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Ghana’s opposition confirms court challenge amid police raid denial

By Billie McTernan in Accra
Posted on Wednesday, 12 December 2012 20:30

At a press conference on Tuesday, NPP officials said they were still working on collating evidence to present to Ghana’s Supreme Court to prove voting irregularities in the presidential poll.

Following their statement, the party’s headquarters were raided by riot police on Tuesday night.

A party official who spoke on condition of anonymity said some 60 police officers came into the headquarters without a warrant claiming they were looking for arms. No arms were found, but the riot police took with them some of the evidence that had been collected.

The party official said that this had set a precedent and they were anticipating similar moves from the security services.

However, the police later released a statement denying the raid at the NPP premises, saying they had carried out the search in the vicinity of the opposition party’s office.

NPP Party Chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey confirmed the raid.

For now, the NPP are keeping their cards close to their chests, and are avoiding the disclosure of what exact evidence of irregularities they have managed to find.

Although the party has until the end of December to go to court, it is expected the move could be made as early as next week.

Meanwhile, international observers including the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union have declared that the election was free and fair, despite irregularities across the country.

One such incident includes the case of NPP MP elect Adwoa Sarfo for Dome Kwabenya who, despite winning her seat, demanded a recount. It was then found that an unconfirmed number of her votes had not been allocated to her.

“We should be honest with the international community as to what kind of country Ghana is,” another NPP party official said. “Are we a democracy or a dictatorship?”

On Saturday evening, a crowd of impassioned NPP supporters had assembled outside an office building in Dzorwulu, the base of an Israeli company said to be transmitting the results.

Electoral Commission (EC) head Kwadwo Afari-Gyan said in an official statement that he did not contract the company, STL, or any other to undertake the transmission of results.

However, a source close to the EC said that this was not true and that there was indeed a contract.

If the NPP does decide to go to court, any presiding judge will have a lot to chew over. This will surely be a test for Ghana as the country proves that it is indeed the beacon of democracy it is heralded as.

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