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General News of Thursday, 17 January 2013

Source: myjoyonline.com

If Barton-Odro is Deputy Speaker, God have mercy on Ghana- Kweku Baako

Editor in-chief of the Crusading Guide Newspaper is scandalized by the nomination and subsequent approval of the Member of Parliament for Cape Coast South, Ebo Barton-Odro as Deputy Speaker of Parliament.

Kweku Baako Jnr. is even more appalled with the fact that the appointment came without a single voice of protest by any member of the House.

The avowed NDC critique made the comment on Peace FM’s morning show Kokrookoo on Wednesday.

He was commenting on the initial objection raised by lawyers for the New Patriotic Party leaders at the Supreme Court on the panel constituted to sit on the Presidential Election Petition.

The NPP lawyers were criticized heavily, especially by sympathizers of the NDC for raising an objection to one of the nine justices empanelled to sit on the case.

Even though the lawyers neither mentioned the name of the judge they wanted recused nor the grounds on which they were asking for that judge to recuse himself, speculations had been rife that the NPP leaders wanted Justice William Atuguba off the case because he is related to Dr Raymond Atuguba, Executive Director to the President.

Mr Malik Baako in commenting on the matter said raising an objection in court over the composition of a panel is not unusual.

He cited cases where Tsatsu Tsikata, Tony Lithur- both of whom are now leading the legal teams of the NDC and the president respectively on the election petition case- had raised an objection to Justice Henrietta Abban and Justice Brobbey sitting on a case they were involved in.

He said even with the flimsiest of excuses, the two found it prudent to exercise their right of objection to a judge sitting on a case.

Malik said the worst form of objection raised in any court of law in Ghana was the one done by the then Deputy Attorney General Ebo Barton Oduro in the case involving the murder of the Ya-Na.

Barton-Odro had demanded that the trial judge, Justice Anthony Oppong step aside and when he was pushed to explain the grounds for his demand he told media men, that the judge had been drinking at a bar and under the influence of alcohol made comments on the Ya-Na case which he considered highly prejudicial.

He initially claimed to have captured the judge’s voice on tape but when he was probed further, he stated the voice was rather that of the ‘confessions’ of the lady who was sitting with the judge when the prejudicial comments were made.

Kweku Baako Jnr read a long statement by Justice Oppong recusing himself from the Ya-Na case but he [Oppong] admitted, the allegations, which he said were fabricated, had dented his reputation.

The New Crusading Guide newspaper editor said a deputy Attorney General who is the second most influential person in the Judiciary could not have chosen the path Ebo Barton-Odro did and if he had been rewarded by Ghana’s Parliament for denigrating the same institution he was expected to jealously guard, then “God save Ghana and our ethics.”

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