A private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu, has pleaded with the Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, to withdraw his petition against Dr. Dominic Ayine.
A displeased Anin-Yeboah wrote to the Judicial Secretary to the General Legal Council complaining about some comments expressed by Dr. Ayine on the 2020 Election Petition Judgement during an event organised by the Centre for Democratic Development, (CDD-Ghana).
The letter addressed to the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council, accused Dr. Ayine of stating that “the Supreme Court’s failure to apply the rules of procedures as well as the consistent and continuous dismissal of the petitioners’ applications or reliefs were the basis of his assertion”.
But the former Deputy Attorney General, Dr. Dominic Ayine, insists that “he stayed within the bounds of fair and temperate speech in his views on the said platform.”
“With all due respect to His Lordship, the Chief Justice, I wish to state that I stand by the opinion I expressed at the said roundtable discussion. I am firmly convinced that the opinion I expressed neither imperilled the independence of the judiciary nor did it cause any actual or potential harm to the reputation of the individual justices nor did it cause any actual or potential harm to the reputation of the individual justices who sat on the case.”
Speaking to Citi News on the matter, Mr. Martin Kpebu asked the Chief Justice to pardon Dr. Ayine. According to him, the CJ can use an alternative approach in dealing with the matter.
“This is not the first time this is happening. All the persons that were cited while the case was pending in court, were just cautioned. After the decision too, Dr. Aziz Bamba was also cited and the Ghana Bar Association came in and the issue was resolved.”
“So looking at the trajectory, I think it presents a solid trajectory of dialogue in helping to resolve these matters without punitive measures. So I can only add my voice to the calls for the Chief Justice to use the same approach he used in previous cases.”
NDC takes on Chief Justice
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has also called on the Chief Justice to withdraw his petition against Dr. Dominic Ayine.
The party insists the petition is an attempt by the Chief Justice to “intimidate and suppress views that are at variance with his.”
“Our position on this matter is simple. Dr. Ayine’s views about the independence of the judiciary are views he is entitled to in line with his freedom of expression guaranteed under the 1992 constitution. He was courteous to the court and kept his language temperate and decent. He stayed within the boundary of professionalism and was neither scurrilous nor scandalous.”
“So for him to be accused by the Chief Justice of disparaging Ghana’s judicial over these tempered and justified comments is not only bizarre and unfortunate but speaks volumes about the Chief Justice himself. Clearly, the opinion expressed by Dr. Ayine which we in the NDC share without any equivocation is not actionable and does not violate any rule of professional conduct for lawyers. So we find the petition by the Chief Justice as an attempt to intimidate and suppress views are at variance with his own views. Even if the Chief Justice disagrees with Dr. Ayine’s views or deems them as erroneous, the statements made were decorous expressions of opinions about a judgment delivered by the Supreme Court of Ghana.,” the General Secretary of the party, Johnson Asiedu Nketia said at a press conference on Monday, June 22, 2021.