Judges Blast Propaganda Lawyers


Photo Reporting: Abraham AmalibaJudges Blast Propaganda Lawyers

07 June 2013

Nine-member Supreme Court justices hearing the Presidential Election Petition yesterday gave hints of their disposition towards taking punitive action against lawyers, who are misrepresenting proceedings in the court.



Abraham Amaliba, a member of the NDC legal team, noted for his jaundiced remarks of the proceedings in the media, was singled out for his utterances.

“The court will not deal leniently with persons, especially lawyers who misrepresent facts in court,” Justice Jones Victor Dotse, who spoke on behalf of the panel, fumed.

He told a quiet audience in court yesterday that Mr. Amaliba was on Metro Television making comments contrary to what had been discussed in chambers between the judges and all lead counsels for the parties in the case.

The judges concerns were that Mr. Amaliba was not even present at the meeting but was able to divulge privilege information which even turned out to be untrue.

Justice Dotse said the situation where lawyers, who should know better, were commenting on the proceedings was getting out of hand and the highest court could no longer tolerate it.

“The court would not deal leniently with anybody-especially the lawyers who misrepresent facts as happened in chambers…we believe that the lead counsels would have told them the right thing that happened in chambers,” he warned.

He also turned the panel’s attention to the media and complained bitterly about the standard of reportage of the proceedings.

“There is too much inaccurate reportage about proceedings in this case; I just read yesterday in one of the newspapers that the second Amicus appearance was a 5-4 majority decision. In any case, the amicus second appearance was an 11-member panel so it couldn’t have been 5-4, and it was a unanimous decision.

“I don’t know where the journalist got the 5-4 of a nine member panel from. We are meant to live with all such reportage and we need accurate reportage in these things, it’s very important,” he added.

Tsatsu Tsikata, representing the NDC, also added his voice to the issue and said it was time for the court to deal with people who bring the name of the court into disrepute.

“I think that we are all concerned that there should be accurate statements about what happens…not just in these proceedings but just as a matter of basic professional training that there be accuracy in what we represent to the public”, he advised.

He expressed concern about counsel who were present in court but turned around to “grossly” misrepresent the proceedings when given the platforms to discuss what transpired in open court.

Justice Sulley Nasiru Gbadegbe, another panel member, said there was the need for accuracy in the reportage of the proceedings in the media.

“Beyond saying the 5-4, they said the four people who voted against the [Amicus] application should be excused from the bench. Because they have already made up their minds, so the public have been fed with toxic material and it is going to be very difficult for them to be detoxified, I think that we should try as much as possible to control our supporters so that the court would have the opportunity of finishing this case.”

Justice William Atuguba, presiding, then concluded the matter by saying “I want to round off this matter briefly by saying that the importance of this legal profession in any democratic dispensation is paramount and very central to the proper functioning and stability of any democratic system, so we should keep it as sacrosanct as possible.”

“To me, it’s baffling that a lawyer or any member of a profession would feel more committed to any other organisation more than the profession which is the foundation and upon which he has attained whatever limelight that has put him in reach with whatever association that he finds himself with.

“I think that the legal profession is very powerful, is very important and has an important duty to play in the state, so let us always keep that duty above other things, look at us here, the whole presidency is at stake. It depends on the profession; both the Bench and the Bar. All those who contested are clients of the bar and they are waiting for the decision of your counterparts on the Bench, so I mean, the importance of the profession is so clear and I don’t see why people would have to subject it to some constraint whatsoever,” he stated.

By William Yaw Owusu

Source: Daily Guide/Ghana



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