Former Attorney General and private legal practitioner, Joseph Nii Ayikoi Otoo, has argued that claim that justices of Ghana’s Supreme Court in some instances vote on partisan lines is baseless.
He argues that there is no sufficient proof on that matter, hence such conclusions cannot be made.
Mr. Otoo made the argument in relation to an article released by former Law Lecturer, Dr. Raymond Atuguba, who alleged that the Justices of the nation’s apex court decide ‘political cases’ based on their partisan political leanings.
“I don’t see why he keeps on attacking them on anything they say and now he thinks they will rule in a certain way having regard to how they were appointed, I don’t think so. You cannot use that yardstick at all because we know who appointed who when we came to the Supreme Court election petition in 2012 and we know the end result that they voted according to those who appointed them whether it is NPP or NDC,” Mr. Otoo added.
In a widely circulated article released over the weekend, Dr. Atuguba cited what he calls the voting pattern of justices who sat on the Supreme Court panel that decided the 2012 Election Petition in favour of President John Mahama, as evidence of how Ghanaian Justices have historically allowed their political affiliations to decide matters of law in their courts.
He also called on Ghanaians to be “watchful” to prevent Justices sitting on Abu Ramadan’s latest case against the Electoral Commission, from deciding the matter based on their political persuasions.
But speaking on radioxyzonline on Tuesday, Ayikoi Otoo insisted that Dr. Atuguba’s attacks on the Supreme Court are “unnecessary.”
He explained that though about two of the justices who sat on the Election Petition case were appointed by the erstwhile Kufuor administration, they did not vote in favour of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
“One of the justices who voted against us was Justice Baffoe Bonnie. Justices Baffoe Bonnie and Anim Yeboah were sent to the Supreme Court by the Kufuor administration, they did not vote for us (NPP). I don’t agree with him [Dr. Atuguba] in the least. I think it’s just punching at things I don’t think are necessary because he thinks he is being taken away by the wind of public opinion.”
“He should just stop these attacks, they are unnecessary. If he believes sincerely that the Supreme Court did not refer to the NHIS registrants but it turned out that, that is what the Supreme Court meant, he should just eat humble pie and forget about all these things.”
Lawyer Ayikoi Otoo further called on Dr. Atuguba to refrain from such attacks and allow the Supreme Court to discharge its duties without fear or favour.
“He should allow them to act in accordance with the judicial oath they have taken to do justice to all manner of persons without any affection or ill-will,” he added.
By: Godwin A. Allotey/radioxyzonline.com