General News of Tuesday, 24 December 2013
Even though the election petition is over and one may think it has been laid to rest, discussions on Monday’s edition of ‘Kokrokoo’ resurrected it again.
Press Secretary to former President J.A. Kufuor, Mr Kwabena Agyepong, bemoaned Justice William Atuguba’s assertion that some politicians engage in ‘political galamsey’ and has described it as an affront to the Ghanaian politician.
President of the nine justices who presided over the election petition case, Justice Atuguba, during one of the proceedings in the landmark case in court, descended heavily on politicians accusing them of taking almost everybody for a ride and engaging in “too much illegal political galamsey”.
“Why should 24 million people be taken for granted; for a ride?” he asked.
The court convicted the General Secretary of the NPP, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie and his colleague, Hopeson Adorye on charges of intentional criminal contempt.
The two were deemed to have made contemptuous comments in relation to the presidential election petition.
The judges reluctantly waived custodial sentences on the two, but slapped a Ghc5,000 and Ghc2,000 fines respectively on them; with six months and three months bond to be of good behavior.
The fines notwithstanding, the two, especially Owusu Afriyie was subjected to severe tongue-lashing by the judges.
The Presiding Judge, William Atuguba was prominent in the criticism and his anger was palpable accusing Sir John of dabbling in "political galamsey".
Contributing to a panel discussion on the Kokrokoo programme, Mr. Agyepong who is also aspiring for the position of General Secretary in the NPP said there was no justification for Justice Atuguba’s remarks.
According to him, Justice Atuguba’s “temperament and his conduct in my view left a lot to be desired”. To him, the presiding judge's statement undermined the country's political authority.
“As a judge and presiding judge, you accuse us (politicians) of being galamsey politicians…it is erroneous to say that. I think that was low and it should not have happened. It undermines the political authority of this country in the eyes of the whole world because that was not a correct statement,” he bewailed.