Member of Parliament(MP) for Bolgatanga East Constituency Dr Dominic Ayine has been hauled before the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council for criticizing the Supreme Court following its ruling on the 2020 Election Petition.
Speaking last month at a CDD-Ghana Roundtable Discussion on ‘Presidential Election Petitions and their Impact on Africa’s Democracy’, Dr Ayine criticised the Supreme Court of Ghana over its failure to apply the rules of procedure and the repeated dismissal of applications of the petitioner in the 2020 Election Petition. He suggested that the judiciary may not be as independent as it ought to be.
“Adjudication is the process of accountability. So for me, it is okay to dismiss an application brought by a petitioner for one relief or the other whether substantive or procedural…But it is another thing to fail to apply the rules of procedure in a manner that enhances the accountability process. So at the end of the day, the petition actually dampened my hopes with respect to the independence of the judiciary and its ability to hold the Electoral Commission, in particular, accountable in election petitions,” Dr Ayine had said.
Dr Ayine had added that the conduct of the Supreme Court Judges during the Petition casts doubt on their open-mindedness and commitment of the Court to dispensing justice.
“I expected the Supreme Court to apply faithfully the rules of procedure to prove the petitioner’s case and so on. What we saw was a Supreme Court that was constantly putting hurdles in the way of the petitioner in terms of adducing evidence to prove the petitioner’s case…I am sure for ordinary Ghanaians or the electorate generally, the fact that the Supreme Court judges, all nine of them, on almost every application was unanimous in rejecting and dismissing the case of the petitioner was very telling in terms of the open-mindedness or otherwise of the Justices as far the petition was concerned and for me as a Lawyer,” he had asserted.
These comments seem to have landed him in trouble as the regulatory body of the legal profession in Ghana, the General Legal Council, has summoned him to explain why he should not to penalized for his uncharitable comments about the Supreme Court.
Many have criticise the move by General Legal Council for summoning him for his criticism given that similar criticisms were made in the past without the intervention of the council.