Soldier, 25, slaughtered in the street by Muslim fanatics who was a ‘loving father to two-year-old son’
The murdered soldier who was executed close to a military barracks by two Islamist fanatics was today named as Lee Rigby.
Police were this afternoon guarding the 25-year-old serviceman’s home in Middleton, Greater Manchester.
He was described as a ‘loving father’ to his son Jack, two.
Drummer Lee Rigby was just starting his Army career and had recently fought in Afghanistan with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
But as he walked towards the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, south-east London yesterday afternoon, he was run down by a car on the pavement and hacked to death.
Drummer Rigby was known to his comrades as ‘Riggers’, who said he was a ‘popular’ and ‘very bubbly character’.
He was ‘one of the battalion’s great characters, always smiling’, friends said today.
Announcing his death The Ministry of Defence said in a statement: ‘Drummer Lee Rigby, or âRiggersâ to his friends, was born in July 1987 in Crumpsall, Manchester.
‘He joined the Army in 2006 and on successful completion of his infantry training course at Infantry Training Centre Catterick he was selected to be a member of the Corps of Drums and posted to 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
‘His first posting was as a machine gunner in Cyprus where the Battalion was serving as the resident Infantry Battalion in Dhekelia. Having performed a plethora of tasks while in Cyprus, he returned to the UK in the early part of 2008 to Hounslow, West London. Here, Drummer Rigby stood proudly outside the Royal Palaces as part of the Battalionâs public duties commitment. He was an integral member of the Corps of Drums throughout the Battalionâs time on public duties, the highlight of which was being a part of the Household Divisionâs Beating the Retreat â a real honour for a line infantry
‘In April 2009 Drummer Rigby deployed on Operations for the first time to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, where he served as a member of the Fire Support Group in Patrol Base Woqab.
‘On returning to the UK he completed a second tour of public duties and then moved with the Battalion to Celle, Germany, to be held at a state of high readiness for contingency operations as part of the Small Scale Contingency Battle Group. In 2011 Drummer Rigby took up a Recruiting post in London where he also assisted with duties at Regimental Headquarters in the Tower of London.
‘An extremely popular and witty soldier, Drummer Rigby was a larger than life personality within the Corps of Drums and was well known, liked and respected across the Second Fusiliers. He was a passionate and life-long Manchester United fan.
‘A loving father to his son Jack, aged 2 years, he will be sorely missed by all who knew him. The regimentâs thoughts and prayers are with his family during this extremely difficult time. âOnce a Fusilier, always a Fusilier.â’
Lieutenant Colonel Jim Taylor MBE, Second Fusiliers Commanding Officer, described Drummer Rigby as a âdedicated and professional soldierâ who was a âreal character within the Second Fusiliersâ.
He added: âLarger than life, he was at the heart of our Corps of Drums.Â An experienced and talented side drummer and machine gunner, he was a true warrior and served with distinction in Afghanistan, Germany and Cyprus.
âHis ability, talent and personality made him a natural choice to work in the recruiting group.Â He will be sorely missed by everyone in the Second Fusiliers.â
Captain Alan Williamson, Drummer Rigbyâs Platoon Commander from 2010 to 2011, added that he was âa cheeky and humorous man, always there with a joke to brighten the moodâ.
Cpt Williamson said: âAn excellent side drummer and highly competent machine gunner, he was always there to help out the younger members of the Fire Support Group whenever possible.
And Warrant Officer Class 1 Ned Miller, Regimental Sergeant Major Second Fusiliers, said:Â âRiggers is what every Battalion needs. He was one of the Battalionâs great characters, always smiling.â
Vicar Guy Jamieson, who married Drummer Rigby in 2007 to the wife whom he was separated from, at St Anne-in-the-Grove Church in Southowram, West Yorkshire, said it was an âabsolute tragedyâ.
He said: ‘When the news first came through yesterday I felt sickened. It’s abhorrent. We hear a lot about military tragedies overseas but the fact that it was in the street in a city makes it more horrific.
‘I remember his wedding well. He had already spoken to the chaplain at Catterick (Garrison) and came to me well prepared with lots of questions. The wedding day was wonderful.
âBecause it was a military wedding it requires a lot of preparation. I remember sitting next to Lee on the front pew before everything started and reminding him what his first words to say were.â
Military wives, police and members of the public were laying bouquets of flowers near the scene in honour of the murder victim today.
One note left said simply: ‘So sorry. Our thoughts are with your family, friends and comrades.’
The Prophet T.B. Joshua anointing water, the source of last Sundayâs stampede and death of four persons, will not be available for distribution until further notice.
The order was relayed to DAILY GUIDE yesterday by a representative of the Prophet in Accra, Samuel Excellence, during an interview.
âThere are a lot of speculations going around but I must say that the church is not in any way proud of what happened. When the Prophet reviews his decision on the anointing water, any ministry or pastor in Ghana for that matter can request for it and it will be delivered to them. We believe that that will decentralise the distribution of the anointing water and reduce the crowd that comes to our church service,â he said.
He was speaking to DAILY GUIDE when a delegation from the Man of God visited the bereaved families in Accra yesterday.
An undisclosed amount of money was presented on behalf of T.B. Joshua to the various families towards the funerals of their loved ones.
âIt is a tragic moment for us all, especially for the man of God. He sent us here to let you know that your pain is his pain and you loss is his loss as well. As we mourn, bear in mind that all is not lost,â Samuel Excellence, who is currently the acting Public Relations Officer of the church in Ghana, told the bereaved families.
He asked the families to inform the church about any plans pertaining to the funeral arrangement since âthe prophet wants to be part of the entire process fully.â
Prophet T.B. Joshua, Founder and General Overseer of the Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) dispatched the seven-member delegation to offer their sympathies and render condolences to the families of the four persons who lost their lives in last Sundayâs stampede.
The delegation officially delivered T.B. Joshuaâs words of condolence to the affected families, assuring them of the prophetâs willingness to support them through âthese difficult timesâ.
The deceased persons, Mike Teye, Esther Adabazie, Emmanuel Thompson Addo and John Brenoo, met their untimely death on May 19, when thousands of persons struggled for a brand new version of Prophet Temitope Balogun (TB) Joshuaâs anointing water.
Â By Nii Ogbamey Tetteh
Officers of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service yesterday stopped the marriage between a 13-year-old girl and a man almost twice her age.
The young teenager said she agreed to the marriage to save her parents from shame.
The four-day-old marriage was brought to an abrupt end after family members alleged to have been involved in the arrangement, were arrested.
The police picked up five persons when they visited the family house where the young girl was forced to marry the man after her 18-year-old sister, who was to marry the man, absconded on the day of the wedding.
Those arrested included the 25-year-old husband who was said to be a returnee from Libya, and his 13- year-old âwifeâ.
The rest were the father and mother of the girl who forced the underage girl into the marriage that took place last Sunday at Ablekuma, a suburb of Accra, and the runaway elder sister.
Police sources at the DOVVSU confirmed that the family members had been invited by the police to assist with investigations since they were all involved in the marriage ceremony.
A Joy FM reporter, Fred Smith, who was the complainant, went with the police officers to the family house at Block Factory, Ablekuma, in the Ga Central District.
It would be recalled that DAILY GUIDE reported in its Tuesday May 21, edition that a 13-year-old Junior High School (JHS) form one pupil had been forced to marry her elder sisterâs boyfriend.
The groom, Mustapha Mohammed, 25, was a Ghanaian domiciled in Libya, who had returned to the country to marry his lover when his bride disappeared a few hours to the wedding.
After waiting for hours with no sign of the bride showing up, the 13-year-old girl opted to take the place of her sister and married Mustapha to save her family from shame.
While guests at the wedding ceremony were surprised, the incident left residents talking about the bizarre situation.
After the ceremony, the young girl spent the night with the husband in the same room and was also not able to go to school on Monday.
The young girl told Joy News which broke the story: âI donât want my mother and my father to cryâ.
She criticized her elder sisterâs action, saying, âWhat my sister did was not goodâŚShe ran awayâ. She said she did not know why the sister did that, and she married the man to save her parents from shame.
Information gathered by DAILY GUIDE indicated that the groom had been in a relationship with the 18-year-old sister of the girl for some time now and decided to marry her last weekend.
It was therefore unclear what might have been the cause of her sudden disappearance and the decision by her sister to take her place. However, sources said her sister decided to marry the groom to prevent the family from being humiliated by the action of the older sister.
The husband, Mustapha Mohammed, narrated to Joy News the near disgrace the girlâs sister caused both families by absconding on the very day they had agreed to marry, and at a time when elders from both families had gathered and were ready for the ceremony to commence.
He explained that after a long search without success, and to avoid any embarrassment to either side, he agreed to marry the 13-year-old girl after he was prevailed upon to do so.
The man told Joy News he intended leaving the country after about a week to Libya, to enable the girl to further her education.
By Emelia Ennin Abbey
There was objection galore at the ongoing landmark Presidential Election Petition, when the principal witness, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, was re-examined at the Supreme Court yesterday.
Almost every question posed by the petitionersâ lead counsel, Phillip Addison, was characterised by concerted objections from all the counsels for the three respondents namely, Tony Lithur (for President John Dramani Mahama), James Quarshie-Idun (Electoral Commission) and Tsatsu Tsikata (National Democratic Congress).
As a result, the nine-member panel, chaired by Justice William Atuguba, had to spend considerable length of time before either overruling or sustaining the objections on each occasion.
The re-examination of Dr. Bawumia became possible following the announcement by Mr. Tsikata that he had brought his cross-examination to an end after 13 days of grilling the witness but had indicated that he would conclude finally subject to the report to be submitted by KPMG, a reputable international accounting firm that has been chosen to count the number of pink sheets attached as exhibits by the petitioners.
Following the objections, Dr. Bawumia, who normally spoke for hours in previous proceedings, was virtually on holiday yesterday as most of the questions he was supposed to answer were truncated by the objections from the respondentsâ counsels.
It was Tony Lithur who fired the first salvo when he objected to Mr. Addisonâs question on further and better particulars that Dr. Bawumia had been referring to during cross-examination in respect of particulars and pinks sheets covering 11,842 polling stations with their specific categories of violations, malpractices and irregularities.
Just as Dr. Bawumia said, âYes, my lords, I have the further and better particularsâ, Mr. Lithur objected vehemently.
Mr. Lithur: Objection! There is no ambiguity here, the questions were answered directly and clearly…in our cross-examination, the scope is very clear, it canât be used as an opportunity to lead evidence in chiefâŚ. (Counsel for the third respondent Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata also rose to object to the question)
Mr. Tsikata supported Mr. Lithur saying âthe further and better particulars are part of the pleadings in this proceeding and there is really no basis on which some document claimed to be further and better particulars by the witness can be put in at this point in time. The further and better particulars were filed in the pleadings and we have copies of what was filed, I believe your lordships have copies of what was filed.â
Mr. Quarshie-Idun: My lords, I also object to the line of questioning on the same grounds stated by my learned friends.
Counsel: My lords, the witness was accused of misleading the court, and that the further and better particulars did not contain the information that he says it contains. That is a matter that goes to the credibility of the witness, and we are entitled in re-examination to raise that issue and vindicate the credibility of the witness. The further and better particulars is a document that has been supplied to all the respondents and, therefore, it is not a document that will take any of them by surprise. They have asked questions on it; they have denied certain information that is in itâŚMy lords, there are quite a number of authorities on the point and because I foresee my learned friends getting up every now and again to object, maybe I should refer your lordships to the authorities we have so that a ruling is made to clarify the issue (He referred the court to several precedents including the case of NDK Financial Services versus Arnold Agyei, Richard Agyei, Benjamin Agyei and Sophia Mensah. Mr. Lithur cuts inâŚ.)
Mr. Lithur: I suppose when it comes to that we are covered by our legislation, resort to Common Law decisions are quite irrelevant and the relevant position as contained in the Evidence Act, 1975 (He reads the relevant portions)âŚClearly, re-examination as of right only arises when itâs a new matter contrary to the authorities that my learned friend has readâŚ.It is an amazing suggestion indeed that what is considered as pleading is being sought to be tendered. I think itâs completely inappropriate.
Mr. Quarshie-Idun: My lords, I would also just briefly add that this is a matter on which we have earlier pleaded that we have not received the full complement of the 11,000 odd exhibits, my lords. As far back as 27th of February, in paragraph 18 of our second amended answer, this pleading was made, so it is not a matter that first came up in cross-examination.
Mr. Tsikata: I may also just add that the pleading in respect to the further and better particulars that were ordered by your lordships were responded to in terms that were documented before the court and those documents before the court, need no further tendering in evidence, they are already part of the record of this court.
Counsel: If itâs part of the record, I âm wondering why my learned friends are opposing it. Again, counsel for second respondent indicated what we were saying. He says that the further and better particulars do not contain all the information that we are asserting it contains. We think it is a matter that should be tendered before this court to have a look at it and see whether whatever we are saying is true or notâŚ.(Judges conferred and the objection was sustained, but counsel rose to ask the court to furnish him with the reasons for sustaining the objection to serve as a guide).
Justice Atuguba: There is a number of reasons, but I will just give one: The pleadings are already part of the records and their tender in evidence is out of place.
As a result, Mr. Addison reframed his question asking: âDr. Bawumia, during cross-examination, you told the court that you were no longer relying on the 11,842 polling stations, and that you have deleted from that list 704 polling stations, now all attempts by you to give a list of these 704 polling stations were resisted by counsel for respondents, now do you have a list with you?â to which Dr. Bawumia responded, âYes, my lords.â
Mr. Lithur again raised objectionâŚ
Mr. Lithur: Objection! The witness was very clear about the time when he was testifying where he has deleted polling stations that he did not require for this case and that evidence was given under examination-in-chief. In fact, during the examination-in-chief, he was permitted to tender a revised analysis based on the polling stations that he said he had deleted and pursuant to that, he delivered to this court as exhibit, a list of polling stations that they said they were no longer going to rely on. This was when he was leading evidence. My lords, if the witness had this material before the commencement of trial, he ought to have-during the time he was giving his evidence-in-chief-, given that to the court. Being confronted in cross-examination with materials that he has supplied which shows numerous duplications, what they are trying to do is to clean up the table. I think that is not part of the scope of re-examination. The opportunity was there when he was testifying. This is not a matter that they can use re-examination to reintroduceâŚ. (Mr. Tsikata also rose to support a similar view expressed by his colleague, Mr. Quarshie-Idun was also in full support)
Counsel: My lords, we are seeking to tender this document with leave of the court. The respondents have had every opportunity to cross-examine the witness on 11, 842 and therefore it includes those that he is relying on and those he says he is not relying on. Now this list would assist the court in ascertaining the case of the petitioners, which has narrowed it down from 11,842 to 11,138(He referred the court to the proceedings of April 24, 2013 where the judges agreed that furnishing them with a list of the deleted polling stations would be useful to the court)âŚ.I think this is the appropriate time to tender the list of 704 polling station that the petitioners say they are no longer relying on. (Mr. Tsikata protested, saying that if a new list was tendered, then he would be forced to cross-examine on that list.)
Counsel: It is not a new list. It is contained in the 11,842 polling stations. They have had the opportunity to cross-examine the witness on these polling stations. We are assisting the court by providing this list of 704 polling stations which the witness says he is no longer relying on. Several times, reference was made by the witness during cross-examination. He was not given the opportunity to tender it and now is the time to tender it with the leave of the court. As I have already pointed out, your lordships thought that it would be useful to have itâŚ. (Judges conferred again; Justice Atuguba read the ruling)
Justice Atuguba: 7 to 2, Akoto-Bamfo and Gbadegbe dissenting, objection is over-ruled.
The petitioners then sought to tender the CD Rom which they said contained exhibits in electronic form of the 704 polling stations that they said they were no longer relying on in their analysis.
The respondents, again objected arguing that the court already have enough exhibits to decide the matter but Mr. Addison parried the objections saying the CD-ROMs were to ease the evaluation.
Justice Atuguba later sustained the objection so the CD Rom was not tendered.
6,823 Polling Stations
Counsel: Dr. Bawumia, during cross-examination, counsel for third respondent suggested to you that your duplicate serial numbers category-the exhibit P series-, involve half of the 6,823 polling stations and that you have double counted and padded this category of polling stations and pink sheets, simply to mislead the court and increase the number of polling stations in order to shore up your claim. He asked you to provide a list of counterpart duplicate serial numbers, of which you did and which was used in cross-examination, but which, however, counsel refused to tender. Do you have the list with you?
Witness: Yes, my lords, I have the list.
Counsel: Now what would you like to do with the list?
Witness: I would like to tender it if it pleases the court.
This time around the respondentsâ counsel did not raise any objection except for Mr. Lithur to say: âI am making some reservations about the list,â and for Mr. Tsikata to say there were âtyposâ that needed to be corrected.
The court then overruled Mr. Lithurâs objection regarding the âcategories sessionâ on the list which he identified when he expressed the âreservationâ and ordered the typos to be rectified.
Mr. Addison then asked Dr. Bawumia to address the accusation by Mr. Tsikata that the petitioners deliberately selected violations, irregularities and malpractices from polling stations in the strongholds of President Mahama but just as the witness answered, Mr. Lithur objected again.
The First respondentâs counsel argued that when the question was posed during cross-examination, Dr. Bawumia denied it categorically and that there was no ambiguity which needed re-examination.
Mr. Addison pointed out that the respondents were attacking the credibility of the witness and also bad faith had been raised by Mr. Tsikata and Dr. Bawumia needed to clear the air once and for all.
The court in a 6-3 majority decision with Justices Julius Ansah, Rose Owusu and Annin-Yeboah dissenting, sustained the objection.
Mr. Addison again asked Dr. Bawumia to explain to the court the methodology used in concluding his analysis since during cross-examination the witness had been attacked by the respondents for padding pink sheets to make up the numbers.
Mr. Lithur objected saying that it was a matter for examination-in-chief which the petitioners failed to do and were seeking to introduce it at re-examination stage while Mr. Tsikata said âthe courtâs function cannot be seized. Issues of methodology are completely irrelevant.â
Mr. Quarshie-Idun, for his part, said âthis is not a matter for re-examination but a matter for addresses,â but Mr. Addison replied that padding of pink sheets was raised in cross-examination and did not come up during examination-in-chief.
âHe has been called dishonest when he insisted there was no double-counting. This is the opportunity to clear the air,â Mr. Addison argued.
The court, in a 5-4 majority with Justices Jones Dotse, Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, Annin-Yeboah and Sulley Gbadegbe dissenting, sustained the objection.
In the latter stages of the proceedings, there was a near clash between the bench and Mr. Addison when he said the court was compelling him to âtruncateâ his re-examination.
The court had unanimously ruled that a document Mr. Addison sought to tender in respect of re-categorisation of some of the exhibits could not be tendered and was subsequently marked as âRejectedâ.
However, Mr. Addison was of the opinion that once the court had earlier in a 5-4 majority overruled the respondentsâ counsels objection to the re-examining of the re-categorisation of some of the exhibits that the witness said were mislabelling during cross-examination, he was seeking leave of the court to get the right document to tender in evidence.
Justices Atuguba, Sophia Adinyira, Sulley Gbadegbe and Vida Akoto-Bamfo dissented.
The court later unanimously sustained an objection to the tendering of the document in respect of re-categorisation of some of the exhibits because it said the document bore no exhibit number and respondentsâ counsels had been able to convince the court that allowing the document to go in would mean an introduction of evidence through the back door.
Counsel: My lords, this issue has been ruled on by the court. It will amount to re-arguing the same old point. We talk of re-categorisation; this is a list which shows the new category and the old category, the region, the constituency, the polling station, polling station code and serial number. I donât know what else they want to be there. We say that we are showing the re-categorisation and that is exactly what has been done in this document. We have argued at length on this, your lordships have gone in, you come back; youâve ruled on it, you are still taking up objections to it, it would be endless.
Mr. Lithur: My lords, itâs the exhibit number that are re-categorised, there is no exhibit numberâŚ
Justice Rose-Owusu: Mr. Addison, I thought your question was which polling stations that are affected by your re-categorisation, so it is not the whole of the pink sheets that they are talking about. So as he is saying, at least you must indicate exhibit and the polling stations which have been moved from one category to another.
Counsel: My lords, that is what is shows; that is what it doesâŚ.(Judges confer again) This is our document and we wish to tender it through the witness and we have indicated the categorisation, we canât maintain the old exhibit numbers because the category has changed and this is what we have indicated on thisâŚ.My lords, if the court would like us to put the old exhibit number on them, we would do thatâŚ(Mr. Quarshie-Idun, agreed with the suggestion for exhibits to be affixed with exhibit numbers. Mr. Lithur drew attention to the fact that the situation has implication on peopleâs votes, judges consulted and eventually, Justice Atuguba read the ruling)
Justice Atuguba: By unanimous decision, the objection is sustained.
Counsel: My lords, so what does that mean, we have to provide the exhibit numbers?
Justice Atuguba: When an exhibit is tendered and rejected or rejected, it has to be marked âtenderedâ and ârejectedâ.
Counsel: My lords, we made the offer to put in the exhibitsâŚ
Justice Atuguba: That oneâŚ (laughs and counsel interrupts)
Counsel: This court has ruled that we can ask these questions [about the re-categorised list]Â and if there is any dissatisfaction with the manner in which it has been done, it can be corrected because this would amount to over-ruling your earlier ruling which gave us the right.
Justice Atuguba: Not at all, we allowed you to follow suit properly and you didnât follow properly so that is it.
Counsel: But, my lords, we are talking of substantial justice here; this court has said that we can give evidence on the re-categorisation and there is an issue about exhibit numbers. We are praying that the court gives us leave so that tomorrow, we would bring another list with the exhibit numbers. This is in the interest of justice.
Mr. Tsikata: My lords, counsel for petitioners had the opportunity to tender, we raised an objection, it has been sustained. He had indicated before lunch that he will end his re-examination. My lords, we are not in the world of Houdini, I do not think that we should entertain this shuffling of things without any specific references and thatâs what your lordships have ruled.
Counsel: My lords, we are seeking to come back tomorrow first thing in the morning to tender in the document with the exhibit numbers. As regards the re-categorisation, this court has ruled, and has ruled that we can give evidence on thatâŚ.
Justice Atuguba: Apart from this, do you have any further questions in your re-examination?
Counsel: My lords, subject to this [re-tendering the re-categorisation exhibits], we would end our re-examinationâŚ.
Justice Atuguba: In these circumstances, because the matter has been ruled upon, that ends the proceedings of re-examination.
Counsel: No, my lords, thatâs not the end of the re-examinationâŚ
Justice Atuguba: But you said subject toâŚ
Counsel: Well, my lords, there was a ruling in this court allowing us to lead evidence on the re-categorisation. As it is now, through the back door, we have been denied that right. The same right given to us has been taken away and therefore, we cannot say that we have ended re-examinationâŚ
Justice Atuguba: Well, our view is that this is ended because your last question was about this tendering and the ruling on it closes the matter. You said subject to tendering the document, which we have ruled on. So for us, we have closed the matter.
Counsel: My lords, in view of the present ruling, we think that it is only fair that we are allowed, in the interest of justice, to carry on with our re-examination; unless of course the court is curtailing our right to re-examination.Â Are we to take it that our re-examination has been curtailed by the court?
Justice Atuguba: Mr. Addison, we have ruled that following our understanding of what you did. You said you have just one question.
Counsel: No, I didnât say I have one last question, I said subject to the ruling of the courtâŚ
Justice Atuguba: Yes, and the ruling of the court âŚ(Addison interrupts)
Counsel: The court ruled in our favour and somehow through the backdoor, that ruling has been negatedâŚ.
Justice Atuguba: What rulingâŚ
Counsel: In that ruling, the court gave us the right to go on with leading evidence in the re-categorisation and somehow, itâs been negated.
Justice Atuguba: Look, I think that we have tried to be tolerant, but we cannot take dictation from the barâŚ.
Counsel: My lords, we are not dictating to the bench, we are asking for leave from the court. If this document has been refused to go in, we would like to lead evidence on the issue of the re-categorisation because the document that we are going to tender in support of our case has been refused now, thatâs all we are asking for. We are not dictating to the benchâŚ.
Justice Atuguba: (On top of his voice) Mr. Addison, we have ruled, we heard all that you said and we have explained to you that if you had retreated, we would have probably considered that, but you did notâŚ.
Counsel: So the court is curtailing our re-examination?
Justice Atuguba: We have not curtailed, we have gone according to your undertakingâŚ
By William Yaw Owusu & Raphael Ofori-Adeniran
The witness for the first respondent in the on-going election petition, Johnson Asiedu Nketia on his first day in the witness box insisted that no over-voting occurred in the 2012 general elections.
The petitioners in the case are challenging the results of the 2012 Presidential elections because according to them, it was riddled with over-voting which saw the Presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) President John Mahama [First respondent] emerge the winner.
The star witness of the petitioners, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia who doubles as the second petitioner during his cross examination consistently stated that over-voting was recorded in a lot of polling centers across the country.
But taking his turn in the witness box, Mr. Nketia explained that he has been involved in Ghanaâs electoral process since 1978 and âI havenât seen evidence of voters voting without verificationâŚI disagree with the petitioners if they say there was over-voting. I donât know which figures they are referring to.â
âAs the General Secretary of the NDC, âI participated in all the meetings that led to the recruitment of our agents. I participated in the recruitment and grooming of our polling agent.â
Narrating the activities which took place before the elections, Mr. Nketia said: âAll participating parties were involved in the printing of the ballot papers and the numbers of printing houses are known to all parties. Before printing, the EC [Electoral Commission] calls for a meeting, give the time and venue to allow all members to be present during printing and there was a 24hr monitoring of the printing.â
He outlined the duties and responsibilities of polling agents during elections saying, âagents are made to understand their role at the polling station. They are made to check impersonation. They are also made to check the tally of votes our candidates get in the polling as against the votes gained by other parties.
They outline the sorting of ballot boxes, this is to ensure that every vote is protected. They are trained to detect fake ballot papers and they are made to study and know the total number of voters. They are trained to observe the sorting and detect any deformation to the ballot paper. Before voting commences a record is taken of the serial numbers.â
Thus according to him, could not have resulted in any over-voting in the December 7 polls.
He also accused the petitioners of constantly changing their claims throughout court proceedings such as categorization of their evidence, the number of affected polling stations and pink sheets.
A HEROINE strokes a young soldier lying dead in the road yesterday as a cleaver-wielding jihadist who tried to behead him crows: âWe swear by almighty Allah!â
The appalling scene â as two maniacs plumbed depths of barbarity that chilled the nation â was captured at 2.20pm on a London street.
The fanaticsâ victim â in a Help for Heroes top â was walking on a pavement when the pair screeched round the corner in a car and mowed him down.
Moments later â armed with a gun, knives and a cleaver â they clambered from the wreck of their blue Vauxhall Tigra, which had ploughed into a road sign.
The beasts, who struck yards from a primary school, then launched into a frenzy of bloodlust as the soldier in his early 20s lay helpless â mercilessly stabbing and hacking at him.
Brave cub pack leader Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, 48 â the blonde standing yards from one bloodied killer in our photo â battled to talk him out of slaughtering others.
Witnesses told how just moments earlier the terroristsâ victim had been practically âdecapitatedâ.
Van loader Joe Tallant, 20, said: âThere were two black guys walking around his body, saying, âThis is what God wouldâve wantedâ.â Horrified passers-by saw the pair finally drag his body into the middle of the road in triumph.
Ingrid jumped off a passing bus to try to save the soldier â rushing to check his pulse with the woman pictured on the ground with him.
The butchers made no attempt to flee â instead proudly strutting around as they waited for gun cops.
The ranting pair, who paused to film themselves as they hacked at their victim, used the 20 minutes it took for armed officers to arrive to demand witnesses also capture their savagery on mobile phones.
One, clad in black and his hands soaked in blood as he clutched a cleaver and a knife – today identified as Michael Adebolajo – boasted: âIt is an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth â by Allah.â
In surreal mobile phone footage taken before anti-terror cops swooped, unsuspecting pedestrians â including women carrying shopping â pass the scene of horror, some oblivious to the slaughter outside Woolwich Barracks in South East London.
Traffic there ground to a halt, with buses and lorries pulling over, as armed cops finally reached the scene.
One of the terrorists â both thought to be al-Qaeda-inspired âlone wolvesâ â rushed towards a silver BMW armed response car as his pal raised his pistol.
Two cops â one a policewoman â immediately opened fire. Both the fanatics fell wounded.
An air ambulance landed in the playground of Mulgrave Primary School â where kids were feared to have witnessed the outrage â to rush the most badly wounded of the madmen for surgery. Last night he was in a âserious conditionâ. The other was taken to a separate London hospital by road. His condition is not believed to be life-threatening.
Local resident Graham Wilders, 50 â whose nine-year-old son Steven is a pupil at the school â told how children were leaving as the bloodbath unfolded.
He rushed to warn them, yelling to teachers: âThereâs a gunman â get everybody inside.â Minutes earlier he had been driving home with his wife Julia when they saw the soldierâs body in the road.
Mum-of-four Julia, 51 said: âTwo black guys looked like they were trying to resuscitate a white guy on the floor.
âThen I saw they were using cleavers to hack him up.â Graham told how they went to take another look after parking up at their house. He said:
âWhen we walked back, one of the men pulled a handgun out from behind him.
âThere was a lorry and it looked like he was waving it at the driver.
âHe got out of his cab and legged it. It was absolutely terrifying.
âAll I could think about was that it was school home time and my son would be walking down here soon.
âI saw a load of kids come out the gates. I yelled at them to get back.
âThey closed the gates and kept everyone in. That was when I heard four shots. My wife saw the police shoot the guys.
âI canât believe this has happened. But it couldâve been so much worse. Those kids were just feet from the men with the gun.â
Head David Dixon, who saw the body in the road, said: âWe needed to go into our emergency procedures to make sure the children were as safe as possible.â
Another shaken witness said: âThe blood was everywhere â trickling down the road.â
The soldier was a Fusilier, sources said last night.
Woolwichâs MP Nick Raynsford said after speaking to commanders at the famous Royal Artillery barracks: âIt is my understanding this man was a serving soldier based at the barracks.
âHe had been on duty in central London and was making his way back to the barracks.â
His killers were thought to be British citizens of West African descent.
They were said to have yelled: âAllahu Akbarâ, meaning God is Great.
One radical Muslim who claimed to have grown up with one of the fanatics said he was known by a Muslim alias meaning: âHe who fights jihad.â
Abu Nusaybah said the Brit-born killer â raised as a Christian â embraced Islam in 2003.
But he added: âI didnât know the change was like this.â
Home Secretary Theresa May summoned an urgent meeting of the governmentâs emergency committee COBRA.
Army cadets due to meet at the barracks today were told not to arrive in uniform. Woolwich police commander Simon Letchford said patrols would be beefed up â adding: âI am asking people to remain calm.â
Help for Heroes branded the murder âsickeningâ â and said: âWe are desperately saddened.â
But firebrand Muslim preacher Anjem Choudary â an ex-pupil of Mulgrave Primary School â said: âThis incident is indicative of how the foreign policies of David Cameron and his predecessors are failing.â
Who is the angel of Woolwich? Woman’s bravery as she confronts killers to pray for slaughtered soldier
In the aftermath of the brutal murder of a soldier, three women’s actions stand out.
They selflessly confronted the killers and went to the aid of their victim, praying for him and preventing further carnage.
A witness said that he saw one woman in her fifties approach the men and ask to go to the soldier’s side.
Joe Tallant told the Daily Mirror: ‘She is a very religious woman. She saw everything and wanted to comfort the man. She just walked straight up to them with no fear
‘She put her hands on his chest and I think she prayed for him. The poor manâs head was beside her.’
Footage from ITV News shows the woman sat on the road next to the soldier’s body while another image shows her putting her hand on his back as she prays.
A second woman stands over her and appears to talk to one of the killers as he wanders around with bloodied weapons and hands.
Another woman begged to be allowed past in order to pray for the dead soldier while another, fearless mother-of-two Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, talked peacefully to the attackers.
The 48-year-old jumped off her bus when she saw the soldier’s body lying in the south-east London street, checked his pulse and then tried to talk to the men who hacked him to death.
One told her: ‘We want to start a war in London tonight’.
Information reaching Daily Guide indicates that the Ghana Commercial Bank Tower at Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra is on fire.
The course of the fire is yet to be ascertained.
More details soonâŚ
The Social Welfare Department has finally settled on a Swedish couple to adopt the conjoined twins born at the Cape Coast Metropolitan Hospital a fortnight ago.
This follows a formal agreement signed by the family of the conjoined twins on Wednesday to leave the children in the sole custody of government.Â
The mother of the babies, 16, and her family rejected them upon upon birht. The babies who share the same. heart have two stomachs, two hands and legs.
Joy Newsâ Richard Kojo Nyarko, reporting from the Central region indicated that the Swedish couple will be in Ghana soon to conclude the adoption processes and take full responsibility for the babies.
According to the Central regional head of the Social Welfare, Kate Abban, the family of the twins has surrendered every right they have to the children to government.Â
ââŚFortunately, weâve got somebody from Sweden who has shown interest in the children, she will come to Ghana for the necessary documents to be done and then she will send the children outside [Ghana],â Kate added.
The Social Welfare boss stressed that the children now have ânothing to do with [their family] again because they [the family] feel [the kids] will be a burden on them… so government has taken their burdenâŚâ
Renowned Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, who died in March, is due to be buried in his home town in Anambra state.
Mr Achebe’s body arrived back in Nigeria on Wednesday from the US. The author died in Boston at the age of 82 following a brief illness.
Relatives and officials were at Enugu airport in southern Nigeria as the coffin was lowered from the plane.
Mr Achebe is widely regarded as the founding father of African literature in English.
His 1958 debut novel, Things Fall Apart, which dealt with the impact of colonialism in Africa, has sold more than 10 million copies.
The writer and academic went on to write more than 20 works – some fiercely critical of politicians and what he described as a failure of leadership in Nigeria.
He had been living in the US since 1990 after a car crash left him partially paralysed and in a wheelchair, returning to Nigeria infrequently.
Cultural groups performed outside Enugu airport as the plane carrying Mr Achebe’s body arrived.
The BBC’s Will Ross in Enugu says that although people are mourning, the life of the influential Nigerian writer is also being celebrated.
Mr Achebe’s body is due to be buried near his family’s home in Ogidi, a small town in the hills of Anambra state, later on Thursday.