The National Democratic Congress has become aware of a petition to the General Legal
Council, in which the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana himself, Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, acting as a Complainant, is seeking to have disciplinary action taken against Hon. Dr. Dominic Ayine, the NDC Member of Parliament for Bolga East who is also Chairman of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament.
According to the letter from the Judicial Secretary to the Disciplinary Committee
Chairperson of the General Legal Council, statements that Hon. Dr. Dominic Ayine made during a panel discussion on Presidential Election Petitions and their impact on Africa’s
Democracy, organized under the auspices of the Centre for Democratic Development
(CDD) call for such disciplinary action.
During the panel discussion referred to above, when asked about what he made of the independence of the Judiciary in the wake of decisions in the course of the recent 2020
Election Petition, Dr. Ayine stated his honest, well-reasoned and well-researched views as not only an academic of so many years, but also as a lawyer of high repute, a former Deputy Attorney General, a Member of Parliament and the Chairman of Parliament’s Subsidiary Legislation Committee.
It therefore, came as a shock to many in academia, civil society, the legal fraternity and, indeed, to us in the NDC, that the Chief Justice has
initiated processes to have Dr. Ayine investigated and disciplined for his comments.
Friends from the media, let me state here and now that the National Democratic Congress stands with Dr. Ayine against what is increasingly becoming a campaign of judicial tyranny being waged by the Chief Justice of the Republic against lawyers who identify
with the NDC.
Indeed, the latest persecution of Dr. Ayine is part of a grand agenda by
the current Chief Justice to intimidate, cower and muzzle all dissenting voices,
particularly those in the NDC, who dare to speak against some of the strange decisions that characterized the 2020 Presidential Election Petition.
As you may be aware, only few months ago, some lawyers with NDC leanings,
specifically Lawyer Abraham Amaliba and David Annan, were hauled to the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council by the Chief Justice in similar fashion and harassed for expressing their views on the Constitution of the Supreme Court
Panel that heard the 2020 Election Petition.
Also, not long ago, the Hon. Rockson-Nelson
K. Etse Dafeamekpor, the NDC member of Parliament for South Dayi, received a similar invitation to appear before the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council.
The Judiciary, like Parliament or the Executive, is not above criticism. Indeed, it is worth
recalling that the recent “Re-Akoto” event in Kumasi, where an address was delivered on
behalf of the Chief Justice, was an event to criticize a sixty-year-old decision of the
Supreme Court. The event was dominated by politicians of the New Patriotic Party stock
who used the occasion to express their critical views freely.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we wish to reiterate the fact that the invitation of Dr. Ayine to appear before the General Legal Council is yet another attempt by the Chief Justice to
intimidate and suppress views that are at variance with his views. Even if the Chief Justice disagrees with Dr. Ayine’s views or deems same as erroneous, the statements made were decorous expressions of opinion about a judgement delivered by the Supreme Court and do not warrant professional discipline.
Our progressive march as a constitutional democracy will suffer a grave setback if the
Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council were to proceed to hold an inquiry
into this matter of Dr. Ayine’s statements at the CDD event. 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. We
therefore join well-meaning Ghanaians to demand that the Chief Justice withdraws his petition against Dr. Ayine forthwith. We further serve notice that as a political party, we
are keenly following events, and shall resist judicial tyranny with all our might.
In conclusion, we wish to state that, even as the action taken against Dr Ayine is
unjustified, it is but a symptom of a larger problem. It is no coincidence that virtually all the lawyers who have been reported to the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal
Council by the Chief Justice, Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, in recent times are aligned to
the NDC. What is the Chief Justice’s personal interest in the punishment of NDC affiliated lawyers that he is so keen to initiate unwarranted actions against them? We dare say that such treatment would not be meted out to lawyers who are aligned to the NPP
for reasons best known to the Chief Justice