke about over-voting in 1722 polling stations. The spoke about voting without biometric verification and when you look at all these, the sum total, even when you take over-voting alone, that would have dropped John Mahama down.
“When you take voting without verification alone, that would have dropped John Mahama below the 50%. So there were all these issues. On the face of it, if the Electoral Commissioner at the time, was to elect to say that I am not going to go into the witness box, that would have been suicidal.
“But in this case, you are talking about less than 5000 votes that you are challenging. That’s all it is. So, assuming Jean Mensa goes to the box, will her testimony add to John Mahama’s votes or take away from Akufo-Addo’s votes? And what will that do for them?” he asked.
Reacting to the comments, Dr. Apaak said the refusal of the EC chair to mount the witness box raises suspicion.
He was of the view that if there was nothing to hide or nothing to fear, the EC chair should mount the witness box and testify.
”Gabby, if Jean Mensa being in the witness box will not add to John Mahama’s votes, then why are you worried? The refusal of Jean Mensa, the Returning Officer, to testify raises serious suspicions. If there is nothing to hide, there should be nothing to fear! ”