The Minority in Parliament are at daggers drawn with Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah for reporting Dr. Dominc Ayine, the Bolga East MP to the General Legal Council for criticising the Supreme Court’s adjudication of the 2020 election petition.
The Minority side of the Legislature is accusing the Chief Justice of trying to lord it over an MP’s right to free speech.
In a statement, the Minority Parliamentarians advised the Chief Justice to beat a retreat with his report against Dr. Ayine, “in the interest of peace, national cohesion and to safeguard our democracy,” the MPs warned
Chief Justice Anin Yeboah has reported Dr. Ayine, a former Deputy Attorney General, before the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council over his comment at a round table discussion on the 2020 election petition.
Dr. Ayine’s observation that the Supreme Court judges appeared to have had preconceived minds to rule against the petitioner, former President John Mahama, throughout the petition, was a rehash of what was a general perception among the public.
However, after Dr. Ayine had re-echoed the public sentiment at the CDD round-table discussion, the Judicial Secretary had announced that the Chief Justice had taken offense and decided to haul Dr. Ayine before the Disciplinary Committee of the GLC.
In their response, the Minority remind the Chief Justice that Dr. Ayine, who had expressed those views at an academic program had not only done so as an academic but also as an MP and that the CJ’s action amount to trying to gag the freedom of expression of an Honorable Member of the Legislature.
“Dr. Ayine was speaking as a Member of Parliament, Chairman of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament and not only as a Lawyer. He has a duty and responsibility as a Member of Parliament and a Chairman of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament to speak to the public on matters of public interest as he did at the forum of the Presidential Election Petition and their impact on African’s democracy,” the Minority charged the Chief Justice.
“Why must the tangential fact that he is a professional lawyer deprive him of his right to free speech, first as a citizen of Ghana, secondly as a Member of Parliament and thirdly as a Chairman of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament? The Chief Justice’s position is an infringement of Dr. Ayine’s right to free speech on all scores and intended to render him ineffective as a representative of the constituency and as Chairman of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament.”
Their statement said the CJ’s action was in “utter bad faith,” pointing out that, “The Chief Justice’s petition is based on hearsay. It says his attention has been drawn to statements allegedly made by Dr. Dominic Ayine during a panel discussion on Presidential Election Petition and their impact on Africa’s Democracy. He submits a Joy FM report of the panel discussion.”
As the Chairman of the General Legal Council who is also the Chairman of the Judicial Council and head of the Judicial Service, the Minority pointed out, the Chief Justice, “ has already determined that the comments are “totally unacceptable” and wants the Disciplinary Committee of his Council to investigate it further.”
The Minority MPs advised the CJ to check the airs about him as they create the impression that he has a hatred for Minority MPs.
Already Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah has been hooted at least once by Minority MPs in Parliament over his perceived dislike for the NDC and bias against the party during the 20202 election petition.