NPP Holds Supreme Court Justices Hostage

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But FGJ Knocks Journalists, AFAG and Young Patriots To Respect Constitution

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) appears to be holding the nine Justices of the Supreme Court hostage by covertly twisting their arms to free its beleaguered General Secretary, Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, who attacked the most powerful court of the land by calling one of the justices, William Atuguba, a hypocrite, a voodoo deity and a joker.

The party has held press conferences, appearances on radio and television discussions openly asking the justices to forgive Mr. Owusu-Afriyie, whilst asking its supporters to hold nationwide vigils in solidarity with the party’s General Secretary, who coincidentally happens to be a lawyer by profession.

But the nationwide vigil has been condemned by another group the Forum for Governance and Justice (FGJ).

Indeed, pro-NPP journalists groups, such as Young Patriots and the Alliance For Accountable Government (AFAG) have since last week, hounded the nine justices asking them to treat Mr. Owusu-Afriyie, leniently. Interestingly, while pleading for him, some are also calling on the same Supreme Court to cite President John Mahama for contempt.

In the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Central Regions, the party has issued a directive to its supporters to gather in solidarity with Mr. Owusu-Afriyie, who appears in court today with Hopeson Adorye, a member of the NPP Communication team.

At Kumasi, the NPP supporters as at 6 pm yesterday were gathering at one of the party’s offices to hold the vigil.  At Cape Coast, NPP supporters were said to have shunned a directive from the party to gather and hold the event which is seen by many as an endorsement of the dirty language directed at the highest court of the land.

But in Accra, NPP supporters calling themselves the women’s wing of the NPP, in the early hours of yesterday thronged the National Headquarters to show solidarity to Mr. Owusu-Afriyie who had gone on Kennedy Agyapong’s Oman FM on June 25, 2013 describing Justice Atuguba as a hypocrite, a voodoo deity and a joker.

 

A Vice Chairman of the opposition NPP, Fred Oware, has explained that the nationwide vigil is being organised in solidarity with the party’s Mr. Owusu Afriyie.

Mr Oware maintained that the vigil is “in response to the party’s call that no one should get onto the streets to do anything that will attract unpalatable comments from the public”.

Party executives in the Ashanti and Central Regions are expected to hold a vigil Tuesday, while the Women’s wing has directed party faithful, market women, party activists “to be in Red and Black attire”.

Speaking on the Joy FM’s Super Morning Show yesterday, Mr. Oware said, the party had already demonstrated its faith in the rule of law through its petition to the Supreme Court, challenging the legitimacy of John Mahama’s presidency.

He said the NPP will not use any other means to put pressure on the judges not to convict Sir John, he said.

According to him, the party does not expect any of its supporters taking part in the exercise, to go wayward and cause any troubles adding, “This is in solidarity with our General Secretary Sir John and Youth Activist HopesonAdorye who have been cited for contempt.”

Vol. 18 No. 58, Friday, July 5, 2013” issue of a newspaper known as “THE ENQUIRER” under the banner, on the front page thereof, to wit,“Sir John Descends On Justice Atuguba … Calls him a Hypocrite, A Joker Who Pampers Tsikata, Scolds Addison” and elaborated at page 4 thereof, that you, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as “Sir John”, did on the 25th day of June, 2013 on a talk show, on Oman Fm, in the Twi language described the presiding judge of this panel “as a hypocritical joker who pampers the counsel for the National Democratic Congress, Tsatsu Tsikata, but habitually scolds the counsel for the NPP” … That the said judge habitually “frowned like a voodoo deity.”

…That “Do they think we are stupid, you sit there and frown like a voodoo deity, when Addison is talking you shut him down and beat him with sticks but when it comes to Tsatsu, when he gets angry, you ask him apologetically if he is angry. Tsikata’s cross-examination was for how many days? Didn’t Atuguba and Co see that the questions he was asking were nonsensical?”

…That “What hurts me most is that man that you call Atuguba , or Atu … Atugubu, whoever, you say he is called what?… I mean that judge, that your judge, that judge that you call Atugu… whatever, he oh he, he is funny”

…That “the Supreme Court had prepared mashed yam in palm oil (Eto, an Akan delicacy) and stuffed it with egg for Tsatsu Tsikata to eat”

… That “Justice Atuguba by his action, was up to hypocritical antics that is intended to lead to the NPP not getting the opportunity to play a tape recording of Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan’s voice declaring that ‘No Verification, no vote’, so that the President can win the case.”

…That “Any final verdict of the Supreme Court, apart from the declaration of Akufo-Addo as winner of the elections … would amount to stealing.”

…That “To the relatives of judges sitting on the election petition, … If you have a relative who is on the panel go and tell him that you don’t want a funeral on your hands, beg him to speak the truth. …. I know the judges, they will speak the truth, but there is one or two, one particular judge who opens his mouth at anytime and the next thing you hear is a warning. I want him to know that he can’t intimidate us. I have never heard him warn Mahama.”

…That “the whole of Ghana has watched and seen that Justice Atuguba was trying to cheat the NPP, … and yet he is telling us not to complain.”

On Hopeson Adorye the “Daily Post” on Monday July 8, 2013” reported that “We Shall Cut The Heads Of NDC Supporters If…Supreme Court Declares Prez Mahama Winner” and continuing with elaboration at page 4 thereof, did say in an interview with Time FM, Obuasi on the 26th day of June 2013 that “the NPP will … go on a head cutting spree, cutting off the heads of NDC supporters should the Supreme Court declare President Mahama the winner”,

… That “the NPP will not accept the verdict of the Supreme Court if Akufo-Addo is not declared winner since others in the NDC have also said there will be civil war if the Supreme Court rules in favour of Akufo-Addo”,… That “the claim by fellow NPP activist, Samuel Awuku, that the Supreme Court judges were bias and are hypocrites was an appropriate comment for which Awuku should not have apologised”.

Meanwhile, after bussing party supporters to their National Headquarters, the NPP strangely issued a statement urging party supporters to “remain calm and not to do anything untoward to disturb the peace of the Nation”.

Indeed, the same NPP General Secretary who the party supporters are showing the solidarity to yesterday, issued a press statement appealing to supporters to stay out of court tomorrow.

“I also plead with all supporters without accreditation to stay off the court’s premises to avoid unnecessary confrontations with the security agencies.”

“I have taken notice of the massive show of support from the rank and file of the Great New Patriotic Party across the length and breadth of the country ever since news of my summons to the Supreme Court was published”, he said.

“I wish to thank all of our teeming supporters, I appreciate the diverse ways through which they have shown solidarity and support. However, I wish to call on all supporters to remain calm and not to do anything untoward to disturb the peace of the Nation”.

I also plead with all supporters without accreditation to stay off the court’s premises to avoid unnecessary confrontations with the security agencies.

As true believers of rule of law and democracy, I urge all to allow the process of the law to take its normal course. I further urge that all our communicators should be circumspect and respectful in their comments and to observe the guidelines issued by the party to guide communications on the petition.

Meanwhile, the Forum for Governance and Justice (FGJ) has in a statement “condemned in very certain terms the posture, utterances and undertakings” of the NPP.

The statement was jointly signed by Robert Afulimi and Daniel Thiombiano Lompo,

Director of Communications and National Organizer, respectively.

 

The Forum quoted Article 125(1) of the 1992 Constitution which said, Justice emanates from the people and shall be administered in the name of the Republic by the Judiciary which shall be independent and subject only to this Constitution”.

 

It said “the NPP purports to have resorted to the Supreme Court to seek justice. Resorting to the Court and seeking justice from the Court’s Justices was a loud statement of the party’s inability and incapacity to render or deliver justice to itself as an entity. It was also a gesture of the NPP’s confidence in the Supreme Court’s ability and capacity to dispense justice as they prayed”.

 

“We therefore find it rather nauseating and repugnant that the NPP would seek to define what constitutes justice to the Court and the judges who they have resorted to for a just determination of their pleadings as encapsulated in their election petition”, the Forum said.

 

According to them, “no litigant in any legal proceeding has a moral or legal authority to determine what justice is! That determination remains the exclusive constitutional mandate of the Court. The sustenance of Ghana’s peace should, therefore, not be dependent on the verdict of the Supreme Court whom we have confided in to deliver justice”.

 

“It only smacks of hypocrisy and not democracy for the NPP who seek to define justice in this case as a declaration of Mr. Nana Akuffo Addo as winner of the 2012 Presidential elections”, the Forum said.

 

It went on “we also consider such behaviour, planned vigils and various gatherings of solidarity for the NPP’s General Secretary, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie and Mr. Hopeson Adorye, not only as hypocritical, undemocratic and contemptuous to the Supreme Court, but a shameful failure on the part of the petitioners who constitute the NPP leadership. The above unwarranted actions and others like prescribed attires of red and black are nothing but acts of terror and intimidation which must be looked upon with disdain”.

 

It called “call on all the peace loving Ghanaians to stay calm and steadfast in prayers as Ghana awaits another success in her democracy”.

 

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