When Dr Dominic Ayine mounted the podium during the usual post-Supreme Court sitting address on Monday, 23, 2021 there were two unfamiliar faces among the people who stood with him.
Ordinarily Ayine during these press briefings which have become a feature of the ongoing Election Petition will answer questions from the media from the perspective of the petitioner’s legal team, but when he took over the podium on Monday, he was not there to speak for Mahama.
He was there to speak for himself and the presence of those two ‘aliens’ lays credence to the magnitude of the issue at hand.
The two, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko and Frank Davies are usually seen on the other side of the coin, speaking for the second respondent, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
What Ayine said for which he was summoned
Ayine told the media on February 16 after a dismissal of petitioner’s application to reopen his case: “We are contesting even the constitutionality of the declaration that was made. We are saying that she (EC chair) violated article 23 of the Constitution because she’s an administrative body. We have also said her exercise of discretion was contrary to article 296 of the Constitution.
“These are all germane issues under the Constitution and laws of Ghana and to reduce the petition into a single-issue petition, is rather unfortunate and smacks of a predetermined agenda to rule against the petitioner in this matter.” These are the comments that got his in the dock yesterday.
Davies’ frank observation and feedback
But when a member of the bar falters and incurs the wrath of the judges of the Apex Court, other members irrespective of their political differences join forces in solidarity to seek clemency for a colleague who was on the cusp of a contempt punishment.
Having realized the significance of their support in his narrow escape of possible imprisonment, the contemnor could not hold back his gratitude to his colleagues at the bar for their act of comradeship.
Frank Davies in particular got special plaudits for drawing his attention to the fact that he crossed the line with comments he made, suggesting that the justices of the court had a predetermined agenda.
In his words: Remorseful Ayine hails Davies
“Mr Frank Davies is not a stranger to the Supreme Court, he is standing here to my right. After the 16th of February when I finished addressing the press, he walked up to me and reminded me that the phrase that I had used, that there was a predetermined agenda had crossed the line.
“And that was when I started reflecting over whether or not I had crossed the line and I agree absolutely with Mr Frank Davies and those of you who think that I crossed the line on that day.
“I wish to unreservedly apologize to the court that is the Supreme Court of the Republic of Ghana as well as the justices in particular who sat on that day.”
Go and undo your mess ruling by CJ
Ayine’s public apology was in response to an instruction by the Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin-Yeboah for him to apologise for those comments. The order was a follow up on a stern caution issued to Ayine by the bench for the comments.
The Chief Justice was appalled that a former deputy Attorney General will make such utterances. The court will rule on Thursday on whether it has struck out the contempt charge.
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