Former Central Regional Minister, Kwamena Duncan, has taken a swipe at the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) over their press conference regarding a petition by the Chief Justice, Justice Anin-Yeboah to the General Legal Council (GLC) for investigations into some statements made by former Attorney General, Dr. Dominic Ayine against the Judiciary.
Petition To GLC
Dr. Dominic Ayine, a former deputy Attorney General under the erstwhile Mahama administration, was reprimanded by the Supreme Court during the 2020 Presidential election petition trial after he was cited for contempt of court.
He had made some statements challenging the independence of the Judiciary and accused the Judges who sat on the election petition as having “predetermined agenda” to rule against the petitioner, former President John Dramani Mahama.
Dr. Ayine was asked to retract and apologize which he did.
But, in a fresh petition against him, he is said to have tarnished the reputation of the Supreme Court at a public forum.
On Tuesday, May 25 2021, the Chief Justice dragged Dr Ayine to the Disciplinary Committee of the GLC, the body that regulates the legal profession in Ghana.
The GLC has reportedly summoned Dr Ayine for allegedly scandalizing the judiciary with his recent comments when delivering a speech on “Presidential Election Petitions and their Impact on Africa’s Democracy” at a forum organised by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD).
“His Lordship the Chief Justice therefore finds his alleged disparaging comments totally unacceptable and would like you to investigate the matter,” the CJ’s petition read.
Dr. Ayine’s Reply
Dr. Ayine, in reply, says his comments were made in good faith.
“As I have stated in this response, as a lawyer, I have a special responsibility to engage in criticism of the work of the judiciary. By reason of my training and experience, I am better placed than most of my fellow citizens to point out deficiencies in judgments and in the performance by the judiciary of its core constitutional mandate”, he insisted.
NDC Scolds CJ
The NDC, in a press conference, has impressed upon the CJ to withdraw his petition.
The party accused Justice Anin-Yeboah of presiding over a “judiciary tyranny” with an aim to gag lawyers affiliated with the opposition party.
The party’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, referencing the invitation to the NDC MP for Bolgatanga East, Dr. Dominic Ayine to appear before the GLC, said ”we hereby state categorically that they will not succeed! We will not be intimidated. We, as a party, will continue to defend the cause of freedom and of right in this country”.
National Communications Officer of the party, Sammy Gyamfi, in an interview on Okay FM’s ‘Ade Akye Abia’ Morning Show on Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, also said, “Ghana is a democratic country and so the 1992 Constitution which is being used to govern the country allows everybody to express their opinion or the freedom of expression. In view of this, anybody can express their opinion or views after a judgment has been given on a case.”
“The opinion may not favour the Chief Justice, or it may not base on law, and it may be wrong, but that is the opinion of someone and the person is entitled to it and the law says that the person cannot be persecuted or harassed for expressing their opinion.
“Lawyers from both NPP and NDC expressed their opinions; while the NPP lawyers supported the ruling of the Supreme Court on the 2020 election petition, the NDC lawyer, Dr Ayine disagreed with the ruling of the Supreme Court and that has angered Justice Anin-Yeboah to write to the General Legal Council to punish Dr Ayine.”
Kwamena Duncan believes the NDC is up to mischief, hence their press conference on the CJ’s petition.
He wondered why the NDC would hold a press conference to defend Dr. Ayine when he can do it himself.
Speaking to host Kwami Sefa Kayi, the former Regional Minister asserted that the NDC, “just to throw mud at the Chief Justice” but warned “if the Judiciary is not there, there will be no difference between the country and the jungle where animals prey on themselves freely. If the Judiciary is not there, it is chaos . . . Our very democracy, the foundation which is the rule of law . . . is majorly based on the Judiciary”.