The importance of serial numbers as a security feature became a bone of contention between lead Counsel for the third respondent, Tsatsu Tsikata and the petitioner’s witness, Dr. Mahammudu Bawumia.

Tsatsu Tsikata in his cross examination sought to down play the importance of the serial numbers on the pink sheet. He said even if they were important, the petitioners and their agents were part of the printing of the pink sheets and had all the opportunity to ensure that the correct the serial numbers have been printed.

On voting day, Tsikata argued further that polling agents for the petitioners checked the serial numbers assigned to each polling stations and for which reason they cannot be crying foul over a development they have been part of all the way through.

“Are you aware the list of serial numbers to polling stations was one of the first things they [polling agents] checked”, he questioned.

He argued however that serial numbers on pink sheets are not security features, saying political parties rather put premium on the serial numbers on the ballot papers and not on the pink sheets.

Bawumia disagreed with the assertion by the counsel for the third respondent. He said the duplicate number was the vehicle used to perpetrate so many of the irregularities.

“For the ballot papers serial numbers and polling stations code are all done by hand. The only number that comes embossed on the [pink sheet] is the serial number. It is the feature just as you have for cheques or passports. The serial number is a security feature and if you breach that, you compromise the elections”, he explained.

He said the serial number is not for “decoration” on the pink sheet and that the Electoral Commission (EC) paid “good money” to go through tender in order to uniquely attach a serial number to a polling station code or name.

There were additional and duplicate serial numbers, Tsatsu countered. Therefore “it cannot be unique” to attach one serial number to a polling station.