PHOTO: Justice Anin-Yeboah

The United States branch of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has lashed out at Tsatsu Tsikata for his “legendary vindictiveness” in tagging Justice Anin-Yoboah-one of the nine judges that sat on the presidential election-, as a partisan Supreme Court judge.

“Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, who could not hide his ethnic bigotry and legendary vindictiveness, would not be conciliatory in his after verdict remarks. It is noteworthy that he would single out Anin-Yeboah, even among the judges he presumes to be pro-NPP,” the Public Relations Committee of the group stated in a statement released on Sunday.

“One would have thought that after Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the first petitioner, has graciously accepted the verdict of Justice Atuguba’s court; which is shrouded in legal mystery and confusion, in the name of peace, other right thinking Ghanaians would be circumspect in their pronouncements about the proceedings that took place in the Supreme Court in order to move the nation forward in unity.”

Mr Tsikata, the lead counsel for the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the eight month long presidential elections, has received widespread condemnation for his long-lashing of the Supreme Court judge on a live television programme-Hot Issues on TV3 Network which hosted Kwesi Pratt.

On the show, Mr Tsikata accused the judge of allowing his political affiliations to cloud his judgment; “I’m giving you a frank example in a situation where it seems to me like somebody [Justice Anin Yeboah] really did not take up what I will call a truly balanced judicial posture in relation to the matters that were before him and I say that very frankly, but I believe that that is an observation that one can make and we do recognize as Lawyers and as Law teachers particularly, we do recognize the ways in which sometimes decisions are affected by some of these personal prejudices and positions,” he said about Justice Anin-Yeboah.

His comment has been described as extremely tactless.

“What is baffling is that Mr Tsatsu Tsikata in his usual jaundiced prism would not see anything wrong with the four Justices widely perceived, rightly or wrongly, to be pro-NDC or pro-Mahama (Atuguba, Gbadegbe, Akoto-Bamfoe, and Adinyera), all of these judges cast a straight ‘party’ line vote (for Respondents) on all six issues. (And yes, an NPP President appointed Adinyera. But you can’t tell that from her votes in this case,” the USA NPP queried Mr Tsikata’s logic which sought to conclude that since Justice Anin-Yeboah’s views on the issues raised in the petition where opposed to the argument of the respondents, he is therefore sympathetic to the NPP whose flagbearer stormed the apex court with the petition.

Logic

“So, if we must analyze the Justices’ votes strictly on the basis of their presumed partisan predispositions, then what the pattern of voting shows is that the allegedly pro-NDC justices ALL voted strictly on a partisan basis on all six issues, while the allegedly pro-NPP judges voted for the Petitioners on only some, but not all, of the issues. Significantly, had Baffoe-Bonnie, a presumed pro-NPP judge, not “broken ranks,” so to speak, the result in this case would have swung 5-4 in favour of the Petitioners,” the group reasoned.

“ In contrast, of the five remaining Justices widely perceived, rightly or wrongly, to be pro-NPP, four of them (Ansah, Owusu, Yeboah and Dotse) cast a mixed vote, voting for the Petitioners on two or three of their primary claims (primarily overvoting, voting without biometric verification, and unsigned pink sheets) and rejecting the remainder of the Petitioners’ claims, while the fifth, Baffoe-Bonnie, “switched sides”, so to speak, and voted with the 4 presumably pro-NDC justices (and thus for the Respondents) on all but one of the six issues.”

“ So, if we must analyze the Justices’ votes strictly on the basis of their presumed partisan predispositions, then what the pattern of voting shows is that the allegedly pro-NDC justices ALL voted strictly on a partisan basis on all six issues, while the allegedly pro-NPP judges voted for the Petitioners on only some, but not all, of the issues. Significantly, had Baffoe-Bonnie, a presumed pro-NPP judge, not “broken ranks,” so to speak, the result in this case would have swung 5-4 in favour of the Petitioners,” the Public Relations Committee of the NPP branch continued.

“If we are to go with Tsatsu’s logic, did Justices Atuguba, Gbadegbe and Akoto Bamfo, who voted deciding that no infraction took place in the December 2012 election and that the petition was without merit, did so because they were all appointed by the NDC under President Rawlings and late President Mills?”

Warning

The US branch of the NPP outlines the implication of Mr Tsikata’s attack on the judge. “NPP-USA would like to remind Mr Tsatsu Tsikata that the days when Supreme Court judges from a particular ethnic group were selected and murdered is gone forever. We are cognizant of the murderous past of P/NDC era. Therefore, we do not take lightly any coded message emanating from vindictive Tsikata. If anything untoward should happen to Justice Anin Yeboah, Mr Tsatsu Tsikata will be held personally responsible for any such act, and his gangster NDC will have to answer to Ghanaians.”

The Judgment

The Supreme Court ended the eight month legal tussle over the 2012 electoral dispute after it said John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was ‘validly elected’ as President as declared by the Electoral Commission (EC).

The court dismissed the petition in a rather short judgment which lasted barely five minutes.

Most of the cases of irregularities, malpractices and omissions alleged by the petitioners consisting of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-the flagbearer of the NPP- and two others were dismissed by an average majority ruling of 5-4 and in some instances, unanimously by all the nine judges.

By: Raphael Ofori-Adeniran

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PHOTO: Justice Anin-Yeboah

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