– 2016 Elections
…PNC, Chuck Wayo Demand Probe Into Possible Rigging
The People’s National Convention (PNC), one of four political parties, which fielded candidates to the 2016 Presidential election, will soon act on intent to formally address the elephant in the room.
The party will demand a probe of a hack into the electronic transmission system of the Electoral Commission in the heat of the poll that elected President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) into office.
“There must be proper accountability; we must investigate to find out how is it that the Electoral Commission reported hacking into their IT system and if it is indeed true that it was hacked what is it that we can do to prevent future occurrences and whether the so- called hacking influenced the outcome of the election. These are questions that naturally all political parties should want to ask,” Bernard Mornah, Chairman of the PNC, told The Republic in an interview last Friday.
He said the reason the PNC has not formally demanded a probe, seven months after the election is that the party has been beset by internal issues that it is working to settle first before a number of national issues can be spoken to.
The hack into the EC’s database and the need for a probe, he said, is one of the issues that the PNC is aiming to pick up immediately it finishes putting its house in order.
The PNC Chairman’s revelation is a first harp on a question that has begged for answers for some seven months but has been totally ignored by both the government and Ghana’s media.
In the heat of the collation and transmission of results from regional offices of the Electoral Commission to Headquarters in Accra in 2016, Chairperson of the Commission, Mrs. Charlotte Osei, had organized a surprise press conference and announced that the EC’s electronic vote transmission system had been hacked into.
“Unfortunately, we’ve had challenges with our electronic results system. We had reason to believe the system had been compromised and we advised our returning officers at the collating centres to stop using it and revert solely to the manual process,” Mrs. Osei had said in the evening of December 8, last year.
Crucially, the hack into the transmission of collated results means that the final vote figures may have been compromised.
The incident has since left doubts on the genuineness of the surprise victory that brought President Akufo-Addo to power with over 900,000 vote difference in an election that was supposed to be neck-to-neck with the NDC’s John Mahama.
Seven months down the line, the government has refused to investigate the crime, even as a conspiracy of quietude on the matter has included silence from the media, civil society, moral society and the political parties themselves.
The refusal to address the elephant in the room for seven whole months has been in spite of the fact that Ghana has been exampled by the United States where President Donald Trump is facing a probe into similar possible conspiracy with Russia to hack into the US electoral system to the advantage of Mr. Trump.
On August 3, US Justice Department Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, issued grand jury subpoenas to eight people related to Donald Trump Jr.’s 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer at the Trump Tower.
The meeting is suspected to be a telltale that Russia had interfered in the US election.
As the noose tightens around the leader of the free world, however, the media in Ghana has left President Akufo-Addo unperturbed as the man sits cool like a cucumber and demonstrates no interest, whatsoever, in investigating the hack.
Over the weekend, suppressed Ghanaian suspicion that the ruling NPP had been behind the hack into the EC’s database was stirred up when President Akufo-Addo’s 2016 Campaign Manager was denied entry into Kenya to observe elections in that country.
Peter MacManu is said to have been deported immediately he landed in Kenya on suspicion that he had gone there to help the opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) to rig the election.
There has not been official explanation from the Kenyan government, but it has since emerged that a second Ghanaian that had been deported along with Mr. Mac Manu is Mr.
Joe Anokye, head of Ghana’s National Communications Authority (NCA).
During the 2016 elections, Mr. Anokye had worked together with Mr. MacManu, who as President Akufo-Addo’s Campaign Manager, had deployed an unprecedented number of some seven laptops per constituency for the elections.
A subsequent report by the EC that its electronic transmission system had been hacked into has since created suspicion that Mr. MacManu’s extensive deployment of computers may not be unconnected to the hack.
Mr. Anokye, who formerly worked with the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration, had his ICT skill set used extensively by Mr. MacManu in that extensive leveraging of ICT.
People who suspect the NPP of the hack into the EC’s database also suspect that Mr. Anokye and his bag of tricks from NASA was the wizardry behind that alleged electoral fraud that brought Akufo-Addo to power.
President Akufo-Addo has since appointed Mr. Anokye as Director General of the National Communications Authority in what is seen as reward for his efforts during the elections.
As the suspicion that Mr. MacManu had acted together with Mr. Anokye to rig the 2016 elections for President Akufo-Addo in Ghana hangs, the emergence of news that he had been a second Ghanaian, in addition to MacManu, that had been prevented from entering Kenya on suspicion of a rigging agenda, has invigorated the suspicions that he acted nefariously in Ghana’s 2016 elections.
The suspicion is further nourished by the fact that in the buildup to the 2016 elections, a group of South African retired security officials that the NPP had smuggled into the country to, supposedly, train party security agents had been caught with details of the operations of Superlock Technologies Limited (STL).
STL is the company that the EC had engaged to transmit electronic vote results in 2012. In the 2016 election, the EC had given the contract to do the transmission to telecommunications companies.
Meanwhile, Mr. ‘Chuck’ Kofi Wayo, founder of the defunct United Renaissance Party, yesterday made a clarion call on the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) to probe the 2016 hacking of the EC’s database.
In an interview, Mr. Wayo said he was not only suspicious of the ruling NPP, but the opposition NDC, as well, and that a thorough probe is important to ensure that the EC’s neutrality is secure in future.
“The BNI has a responsibility to investigate the issue and let Ghanaians know who the criminals behind the hacking are,” Mr. Wayo said.
He added that without an investigation to resolve the issue, the EC and its biometric voting system will continue to be under a cloud of suspicion.