The Supreme Court has chastised opposing legal counsel in the case brought by the main opposition National Democratic Congress against the Electoral Commission. The deputy Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame was faulted for his choice of words in court while Godwin Tamakloe was criticised for granting media interviews while the case was ongoing.
Theghanareport.com’s court reporter Gloria Kafui reported that while addressing the court, the deputy A-G described an earlier Supreme Court order as “premature.” The order was to direct the EC to file its legal basis for banning the use of the old voter ID cards for the new registration exercise.
The order, widely reported in the media, was only a matter of course for a party joined to a suit, some legal practitioners have explained. But in court, the Chief Justice said the words used by Godfred Dame was “unacceptable.”
The court demanded an apology, which he subsequently rendered to the court.
The court also observed that the counsel for NDC, Godwin Tamakloe had also granted an interview to a broadcast journalist, Paul Adom Ochtere, on the subject before the court.
“When you have a case, you do not go and appear before the media. The code of ethics does not permit you to do so, Counsel. Was that what we were taught in law school,” CJ queried.
Responding, Mr. Tamakloe stated the interview in question was granted in May.
But the court noted the case was filed in March and so he needed not to grant interview as counsel in the matter.
The court described his action as grossly disrespectful to the court. He also apologized to the court.
Photo: Godwin Tamakloe
The National Democratic Congress is in court over the Electoral Commission’s decision to exclude the use of the old voter’s ID cards in its intended voter’s new voter registration exercise.
The NDC argued that the decision of the EC could disenfranchise many Ghanaians, a violation of their right to vote enshrined in Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution.
The court, at its sitting last Thursday, directed the EC to submit its legal justification for the decision.
The EC responded on June 8, with the NDC also filing a supplementary statement.
The Commission subsequently filed a 31-page document to justify the exclusion of the Voter ID from the list of required identification.
The hearing continues on June 23, 2020.
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