On the first day of the announced boycott of all parliamentary proceedings on days that their colleagues: Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson and James Gyakye Quayson, have appearances in court, the presiding judge was forced to remind attending MPs that where they were was not the Chamber of Parliament.
This was prompted by an unusual moment in the Economic and Financial High Court presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe, who also doubles as Justice of the Appeal Court, when the two lawyers in the case decided to address the court at the same time.
According to a report by The Chronicle newspaper, while it is against the Bar practice for two lawyers to address the court at the same time, the Attorney General, Godfred Dame; and the counsel for Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, Dr. Aziz Bamba, went against the norm.
The two lawyers were attempting to catch the attention of the judge, who was about to adjourn sitting again for the third time, following the ailment of Richard Jakpa, third accused in the trial of the 2.37 million Euros ambulance case.
The report added that Alex Mould, the first defence witness for Dr. Ato Forson was also not going to be around for three weeks to be able to testify in the case.
As the moment unfolded in the courtroom, influenced by the fact that the room was packed by Members of Parliament from the Minority, Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe called the room to order, reminding the lawyers that they should know that they were not in parliament where they could heckle each other.
That response got the courtroom even more charged up as the MPs were heard cheering loudly, the report added.
Why Dame and Dr Bamba had a heated moment:
The Chronicle newspaper further reported that the reason the two lawyers – Godfred Dame on the part of the state, and Dr. Aziz Bamba for Ato Forson, were racing to get the attention of the presiding judge at the same time was because one of them disagreed with the argument of the others.
It stated that Dr. Aziz had rejected the claims by the Attorney General that all the adjournments in the case so far have been at the instance of Dr. Alex Mould, the first witness for Dr. Ato Forson.
In support of the rebuttal by Dr Bamba, the court reminded Godfred Dame that there had been two instances where the case had to be adjourned on the failure of the prosecution witness to appear before it.
The case was effectively adjourned to July 13, 2023, with an unsuccessful attempt by the court to discourage the MPs to no longer accompany their colleague to court, even as they shouted ‘No, No.’