The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has asked Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah to withdraw a petition filed with the General Legal Council against Dr Dominic Ayine for alleged derogatory comments he made on the 2020 presidential election petition.
The comments followed a similar one made by Dr Ayine who was a former Deputy Attorney-General, which cast a slur on the administration of justice, where he eventually appeared before the Supreme Court and apologized for his conduct.
The Party said Dr Ayine’s views about the independence of the Judiciary were, views he was entitled to in line with his freedom of expression guaranteed under the 1992 Constitution, thus his invitation to appear before the Council, was allegedly an act of intimidation.
Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the General Secretary of the NDC, said this at a press conference by the Party in Accra on Monday.
He said the NDC shared in the opinion expressed by Dr Ayine, adding the allegation that, the opinion was not “actionable and does not violate any rule or professional conduct rules for lawyers”, saying, “…Neither Dr Ayine, nor we in the NDC can be compelled to increase our confidence in the independence of the Judiciary even when the Court has not given us any basis or reason to do so.”
The General Secretary said the Party was concerned about the “seeming judicial dictatorship that is fast festering under the leadership of the current Chief Justice,” adding, “…Justice emanates from the people and is administered on our behalf. Public confidence in the independence of the Judiciary must therefore be earned and not forced on us.”
Mr Nketia said the Judiciary, like Parliament and the Executive, was not above criticism and that the country’s progressive march as a constitutional democracy would allegedly suffer a grave setback if the Disciplinary Committee of the council proceeded to hold an inquiry into the matter of Dr Ayine’s comment on the election petition after he had earlier appeared before the Supreme Court and apologized for denigrating the court during the election petition trial.
“Our Constitution and laws protect the integrity and independence of the Judiciary and not the sensibilities of judges. Judicial vanity is a threat to justice and must not be countenanced in any democracy”, he said, adding that, “We, therefore, join well-meaning Ghanaians to demand that the Chief Justice withdraws his petitions against Dr Ayine.”
Mr Nketia said they would continue to “defend the cause of freedom and of right”.