A member of the legal team of the 2nd Respondent in the 2020 election petition, Yaw Oppong, has admitted that not all what member of the petitioner’s legal team Dr Dominic Ayine said at a roundtable discussion – for which he has been reported by the Chief Justice to the General Legal Council – was offensive.
But Mr Oppong emphasised on The Keypoints on TV3/3FM on Saturday, June 5 that an aspect was “offensive” and he had to even contemporaneously interject after Dr Ayine passed the comments.
“It truly hit me and just before I realised I had told him you are completely out of order,” he told host Adwoa Tabi.
Mr Oppong’s narrative comes in the wake of the controversy over the complaint filed by Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah at the Council.
According to the Chief Justice, the comments made by the former Deputy Attorney General were “disparaging” and asked the Council to investigate it.
Dr Ayine was pardoned by the Supreme Court during the hearing on the petition filed by his party’s leader, John Dramani Mahama, after he was deemed to have made contemptuous statements.
He was made to apologise.
But during a roundtable discussion held by CDD-Ghana in collaboration with the Law Faculty of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) on the topic ‘Presidential Election Petitions and their Impact on Africa’s Democracy’, Dr Ayine is said to have questioned the independence of the panel that heard the petition, which was eventually unanimously dismissed.
“I am sure for ordinary Ghanaians or the electorate generally, the fact that the Supreme Court judges – all nine of them – on almost every application was unanimous in rejecting and dismissing the case of the petitioner was very telling in terms of the open-mindedness or otherwise of the justices as far the petition was concerned and for me as a lawyer,” he said.
Watch him at the CDD-Ghana discussion below:
But Mr Oppong said Dr Ayine’s comments even attracted the displeasure of Supreme Court justice Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, who was a panel on the programme.
The private legal practitioner insisted that it is the right of those who feel aggrieved by the comments to take Dr Ayine on.
There has been growing criticism of the action by the Chief Justice with some claiming justices are beginning to assume a position where they don’t want to be criticised.
“It is as if judges now don’t like to be criticised [but] that has not been the case at all because all of us critiqued the judgement.”
By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana