Chairman of the EC, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan in response to a question during Thursday's cross examination about how the commission trained temporary officials and party agents on how to conduct elections; decided to give a detailed explanation which prompted counsel for the petitioners to object to his style of approach.
However, Lawyer Addison’s objection to get witness for the Electoral Commission to stay on track and give precise and brief answers was crushed to the floor when six out of the nine judges, voted to overrule the objection.
Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan started by informing the court that none of the permanent employees or staff of the Electoral Commission took part in administering of election at the polling station level.
According to him, the EC engages the services of temporary staffs in the process of administering election at the polling station level.
He explained that in order to carry out this operation, they used three categories. The first category according to him was the returning officer category.
He explained that in this category, the EC set out a returning officer and two deputies who also acted as returning officers for each of the two hundred and seventy five constituencies.
“For the twenty six thousand and two polling stations in the country”, Dr. Afari Gyan made it clear that they engaged one presiding officer and four other persons.
In all, the witness for the EC in the ongoing trial noted that they deployed the services of eight hundred and twenty five men to act as returning and deputy returning officers.
He estimated that “one hundred and thirty thousand people” were temporary enrolled by the EC to assist in the organization of the 2012 general elections.
This was sharply met by an objection from Lawyer Addison who addressed the court by stating that: “My lords, these kinds of answers from the witness...we are not in a seminar I suppose. After answering questions, he goes on to lecture us. He has been doing this the whole morning,repeating himself. He should restrict himself to the answers to the questions”.
Counsel for the witness, James Quarshie Idun also responded by noting that he takes an exception to the objection by lead counsel for the petitioners that Mr. Afari Gyan, is trying to lecture them in court.
“He’s trying to show how the system functions and how things were done correctly”, he retorted.
Lawyer Addison interrupted with words such as “all this morning, what the witness has been saying is not in their pleadings. All the things he has been saying about printing of ballots and whatever...everything he said is not in their pleadings. We have just sat down quietly but the lecturing is becoming too much”
James Quarshie Idun waded in by positing that “my lords, I take strong exception...My lords, we are here for an election petition and he is here explaining how elections were conducted”, he responded.
The dust of the matter was allowed to settle when the objection raised by Mr. Addison was overruled by a majority of six to three.
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