The Supreme Court has directed former deputy Attorney General Dominic Ayine to go before the media and retract the scandalous statement he made about the court.
The court on Monday, February 22, 2021, heard the contempt case brought against the lawyer, who the seven-member panel said scandalised the court by stating that the court’s ruling on the application for the petitioner to reopen the case was predetermined.
The Supreme Court in a unanimous decision dismissed former President John Dramani Mahama’s motion to reopen his case.
Mr Mahama sought to reopen his case to enable his lawyer’s subpoena Madam Jean Mensa to appear before the court and testify as a “hostile witness”.
But the seven-member panel, in its ruling delivered by Chief Justice Kwesi Anin-Yeboah, said, “we accordingly refuse the application and proceed without any hesitation to dismiss it”.
Dr Dominic Akuritinga Ayine in his response said, “In our view the court was wrong; in our view, the reasons of the court were based upon wrong legal premises but . . . we are bound by what it has said”.
”. . . these are germane issues under the constitution of Ghana and to reduce the petition into a single issue petition is rather unfortunate and smacks of a predetermined agenda to rule against the petitioner in this matter,” he said.
According to him, “The Supreme Court asked itself a question which we deem was a wrong question and answered that question; it said why does the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission need to account to the people of Ghana when she is not a party to the suit . . . now you would recall that counsel (Tsatsu Tsikata) made it very clear that one of the reasons why we are in court is because of the unconstitutional conduct of Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa as the returning officer under the constitution and it is not true that there is only one issue that needs to be determined in this matter”.
“I am surprised that the Supreme Court itself, having set down five key issues to be determined is now reducing the issues to one; which is whether and the extent to which the evidence that we have led shows that no one got more than 50 percent of the votes in accordance with article 63 of the constitution, but we have made it abundantly clear in the petition that there were a number of infractions; we’re contesting even the constitutionality of the declaration that was made. We are saying that she violated article 23 of the constitution . . . these are germane issues under the constitution of Ghana and to reduce the petition into a single issue petition is rather unfortunate and smacks of a predetermined agenda to rule against the petitioner in this matter”.
But appearing before the court today, Monday, the lawyer apologised and retracted.
The bench then directed him to go back and retract and apologise for scandalising the court through the media just as he did when he scandalised the court.
The court said he has till Thursday, February 25, 2021, after which his contempt case would be struck out.
“We don’t want anything from him, he should just go back to the media and retract the statement that he made,” the Chief Justice said on behalf of the bench.
The directive was given after Dr Ayine’s lawyers had pleaded on his behalf and informed them that his client had submitted an apology letter retracting his scandalous comments.