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Opinions of Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Columnist: Ayeboafo, Yaw Awuah Boadu

Don’t allow Tsatsu Tsikata and his cohorts ...

....set the Agenda

Even before the respective reasoning behind the ruling of the judges who presided over the just ended electoral petition is made public, Tsatsu Tsikata is already allegedly out there spewing lies and imputing political biases just to poison likely intelligent critique of the judgment.

A superficial glance of the judgement’s summary spanning less than four minutes exposes the alleged lies, mischief and propaganda of Tsikata.

Thanks to the meticulous work of the petitioners and the decision of the Chief Justice to allow live telecast of the entire hearing to the public. There’s good public appreciation of what transpired during the period and little can be done to poison the public’s understanding of the judgment.

We know people like Tsikata will not waste time to take advantage of the easy forgetfulness of the Ghanaian and her likelihood to take in repeated falsehood or propaganda all in the name of peace. Notwithstanding the daily dose of the issues they were fed with during the live broadcast of the petition spanning nearly a year.

Tsikata allegedly asserts that “he was not really surprised by Justice Anim Yeboah’s persistent and consistent opposition to the stance of the NDC because he was appointed to the Supreme Court by former President John Agyekum Kufuor of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).” http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=284310

Ghanaians should strongly and in no uncertain terms if the judiciary do not get the guts to pull him before it, to request him to come again with all the voting patterns of the other judges during the hearing of the petition and the respective presidents who appointed them to the Supreme Court. As a matter of principle he should be hauled before the court as his alleged assertion amounts to scandalizing the court with the potential to lower the integrity and independence of the court before Ghanaians.

Indeed, Tsikata’s alleged assertion is awful, wickedly false from the facts; he knows it to be false but chose to make it just to feed the NDC’s propaganda machinery to unjustifiably denigrate the few men and women left in our country with dignity, courage, character and integrity if any. Moreover, it was put out just to cloud out or cover up potential debate and critique that looms as the nation patiently and calmly waits for the respective reasoning of the judges. Also, Tsikata decided to put in the noise knowing the falsehood it represented to set the agenda-making the judgment an NDC-NPP issue, so as to disregard, serious, intelligent and critical assessment of the judgment.

We should not fall for this and allow them to set the agenda this time. Let’s grab copies of the summary judgment and the yet to be released full judgment for serious public debate and analysis devoid of NDC-NPP coloration in order to encourage public understanding of the judgment of the petition which seized the nation’s attention for nearly one year.

Who is not aware judges are appointed by the president of our republic in accordance with law? Why did Tsikata decide to mention only the president who appointed one of the justices?

Ghanaians at this moment are not concerned who appointed judge A or B but rather the content of their judgement in relation to the evidence adduce before them in direct clash with the laws of Ghana and the oath they swear to Ghanaians.

Factually, per the corrected error summary judgment read by Justice Atuguba, the following is the voting pattern.

Justices Yeboah Anim, Rose Owusu and Julius Ansah upheld the petitioner’s claims of voting without biometric verification, over voting and no signature of presiding officer. They voted to throw out the claims of duplicated serial numbers, duplicated polling station code, unknown polling stations. In effect they voted to grant three out of the six reliefs sought by the petitioners.

How on earth can any objective analyst and even in the absence of their reasoning accuse any of the above justices of political bias?

Justices Atuguba, Adinyira, Gbadegbe and Akoto Bamfo voted to throw out all the six reliefs sought by the petitioners while Baffoe Bonnie granted only one relief sought by the petitioners-voting without biometric verification-and threw out all five other reliefs.

Justice Dotse voted to grant only two reliefs sought by the petitioners; over voting and no signature of presiding officer and threw away four of the petitioners’ reliefs

Even before we get the full reasoning behind their respective judgments who indeed does not know a document which ought to be signed and unsigned has no effect in our laws? And who does not know that over voting is against our electoral laws and during the elections some polling stations had their votes cancelled because of over voting?

Contrary to the trivial angle Tsikata and his cohorts want to direct the debate, our judges will face strong critique in the coming days and they better sit up. The debate is not going to be about their political affiliations but their reasoning in applying the laws of Ghana to the evidence. Upon such analysis a good appreciation of whether justice was carried out or not would be understood.

Allegations regarding their political affiliation would be left to them to determine in their respective consciences as the oath they swear not to be influenced but remain independent confront them in their sober moments and in the judgment of posterity.

Rightly, as humans they've their respective political inclinations and are they are appointed by politicians. However when they sit as the Supreme Court of Ghana they're bound by a sacred oath to Ghanaians to dispense justice without fear or favor. We do not expect them to rule on their political biases.

It explains why any man or woman worthy of the title and honor of a judge with character, courage and integrity declines to sit on a case where she/he believes or anticipate a potential clash between personal biases and evidence that demand his/her independent decision in a court.

Let us lift our hats to the Chief Justice who decided not to preside over the petition for reasons and concerns best known to her. This is a woman of honor, integrity, courage and character.

Going forward as a nation we need such values but not people who masquerade or come across as men and women with honor but do not have the guts to live up to simple values and principles they swear to uphold.

Let no one dares to cloud intelligent debate or critique on the Supreme Court’s judgment if we’re to save the judiciary from losing its aura, dignity, independence and authority in the eyes of ordinary Ghanaians due to such selective and reckless criticisms allegedly being spearheaded by lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata.

Truth Stands!

Yaw Awuah Boadu Ayeboafo, ayeboafo.blogspot .com aayeboafo@hotmail.com Tepa-Ashanti