The Supreme Court has directed former deputy Attorney-General, Dr. Dominic Ayine to go before the media and retract the contemptuous statement he made about the court.
Dr. Ayine was held in contempt of court for telling journalists that the rulings of the Supreme Court in the ongoing election petition hearing, were all indications of a predetermined agenda against the petitioner, John Mahama.
“We don’t want anything from him, he should just go back to the media and retract the statement that he made,” Chief Justice Anin Yeboah said on behalf of the bench during the contempt hearing Monday.
The bench made the directive after Dr. Ayine’s lawyers had pleaded on his behalf and informed them that his client had submitted an apology letter for his comments.
The Chief Justice stated that the apology had been accepted but Dr. Ayine needs to go back to the media and mitigate the effect of his “scandalous” statement by retracting and apologize through the same media.
Dr. Ayine in his post-hearing address to the press on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 said petitioner’s team had made it clear in the petition that there were a number of infractions contrary to what he says are attempts by the Court to limit the petition to a single issue petition.
“We are contesting even the constitutionality of the declaration that was made. We are saying that she violated article 23 of the Constitution because she’s an administrative body. We have also said her exercise of discretion was contrary to article 296 of the Constitution”.
“These are all germane issues under the Constitution and laws 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,” the former Deputy Attorney General lamented.
His comments were subsequently criticized by spokespersons of the second respondent, Nana Akufo-Addo.
One of the spokespersons, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said “It is not fair to the judicial system, it’s not fair to our democracy, it’s not fair to the people of Ghana that when you lose an application because it is not grounded in law or because you’ve failed to meet the legal standard, then you come here and literally poison the minds of the public and make claims that they may be having a predetermined agenda. That’s scandalous of the court”.
Speaking to Starr News’ Dr. Ayine clarified his comments indicating that it was not his intention to attack the court and apologized if that is how the comments came out.
Dr. Ayine subsequently went on a radio station and apologized for how his comment may have sounded to the public saying “If I came across as having said that the court is in cahoots with the respondents, that I will apologize and withdraw. But the reason I said that is because that is what the (second) respondent has been telling the media,” he said.
He mentioned the possibility of being held in contempt of court saying however that he had no intention of disparaging the Supreme Court.