The Deputy National Youth Organiser of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Edem Agbana, has called on the Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin Yeboah, to withdraw his petition against Dr. Dominic Ayine.
According to him, the comment made by Dr. Ayine is not “injurious” and is harmless.
He insisted that the Bolgatanga East lawmaker only criticised the judiciary, which is permitted.
Speaking on Citi TV‘s Breakfast Daily programme on Thursday, June 10, 2021, Mr. Agbana urged the Chief Justice to withdraw the said petition.
“I think it’s important for us to note that across the world the judiciary is the most protected arm of government because of the nature of work that they do, but it is also important for them to know that there is a limit to which they exercise that power. We all know that when there is a case in court until the final determination is made, there is a limit to what you can say, but after the judgment is given, there is absolutely nothing wrong with critising it.”
“So there is nothing wrong with what Dr. Ayine said. I have listened to what he said several times since the issue came up. There was nothing injurious in what he said to the judiciary, and I don’t think the Chief Justice should be slighted by that, and he should withdraw the petition against him.”
In a letter written by Judicial Secretary to the General Legal Council, the Chief Justice, took issue with the views expressed by Dr. Ayine on the 2020 Election Petition Judgment on a CDD-Ghana platform.
The letter, addressed to the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council, accused Dr. Ayine of stating that “the Supreme Court’s failure to apply the rules of procedures as well as the consistent and continuous dismissal of the petitioners’ applications or reliefs were the basis of his assertion”.
‘Nothing wrong with criticizing judges constructively’ – Inusah Fuseini
On the same issue, a former Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, Inusah Fuseini, has defended Dominic Ayine.
According to Inusah Fuseini, who’s also a private legal practitioner, there is nothing wrong with criticising the judgment or the conduct of judges.
“There is no immunity from public criticism or the judgment or conduct of judges while sitting on cases, so judges must be aware that the spotlight will be shone on their activities whiles they are conducting cases, so I do not see anything particularly wrong with anybody criticising a judgment or the conduct of judges based on the inconsistency in the judgment or lack of a deeper understanding on the procedure or misapplication of the law and throughout the world, the judgment of judges has been subjected to such criticisms.”
Your petition against Ayine an attack on Parliament and free speech – Minority takes on CJ
The Minority in Parliament also wants the Chief Justice to reconsider his decision. According to the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, the action of the Chief Justice is in bad faith and an assault on free speech.
Addressing the press on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, Haruna Iddrisu indicated that the Chief Justice will set a bad precedent if the case is allowed to proceed.
The Minority Leader added that Dr. Ayine is duty-bound to speak to the public on matters of public interest and that is what he did.
He, therefore, described the petition from the Chief Justice as an attack on Parliament as an institution, and one that will deepen the “growing culture of silence” in the country.