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CJ taking on Ayine clear indication that ‘Culture of silence’ is back – Prof Stephen Asare


Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah (L) and Dr Dominic Ayine (R).

CDD Ghana Fellow for Public Law and Justice, Prof. Stephen Kweku Asare, has expressed doubts that the much talked about ‘Culture of Silence’ is non-existent in the country.

Speaking on Joy News’ Newsfile Saturday, June 5, the Accounting Professor aka Kweku Azar, said the feud between Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah and Dr Dominic Ayine shows that the ‘Culture of silence’ never left the system.

The former Deputy Attorney General, who was part of the Legal Team of former President Mahama, during the 2020 Election Petition, is said to have questioned the independence of the Judiciary due to the manner the Supreme Court adjudicated the election petition.

Last month, Dr Ayine, while contributing to a discussion on the 2020 presidential election petition and its impact on Africa’s Democracy, organised by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Ghana, said the Supreme Court Justices’ decisions left a lot to be desired.

This comment is deemed to be defamatory to the justices and the court.

Therefore, the Judicial Secretary has petitioned the disciplinary committee of the General Legal Council (GLC) to investigate the Bolgatanga East MP over his comments.

But the vociferous Accounting Professor, Prof Asre disagrees with the decision to haul the MP before the General Legal Council for speaking his mind.

Mr Asare said, “If we cannot criticise and if we cannot offer opinions on judgments written by the court, basically, they have become dictators. And basically, they are not accountable to anyone. The constitution did not anticipate that kind of arrangement at all.”

He stated some of the harshest criticisms made against judges come from judges themselves.

“When you read opinions where some judges are dissenting, they sometimes say the majority is irrational, the majority ignores precedence, and the majority is out of their depth on this matter.”

Kweku Azar said criticism is a treasured aspect of the legal profession, and thus the referral of Dr Ayine to the court is “unprecedented, unnecessary, unfortunate, unwise and quite frankly unjust”.

According to him, all that Dr Ayine did was to express a subjective view and nowhere in his statement did he claim that the judiciary lacks independence.

“If you talk to 10 million Ghanaians on the election petition, you’re going to get 10 million opinions. Are we then going to refer 10 million Ghanaians to the General Legal Council to investigate?

“The disciplinary process is extremely serious because it imposes cost on whoever is sent there. You have to defend yourself, and potentially, you could be suspended, you could be disbarred, you could be reprimanded, you could be asked to offer an apology,” he said.

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