The Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan on Monday told the Supreme Court hearing the election petition challenging the outcome of the 2012 presidential election that he was not familiar with what Portable Document Format (PDF) is.
His answer followed his disagreement with Mr. Philip Addison, lead counsel for the petitioners that an extract of a voters register produced by the latter was the same as what the EC used to conduct the elections.
PDF is an electronic file format invented by Adobe Systems which allows the reliable reproduction of published material and is capable, among others, of containing clickable links and buttons, form fields, video and audio.
Addison was leading evidence on alleged double registration in the voters register used for the election and pointed out that a number of some duplications were captured in the register as handed the New Patriotic Party for the election.
But Afari-Gyan insisted the extract could not have come from the official register because the arrangements were different from what the petitioners had produced as extracts.
Mr. Addison however pointed out that unless the Electoral Commission gave the NPP a register different from what it gave other parties, the extract was from the very one the EC issued which he said was in a pdf format and therefore could not be altered.
“My Lords this is not the register we used for the election,” Dr Afari-Gyan pointed out when Mr. Addison sought to tender the extract.
Addison: This is the register given to the New Patriotic Party.
Afari-Gyan: This is not the register we used for the election
Addison: Is this not the register given to the New Patriotic Party?
Afari-Gyan: I cannot confirm that.
Addison: By what process do you confirm that this is the register given to the New Patriotic Party?
Afari-Gyan: We, we gave exactly the same register to everybody. The same register to everybody.
Addison: You did not give hard copies, you gave a soft copy.
Afari-Gyan: Well the soft copy will be the same, to everybody.
Addison: And the soft copy is in pdf form which cannot be altered. Do you know as a fact that it was in pdf form and it cannot be altered?
Afari-Gyan: We gave you a register, I don’t know what the form it was in.
Addison: I’m suggesting to you that it was in pdf form and it cannot be altered.
Afari-Gyan: Your suggestion may be correct, may be wrong, I cannot confirm that.
After a back-and-forth between counsel and witness on whether the register given the NPP was the same as was used for the election and Dr. Afari-Gyan’s insistence that he needed to verify with his office what format of the register was given the NPP, the bench stepped in with Justice Rose Owusu asking Dr. Afari Gyan whether he knew what a pdf format is, to which the EC chairman said ‘no’.
Mr. Addison has been leading evidence on Monday on petitioners'claims that there were duplicate polling station codes which could not have represented results from the special voting exercise as well as claims of instances of double voter registrations for the 2012 elections.
Source: Daily Graphic
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