Lawyer Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, aka Sir John, the general secretary of the largest opposition political party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) might soon face the wrath of the Supreme Court for potentially contemptuous statements he allegedly made against members of the panel hearing the presidential election petition case.
Mr. Justice William Atuguba, president of the nine-member panel, gave the hint of the observation of the court on the NPP General Secretary’s comments when the court resumed yesterday for continuation of the cross-extermination of Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan by the petitioners counsel.
According to the court, it has taken judicial notice of the comments by the NPP General Secretary which was published in the Enquirer newspaper last Friday, the 5th of June, 2013, against the Supreme Court and would advise itself on the matter.
Mr. Owusu Afriyie is reported by the paper to have said on a programme, dubbed "Boiling Point," a political talk show on Oman FM, an Accra based private radio station, singling out Justice Atuguba, "as a hypocritical joker who pampers the counsel for the National Democratic Congress, Tsatsu Tsikata, but habitually scolds the counsel for the NPP.
In a tape that was played on many radio station in the country, the NPP scribe descended on the bench, in his reaction to public comments on the proceedings in the ongoing presidential election petition describing the court action as an attempt to cow people from expressing themselves.
Sir John was alleged to have asked on the radio station that, "Do they think we are stupid, you sit there and frown like a voodoo deity, when Addison is talking you shut him down and beat him with sticks but when it comes to Tsatsu, when he gets angry, you ask him apologetically if he is angry - Tsikata’s cross extermination was for how many days - didn’t Atuguba and co see that the questions he was asking were nonsensical?’
He was also quoted on the tape saying that the conduct on the Supreme Court Judges in the infamous Sammy Awuku encounter is appalling and must be condemned.
The statement was also replayed on Radio Gold’s Alhaji and Alhaji news analysis programme on Saturday July 6, during a panel discussion on contemptuous and unethical comments about the ongoing election petition hearing.
Sir John is alleged to have made the contemptuous comments against the judges claiming he has heard President John Mahama making comments which are clearly contemptuous, but the judges are yet to point to his comments as contempt, much less to invite him, like they did to Sammy Awuku.
He also questioned the judges rational for reading or listening to commentaries in the media, and admonished them to learn from the UK’s House OF Lords, who according to him, closed their eyes and ears to media commentaries about cases they preside over.
The NPP General Secretary also charged the judges, especially Justice Atuguba, President of the Panel of Justice to be careful with his actions.
However, when the case was resumed for hearing yesterday, Justice William Atuguba bemoaned that "more terrible things are coming out" despite the whip the court cracked on Ken Kuranchie and Stephen Atubiga for criminal contempt against the court.
He stated that there was a publication in the Enquirer Newspaper about Sir John alleged comments as well as tape containing the alleged comments.
He noted that, "the publication in the enquirer and the tape concerns a person going by the description Sir John. We understand he comes to this court, we don’t know this people, why should we have to grapple with them in terms of our contempt powers.
If we take action against some people and others are provocative and we don’t take similar action then it looks... we don’t want that. Even where we are not, we are accused of being lopsided”, Justice Atuguba noted.
Justice Atuguba said, the court has called for the tape and will advice themselves accordingly.
He said the court has also taken judicial notice of a publication in which someone is daring to behead supporters of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) if the Supreme Court deliver its ruling in favour of President John Mahama as winner of the 2012 election.
Source: The Enquirer
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