Published on September 4, 2013
A former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Ayikoi Otoo, has described as unfortunate the refusal of Mr Tsatsu Tsikata to apologise for accusing a Supreme Court judge of being bias.
Mr Tsikata, who was the lead counsel for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the just-ended presidential election petition, on Saturday, August 31, 2013 accused Mr Justice Anin Yeboah, one of the nine justices who disposed of the petition which challenged the legitimacy of President John Dramani Mahama, as being bias.
He had accused the justice of being persistently bias against the NDC and also stated he was not surprised because Mr Justice Yeboah had been appointed by former President John Agyekum Kufuor.
However, his comments have received a barrage of criticisms from some members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and former President Kufuor.
Hitting back at his critics, Mr Tsikata stood by his disapproval of the judge’s conduct during the hearing of the petition on the grounds that his (Tsikata’s) comments were factual and truthful.
According to Mr Tsikata, requests that he apologise to Mr Kufuor and Mr Justice Yeboah were out of place and challenged the public to engage in an objective analysis of his comments which were made on TV3.
Mr Ayikoi Otoo’s position on the subject
In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, Mr Otoo went to the defence of Mr Justice Yeboah and stated that Mr Justice Yeboah was among the justices who voted unanimously to dismiss three of the claims of the petitioners.
“If we go by who appointed who, how could we have lost the case because we appointed more people?” he asked.
“It is unfortunate Tsikata does not want to apologise,” he stated, and wondered why those who had won the case were misbehaving.
Mr Otoo said what Mr Tsikata had done amounted to contempt of court and further wondered why a senior lawyer would make such a pronouncement.
On August 29, 2013, the court, in a 5-4 majority decision, declared President Mahama as the validly elected President of Ghana and accordingly dismissed the petition which challenged his legitimacy.
Asked if the petitioners would apply for a review of the court’s decision, Mr Otoo said, “We are waiting for the judgement. After receipt of the judgement, we will study it and advise ourselves.”
Although the presidential candidate of the NPP in the December 2012 presidential election, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has conceded defeat, congratulated President Mahama and indicated he would not go for review, Mr Otoo said it did not lie solely with Nana Akufo-Addo to make that decision.
He explained that it was the National Executive Council (NEC) of the NPP that met, deliberated and delegated Nana Akufo-Addo; his running mate, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, and the National Chairman of the NPP, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, to challenge the election results.
He said for that reason, the NEC would set up a review committee to study the judgement and decide whether or not to go for review.
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