One of the spokespersons of the Petitioner in the ongoing election petition Dr Dominic Ayine says his “predetermined agenda” comment after the Supreme Court dismissed the petitioner’s motion to reopen his case on Tuesday was not meant to disparage the court.
Dr. Ayine in expressing his disappointment with the outcome said the petitioner’s team had made it clear in the petition that there were a number of infractions contrary to what he says are attempts by the Court to limit the petition to a single issue petition.
“We are contesting even the constitutionality of the declaration that was made. We are saying that she violated article 23 of the Constitution because she’s an administrative body. We have also said her exercise of discretion was contrary to article 296 of the Constitution”. These are all germane issues under the Constitution and laws of Ghana and to reduce the petition into a single-issue petition, is rather unfortunate and smacks of a predetermined agenda to rule against the petitioner in this matter,” the former Deputy Attorney General lamented.
Dr. Ayine comments have been heavily criticized by one of the spokespersons of the second respondent President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s legal team in the ongoing election petition, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah. Dr. Ayine described the comments as unfair and amount to scandalizing the Apex Court.
“It is not fair to the judicial system, it’s not fair to our democracy, it’s not fair to the people of Ghana that when you lose an application because it is not grounded in law or because you’ve failed to meet the legal standard, then you come here and literally poison the minds of the public and make claims that they may be having a predetermined agenda. That’s scandalous of the court,” Kojo Oppong Nkrumah noted.
But Speaking Naa Dedei Tettey on Starr Today in reaction to the criticism, the former deputy attorney general expressed his disappointment in the stance taken by Mr. Oppong Nkrumah.
“I must say that I am severely disappointed in the Honorable Kojo Oppong Nkrumah…I am a senior lawyer to Kojo. Kojo should not take to always seeking to incite the court against me as if I do not know what I am saying. First of all, as a former Deputy Attorney General and a senior person at the bar, I know what it means to scandalise the highest court of the land. I have had no intention whatsoever of scandalising the Supreme Court of the Republic of Ghana.
“If I came across as having said that the court is in cahoots with the respondents that I will apologize and withdraw. But the reason I said that is because that is what the (second) respondent has been telling the media,” he said.
Dr. Ayine further stressed: “Now tell me is the duty of the respondent to evaluate the evidence brought by the parties or it is the duty of the lawyers, spokespersons to say that your petition is empty even when they are commenting on the merit. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah should know that he has been violating the sub judique rule on a daily basis. Dr. Ayine has always been preempting outcomes of the courts saying the petition is empty, it does not discharge the burden the proof and so on. Does he know that is a violation of the sub judique rule and that he should be hauled before court for commenting on the merit of the petition”?
Asked whether he will be surprised if the Apex Court takes issue with his pronouncements, Dr. Ayine said he would not.
“I will not be surprised and the court is entitled to take a position on it or express disappointment on it, even go as far as committing me for contempt. I mean I won’t begrudge them. But that honestly wasn’t meant to disparage the court or bring it’s reputation into disrepute”.