General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, was a witness in the Presidential Election Petition filed by former President John Dramani Mahama, challenging the declaration of the results of the election held on December 7, 2020.
The NDC flag bearer, who was seeking a return to the presidency after he lost in 2016 as incumbent, is contesting in court that none of the candidates in the presidential election got more than 50 per cent of the total valid votes as mandated by law but the Electoral Commission (EC) Boss, Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa, who was the returning officer of the presidential ballot, declared the sitting President, Akufo-Addo, as the winner.
The seven member panel presided over by Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah and assisted by justices Yaw Appau, Samuel K. Marful-Sau, Nene Amegatcher, Prof. Nii Ashie Kotey, Mariama Owusu and Gertrude Torkornoo has set March 4, 2020 to give its judgement in the case after the trial.
Mr. Nketia was in the witness box on behalf of the petitioner on February 1, 2020 as the first witness and gave some answers as captured in the transcript.
Justice Apau: I want to be very clear on some issues. I know that when you purchase a pen drive, it is empty and the data on any pen drive is generated by someone. So the pen drive that you attached to the hard copy and exhibited as Exhibit ‘F’, who generated or placed the data on it because when you were asked, you said you do not know what was on it?
Asiedu Nketia: My lords, as I said, honestly I have not seen the pen drive and its contents till today and I was relying on the hard copies. The evidence was gathered by our elections directorate and the legal directorate.
Justice Apau: So they gave it to you and you exhibited it as part of your evidence?
Counsel for Petitioner (Tsatsu Tsikata): No my lords, respectfully he did not exhibit it. That document was attached as part of the petition.
Justice Apau: He exhibited it to His Witness Statement as Exhibit ‘F’ and he brought it to us.
Justice Apau: So it means your election directorate generated it, gave it you and you exhibited it without seeing it?
Asiedu Nketia: I read all the hard copies of the document because of the time pressure. I was discovering this thing today that is why I indicated that I have not seen it.
Justice Apau: Then I want to be very clear on these issues too. In all the figures that were mentioned as the valid votes cast and all those things, you were saying if the figures were correct and that there were inconsistencies in the figures. In your own calculations what was the total valid votes cast in the presidential election on December 7, 2020?
Asiedu Nketia: My lords, those calculations were reserved for a meeting for us to reconcile because the first respondent herself kept changing the figures.
Chief Justice: Mr. Asiedu Nketia, help the court. When you started giving evidence, you said you had representatives across the 275 constituencies. You said you put agents there and they were to collate the figures. Then he is asking you from that, what figure did you get?
Asiedu Nketia: My lords, I have not brought that figure to court.
Justice Apau: Then from your own calculations, what were the valid votes cast in favour of the petitioner, to your knowledge?
Asiedu Nketia: When we discovered this discrepancy, it was difficult to even know which figures were correct.
Justice Apau: You do not know?
Asiedu Nketia: I do not have them here.
Justice Apau: What figures from your own calculations, did the second respondent get as the total valid votes cast in his favour?
Asiedu Nketia: My lords, I do not have those figures here.
(Source/Credit: Records Of Proceedings/Cross-examination of 1st. Witness For Petitioner (Mr. Asiedu Nketia) On 1st Day Of February, 2021).