A Former President of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), Sam Okudzeto, has said Tsatsu Tsikata could be hauled before the General Legal Council (GLC) for making contemptuous comments about Justice Anin Yeboah, a member of the Supreme Court panel that heard the election petition.
The General Legal Council is the apex body that regulates the practice of law in the country.
Mr Okudzeto said Tsatsu?s comment could be seen as one that was likely to bring the name of the Supreme Court Judge and the court into disrepute.
Speaking on Accra-based Joy FM, the veteran lawyer said, ?I think this is a sad day for Ghana and he should be asked to retract this statement because it does not augur well for peace and tranquillity and for the respect to the court because? if the public loses confidence in the judiciary, we are doomed as a people.?
According to him, ?when Nana Akufo-Addo accepted the decision of the court even though he says he disagrees with it; all of us lauded it and the President accepting the congratulations from Nana Addo, we thought that has sealed the peace in the country.?
Instead, he noted, ?Now it looks like we are opening new wounds, like this kind of attack.?
He was, therefore, saddened by Mr Tsikata?s comments because virtually everybody had been calling for unity and tranquillity in the country after the Supreme Court?s ruling on the election petition.
This, he said, was because ?next time if somebody loses a case in a court?in fact if he loses an election, he will say, ?I won?t go to the court; let me rather take the law into my own hands.?
Mr Okudzeto said he did not believe that should be the best way to approach such issues since, ?If you are bringing the court into disrepute, it is something that can be dealt with by the court but it can also be a disciplinary offence which is a matter for the General Legal Council.?
Moreover, the erudite lawyer said, ?Tsatsu Tsikata is not a child? because he is one of the senior lawyers at the Bar and a former lecturer at the Law Faculty of the University of Ghana, Legon.
He therefore expressed regret that Tsatsu who happens to be his cousin, would make such repugnant comments about a sitting judge, asking rhetorically, ?If they ask you to go and produce the man?s party card, will you go there and do it??
?I am rather shocked that he should go on a public television to attack a sitting judge on allegation of being appointed by someone. All the judges sitting there were appointed by a president.?
He emphasised that ?there were judges there who were appointed by the NDC. Why did he not talk about them??
In his 50 years? practice, Mr. Okudzeto said he had never heard a lawyer attacking the reputation of a Supreme Court judge like Mr Tsikata did.
?Since 1965, I have been involved in the Bar executive in one way or the other and we vet people before they are appointed and Anin Yeboah is one of those people that the Bar recommended for appointment to the Court of Appeal and he was appointed before his elevation to the Supreme Court; so I am actually shocked?this NPP party matter that has just come up now. I am actually shocked at it,? he emphasised.
He, therefore, had an advice for his ?learned? colleague: ?We should be careful. I know countries such as America and the rest where they can even appoint former Attorney General to the Supreme Court but nobody goes there and attack them and say they were there or giving judgments because of their political bias.?
Meanwhile, the President of the Greater Accra Regional Ghana Bar Association (GBA), Frank Davies, has questioned the rationale behind Mr. Tsikata?s comments saying, ?What personal scores does he intend to settle much more so when you link it with what he said about a case he was involved in prior to the immunity granted to the IFC? What is the link between what happened then and what is the link now to an election petition??
In an interview with Citi News, Mr. Davies stated that as a senior member of the bar, Mr. Tsikata?s comments are unfortunate.
According to him, if Mr. Tsikata wants Ghanaians to ?show him respect, he should show respect to the Justices of the Supreme Court. I think the statement was just unfortunate and plain irresponsible. Why has he singled out Justice Anin Yeboah??
Mr. Davies opined that the seasoned lawyer?s comments could stem from the fact that ?Justice Anin Yeboah did not vote or did not rule in favour of the NDC, then he is politically biased. What kind of rubbish is this??
He added that comments from such senior lawyers only confirmed that the judiciary is not independent.
?If Tsatsu Tsikata starts this way, it will not get us anywhere?It is highly decisive for putting up Justice Anin Yeboah for vilification, throwing him to the hawks of the NDC so that?they scorn the Justices. I think Tsatsu is being grossly unfair. He likes listening to himself too much. He should learn to listen to others and stop this selectivity and hypocritical things.?
By Charles Takyi-Boadu