The Member of Parliament for Asawase Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak would have been in trouble by now if Sophia Akuffo was still the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana at a time Muntaka alleged that an unnamed justice of the Supreme Court attempted to bribe a female National Democratic Congress (NDC) lawmaker during the election of a speaker for the 8th parliament, private legal practitioner, Maurice Ampaw, has said.
Mr Ampaw said the allegation has damaged the reputation of all the justices of the highest court of the land, therefore Muntaka would have been compelled by now to disclose the identity of the supposed justice and adduce evidence to that effect.
“You can only miss Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo in a matter like this. I think she is one of the no nonsense Chief Justices we have ever had. I think Justice Anin Yeboah is trying to restrain himself. If it was Justice Sophia Akuffo, Muntaka would have been in trouble by now because her style is that you allege, you prove.
“She would have called for Muntaka‘s arrest and reported the matter to the Director of the CID and then they will make a case of spreading falsehood and offensive conduct against the judges. You can also pick civil action against him for defaming the judges because all the Supreme Court justices have been referred to as corrupt.”
He added “I am praying the Supreme Court will deal with the election petition quickly and deal with Muntaka , he should be forced to mention the name of the judge , he should be forced to produce the evidence.
“If not, they should charge him for publishing fake news and also engaging in offensive conduct, tried and jailed. So that there will be a by-election in Asawase. What Muntaka has done has badly damaged the reputation of all the justices of the Supreme and that is a serious matter.
“When you have evidence of criminality that a judge had bribed someone or the judge has engaged in corruption, it is a crime so you don’t protect the judge, you don’t hide the judge , you don’t conceal otherwise, you will also be aiding and abetting , you become complicit , meaning you saw someone committing a crime and you are protecting the person.
“Being a legislator and lawmaker and you have evidence that a judge is engaging in corruption it is not about coming to throw it in the media , it is about assisting the state institutions to deal with this supposed corrupt judge who is very dangerous to the judiciary.
“When Anas did his investigations in the judiciary he gave the evidence to the institutions and those judges were removed,” he said on Accra-based Net 2 Monday January 18 that
Mr Muntaka has alleged that a justice of the Supreme Court attempted to bribe NDC Members of Parliament to vote for Professor Mike Oquaye during the election of the Speaker for the 8th Parliament.
He told Joy News Sunday January 10 while discussing issues regarding the election of a speaker for the 8th Parliament that “There was one that was led by, I mean so shamefully, a Supreme Court judge [who] called a colleague lady, telling her what they will give her, she has children [and] they will take care of her children; she can take fuel from the filling station for the four years.”
He reiterated his allegation on Citi TV Monday January 11.
He said “The former Majority Leader, the Leader of Government business over the weekend was accusing the NDC’s side that we were bribing Members on their side.
“I said no, if you are talking about bribing then find out who and who were calling members from my side. And then, I went forward to say that I can tell you , if he cares to know, even some members of the Supreme Court were calling members of my side.
“One of the person that they called , they were promising her all manner of things , that she should mention her price. I don’t take what I say lightly, I have heard people saying all manner of things , we know what we are doing and we know what we are holding.”
When asked whether he will be able to adduce evidence to that effect, he said ““Definitely we will provide all those things , the call that he made, the time that the call was made and everything is there, so it is not in doubt.
“ If it comes to the probe of all the things that happened on that day I am sure if it becomes necessary and it comes up,. Obviously it will be made known , the Member on my side who was approached is alive , she is not dead.”
The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) has asked him to substantiate his allegation.
The GBA said it finds this allegation offensive and distasteful because it can incite hatred among the public with regards to the Judges and also expose them to ridicule.
A statement co-signed by President of the GBA Anthony Forson Jnr and Secretary Yaw Acheampong Boafo on Thursday January 14 said “The Bar has read and viewed with great concern, accusations made in the media in recent times with respect to the judiciary.
“The Bar finds the allegations offensive and distasteful. They incite hatred among the public with regards to the Judges, expose them to ridicule and put them into disrepute. Such allegations with respect to the Judiciary undermine the integrity of and erode public confidence in the justice delivery process and may results in lawlessness.
“On Sunday 10th January 2021, the Member of Parliament for Asawase, Honoruable Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, made an allegation of bribery concerning and touching a Supreme Court judge relative to the election of the Speaker of Parliament. The BGBA finds the comments totally unacceptable and hereby calls on the Honorable Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka to substantiate the allegation or retract same and apologize to the Justices of the Supreme Court in particular and the Judiciary in general.
“The GBA wishes to state that even though the 1992 constitution guarantees the freedom of speech, that freedom should be exercise with circumspection and should not be used to incite hatred or to subject the Judiciary to ridicule and contempt.”
The Chief Justice has responded to the allegation.
A statement signed by Justice Cynthia Pamela Addo, Judicial Secretary on Wednesday January 13 said the Chief Justice of Ghana, Anin Yeboah is taking steps to solicit the assistance of the Member of Parliament of Asawase Muntaka Mubarak to establish the facts following the allegation the lawmaker made against the Justice who he claimed attempted to bribe National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP to vote for Professor Mike Oquaye during the election of a speaker for the 8th parliament.
“The Judiciary has noted with grave concern the remarks of Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, Hon Member of Parliament for Asawase, which have been widely published in the media alleging that a Justice of the Supreme Court attempted to bribe a female Member of Parliament to vote for Professors Mike Aaron Oquaye, in the election of a Speaker of the 8th Parliament, which took place on 7th January 2021.
“The general public is hereby assured that Hon Chief Justice considers this allegation of impropriety a matter of grave import to the integrity of the Judiciary.
“The Hon Chief Justice is therefore taking steps to solicit the assistance of Mohammed Muntaka MP, to establish the fact in order that the matter can be dealt with appropriately,” the statement said.
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana