As if he has been jinxed, the former Attorney General, Dominic Akuritinga Ayini seems not to know how he can act through his public comments in order to stay out of trouble with the Judiciary Service of Ghana.
This is because, for the third time in a consecutive manner, starting from the commencement of the election petition of 2020, he has incurred the wrath of their Lordships, the Justices of the supreme court.
The first, was on one of the days when the 2020 election petition proceedings was ongoing. Dominic Ayini, obviously in disapproval of what was happening that day, gestured in response. His body language angered the Chief Justice who was presiding as the president of the bench.
The chief Justice called him out instantly and berated him. According to the bench, his actions were not acceptable. He took it in his stride and apologise.
That was not to be the end of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) member of Parliament. In fact, little did he know, that his worst encounter is to come a few days latter.
On Tuesday, February 16, 2021, the legal team of John Mahama had an application to reopen his case to enable him to subpoena the Electoral Commission Chairperson, Madam Jean Mensa; the application got dismissed by the court.
Reacting to the court's ruling in a press conference at the Supreme Court premise, Dr. Ayini said, the ruling smacks of a “predetermined agenda” to rule against the petitioner (John Dramani Mahama) in his action challenging the constitutionality of the re-election of President Akufo-Addo for a second term in office.
This comment was not taken lightly by the 7-member panel of Justices adjudicating the petition. He faced his second ordeal. This time, hauled before the court for contempt.
He had to accept his faults and show remorse. When he was given the opportunity to show cause why he should not be punished, he spoke;
“I have looked at what I said that day and I have come to the conclusion that I went overboard. I crossed the lines with respect to the remarks that I made in terms of attributing impropriety to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Ghana.”
“This morning, I delivered a letter to His Lordship the Chief Justice, offering an unqualified apology to the court,” he added.
He was forgiven after a barrage of cautions from the bench.
But, guess what? A third episode is in the offing. This morning, a letter has emerged on social media written under the hand of the Judicial Secretary, addressed to the General Legal Council's (GLC) disciplinary committee.
The alleged culprit is Dr. Dominic Ayini, again. The letter state that, Dr. Ayini was part of a panel discussion on the Presidential election petitions and their impact on Africa democracy.
According to the letter, during the discussion, Dr. Ayini questioned the independence of the judiciary due to the manner the Supreme Court adjudicated the 2020 Presidential election petition. He (Dr. Ayini) had alleged that in his comments that, the supreme court failed to apply rules of procedure.
For someone who had two previous encounters with contempt charges, he stands on the wrong foot for this one. His records are bad as far as such charges are concerned.
If he is found guilty before this panel, he might lose his practicing license as part of several other punishments, and for a lawyer of his standing, that will be very bad.
Well, we shall follow the matter to see how it will end this time again. For now, it is either Dr. Ayini is being intransigent and reckless with his comment, or the Judiciary is just being vindictive.
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