Indeed those who wish for war must really be prepared for battle, because it is not just about beating the war drums but about having the ability, intellect and zeal to strategize and win the war.
I, therefore, believe that when the respondents of the ongoing Supreme Court (SC) challenge to the 2012 Presidential results finished their cross-examination of the NPP star witness, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, they took the pains to prepare extremely well for the re-examination of the witness by his lawyers.
That is why the respondents got the most during the SC sitting on Wednesday May 22. Out of the eight (8) objections that they raised during the re-examination of Dr Bawumia by his lead lawyer, Philip Addison, the respondents won six (6) of them, leaving the NPP gasping for breath and putting them in a deep hole which would be tall to climb.
But before I get to the objections raised by the respondents, I would like to comment on what re-examination is all about. Re-examination is a limited window opportunity given to witnesses to clarify ambiguities or respond to new matters raised during cross-examination. Because of the limited scope given to witnesses under re-examination, it is extremely difficult for those witnesses to re-present their cases as examination in chief.
As a result, a lawyer cannot bring his client to re-present his/her case during re-examination because of the tendency of people to seek to repair the damage caused them during cross-examination or the temptation to introduce further evidence.
It is a fact that Mr Tsatsu Tsikata and Mr Tony Lithur lawyers for the 3rd and 1st respondents respectively have badly damaged the credibility of Dr Bawumia during their intense cross examination. The damage may have been so severe, therefore, Mr Addison, in his re-examination of Bawumia clearly sought to use that window of opportunity to repair the damage caused to the NPP’s case during the cross-examination of Bawumia.
But six (6) out of eight (8) questions raised by Mr Addison to help Bawumia to repair his believability were tossed by the SC justices upon severe objections by the respondents.
What has cut the NPP deepest in these rulings is the fact that three of the objections centred on the key components of the NPP’s case. Do you remember Bawumia’s famous CD-ROM, his analysis and his penchant of saying that their pending evidence has been re-classified?
To refresh your memory, Bawumia has torn the ears of those following the case about his famous CD-ROM which he tried to introduce through his lawyer as evidence. But the NPP suffered a severe setback when objections raised by the respondents, led to the tossing of the CD-ROM. Do you remember me saying before that the CD-ROM cannot be tendered as evidence because the information on it is very subjective?
“And my analysis will show that we used the information only once”, is a usual refrain from Bawumia which you will never once miss in court. But his analysis, which is his own distinctive opinion and can never, be classified or recognized as evidence also went up in smoke when the justices refused the analysis which the NPP sought to smuggle in.
Classy Bawumia has not disappointed his supporters and his opponents with his classy answers backed by weaving, dancing and dodging of questions during cross-examination. Anytime Bawumia was cornered by Mr Tsikata about the duplication, triplication and quadruplicating of the pink sheets, Bawumia will say nicely that they have reclassified the “charge sheet”. The NPP therefore won by a 5-4 decision to introduce the reclassified information.
This decision did not go down well with the respondents as it showed on TV, but when the NPP attempted to tender the documents they were met with fierce resistance from the respondents who pointed to the fact that the list did not include exhibit numbers which will make it extremely difficult for verification. The respondents hit a home run when by a 9-0 decision; the SC justices sided with them and tore into shreds the reclassified documents.
This is where Addison became alarmed and fought the justices relentlessly and even accused them of using backdoor tactics to deny the NPP from tendering the evidence. If today’s courtroom issues are anything to go by, I can say with certainty that the NPP bled terribly because the key components of their case lost steam as the key evidence to back their case were not allowed to be tendered.
Please don’t read too much into where this case is teetering to, but I bet your guess could be good as mine.