Opposition MP Dominic Ayine has said he stands by a comment complained of by Chief Justice Anin Yeboah that the Supreme Court “failed to apply the rules of procedures” in the 2021 election petition and also “consistently and continuously dismissed” applications and reliefs of the petitioner in the course of the hearing.
The former Deputy Attorney General made the comment during a forum organised by CDD-Ghana.
Justice Anin Yeboah subsequently filed a petition with the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council, to bring Dr Ayine to order.
Dr Ayine, in a response, however, says he will not eat back those words.
“With all due respect to His Lordship, the Chief Justice, I wish to state that I stand by the opinion I expressed at the said roundtable”.
“I am firmly convinced that the opinion I expressed neither imperilled the independence of the judiciary nor did it cause any actual or potential harm to the reputation of the individual justices nor did it cause any actual or potential harm to the reputation of the individual justices who sat on the case.”
Dr Ayines 11-page response on Monday, 21 June 2021, coincides with a press conference addressed by his party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) hours earlier, at which the General Secretary, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, said the party stands with the MP against “a campaign of judicial tyranny being waged by the Chief Justice of the Republic against lawyers who identify with the NDC”.
The NDC noted that the latest persecution of Dr Ayine is part of a grand agenda by the current Chief Justice to intimidate, cower and muzzle all dissenting voices, particularly those in the party, who dare to speak against some of the strange decisions that characterised the 2020 Presidential Election Petition.
Mr Aseidu Nketiah said the party will not kowtow to any judicial tyranny in the country.
He said the CJ is attempting to intimidate and suppress views of members of the NDC.
To make his point, Mr Nketia said: “As you may be aware, only few months ago, some lawyers with NDC leanings, specifically Lawyer Abraham Amaliba and David Annan, were hauled to the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council by the Chief Justice in similar fashion and harassed for expressing their views on the Constitution of the Supreme Court Panel that heard the 2020 Election Petition.
“Also, not long ago, the Hon. Rockson-Nelson K. Etse Dafeamekpor, the NDC member of Parliament for South Dayi, received a similar invitation to appear before the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council.”
He noted that Dr Ayine’s views about the independence of the Judiciary are views he is entitled to in line with his freedom of expression guaranteed under the 1992 Constitution.
“He was courteous to the Court and kept his language temperate and decent. He stayed within the bounds of professionalism. He was neither scurrilous nor scandalous. For him to be accused by the Chief Justice of disparaging Ghana’s Judiciary over these tempered and justified comments, is not only bizarre and unfortunate, but speaks volumes about the Chief Justice,” Mr Nketiah added.
The NDC, he said, was concerned at the “seeming judicial dictatorship that is fast festering under the leadership of the current Chief Justice” describing it as “an unwelcome development which threatens free speech and could potentially undermine our justice system.”