Feature Article of Monday, 14 January 2013

Columnist: Nuhu, Kashaa

Rejoinder: Justice Atuguba Must recuse himself

Rejoinder: NPP Court Case: Justice Atuguba Must recuse himself

It is most ludicrous and legally disconsolate with such elevated vacuous declaim on an Eminent Justice of the highest Court of Ghana to recuse himself with peevish and outlandish aver as an excuse. Mr. Abubakari Shuk ostensibly made allusion to the recent appointment of Dr. Raymond Atuguba by the President as his Executive Secretary as a reference point to recusal of Justice William Atuguba from the panel to sit on the highest case in the political history of Ghana orchestrated by Nana Akufo- Addo et al by their claim of fraudulent declaration of Mahama as President elect by EC. Well, the Legal team of the former has rescinded their decision to file a formal motion asked by the Supreme Court to upshot their concern raised about the empanelled judges for reasons best known to them.

Sufficiently strange here is what the columnist, Mr Shuk referred to as “It is for the need to sustain and maintain public respect of its judgment especially in this case of national importance that, I believe any well meaning Ghanaians should support the NPP’s formal application demanding Justice William Atuguba recuses himself from the nine-member Supreme Court Bench empanelled by the Chief Justice to hear the party’s petition over the 2012 election results” I find this statement ignominiously absurd and incongruous.

In the first instance, the NPP legal team had not made any formal motion after they were directed by the Court. They only confided with the Court and made their intention known where the Court directed them to make it formal for record purpose which later the legal team of Nana and the other plaintiff declined. The quest to ask a judge to rescues him/herself made Justice Atuguba made his nation breaking pronouncement as “This country is solid but is breaking down because principles are being chopped down to pedestrian….… This is not good” and subsequently, the court adjourned the case sine die. So, there is nowhere the legal team of Nana Akufo-Addo et al made any formal application for meaning Ghanaians to support.

Further, the author made mention of a possible biased system of our Courts and cited instances from the UK. What he flagrantly and fatuously refused to understand or made public to discerning readers is that, Judges are appointed and not randomly selected by technology to the bench of the Supreme Court and possibly or ignorable hold firm the principle and tenets of their profession and solidly bind by the oath they administer in the assumption of office. However, human as they are, have the tendency to slant towards one side but the Constitution of Ghana gratified the defense to raise issues about a Judge and prove to the Court the likelihood of bias for the Judge to stay off the case in question. The legal team of Nana and the other two complainants quickly discredit Sir John’s assertion and made a U-turn on their erstwhile stance to avoid opening a Pandora’s Box by declining to submit a motion on their fret raised in court. The disrespect heaped on Ghanaians by the NPP by comically but slanderously boycotting the inauguration of President Mahama is enough for them to spare the electorate more theatrics. They claim, their Supreme Court case is a constitutional mandate by every Ghanaian to contend a perceived fraudulent election and thus their action will strengthen democracy and rule of law, yet lampooned the very Constitution that instructed the investiture of the President with the flimsy excuse that, it will make nonsense of their petition in Court. How can you be selective in exercising your constitutional right in travesty? These are grim and educated issues that must not be swept under the carpet but tried to deliver patriotism in the pigeonhole by the writer of the article for susceptibility sake. Ghanaians deserve better, NPP.

Needles to say, everybody in Ghana is related one way or the other to somebody in or outside government including judges. This inescapably made the objection of a judge in a panel more studier to prove unless the issue raised is forensically proven to be glaring enough for the aforementioned to sustain. Judges are supposed to do their work impartially and diligently and presumably so until one or all wane in prejudicial commentary of the case in question which in itself are enough prove of the likelihood of bias for the Judge or Judges to rescues themselves.

Mr. Abubakari Shuk however might not know the relationship between the petitioners and some of the judges in the same panel, hence ignorantly couple with farce asking Justice Atuguba to rescues himself. The legal team of the petitioners who are fully aware and understand the implication of their concern are regrettably gnashing their teeth for bringing their ignominious contention to the knowledge of the court. Matters had also got out of hand by the eccentric and damned description of the NPP scribe, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie all pointing with tacit at Justice William Atuguba as though he Sir John, is part of the legal luminaries of the petitioners.

Ironically, while the rank and file of the NPP know pretty well, they are fighting a losing battle, people like Mr. Shuk and others think otherwise with the bursting hope that, the Supreme Court will annul President Mahama’s victory and rather pronounce Nana Akufo-Addo as the legitimate winner and the NDC and Ghanaians will accept it hook, line and sinker. Well, if “NPPians” had that believe, they better regulate their BP as they are yet to receive another shocker from the Supreme Court with their infantile electoral irregularities presented as evidence of electoral fraud. The petition obviously will not pass the muster of judicial scrutiny for consideration.

The legal team of the President in their response filed on Saturday asked the Court to dismiss the NPP’s Petitions which lacks merits with daunting and inconceivable challenge of producing pink sheets, names of electoral officers, the polling stations, constituencies and regions of which such alleged irregularities occurred. This am sure will take the whole century for the NPP to come out with taking cognizance of the fact that, they wasted precious time in gathering and are still gathering those inane irregularities as evidence to the Supreme Court. That the whole petition lacks merit and should be dismissed”. The President’s Lawyer, Mr. Tony Lithur retorted.

Mr. Abubakari Shuk must update himself and write or speak on current issues than just nausea on apparition or hallucination and day dreaming. Get well informed before coming with any propaganda meant to implicate NPP the more. My hope is that, this to be stretched gratuitous futile legal tussle NPP is embarking upon will not cause discord among members with the tip-toeing and whispering of hostile response to it by many party gurus. Ghana needs a vibrant opposition to keep the government on it toes.

Kashaa Nuhu babnuh11@yahoo.com.