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Dominic Ayine's Contempt Case: Prof Azar 'Questions' Supreme Court Over Apology Jurisprudence

A renowned lawyer and scholar, Prof Kwaku Azar has chastised the Supreme Court following a pardon it granted the embattled Dr. Dominic Ayine over a contempt case charged on the latter. Prof Azar had argued that it's unfathomable how the court acted in a rather "free speech and critique of proceedings" that was exercised by Dr. Ayine who was a known spokesperson for the petitioner, to have been cited for contempt.


His comments though late comes after the Supreme Court struck out all charges against Dr. Dominic Akuritinga Ayine regarding the infamous contemptuous remark he made against the justices of the court some weeks ago. The pardon by the court followed an act by the contemnor [Dr. Ayine] that he purged himself of the contempt upon the direction of the court.


Prof Azar argued that there was no basis in the first place for the court to have cited Dr. Ayine for contempt, adding that, the "Apology Jurisprudence is anti-intellectual". He indicated that the citizenry is left in the "dark" of the knowledge of what they could comment on about the Supreme Court, the justices and proceedings before it.


"I think the Apology Jurisprudence is anti-intellectual and not helping the citizens to know what they can say and cannot say about the Supreme Court, Supreme Court Justices and proceedings before the Court," he noted on his Facebook page.


He clarified that the status and role that Dr. Ayine played on behalf of the Petitioner was simply a motivation for him to criticize a matter he disagrees with, and not to scandalize the court.


"For the avoidance of doubt, the contemnor, in this case, is an MP who is also a Spokesperson of a Party appearing before that Court. He is also a lawyer and a former Deputy Attorney-General. What exactly is contemptuous and why?"


Prof Azar followed up with some twelve other questions that the Supreme Court may need to avert their minds to it.


"I find such charges and apologies to be unsatisfactory and unhelpful to my understanding of the proper contours of contempt.


"It is time for the Court to state the legal basis of its contempt charges. The Academy and the Bar must insist on it —- not go along to get along."

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Ayine Azar Kwaku Azar Supreme Court


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