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Supreme Court "Bans" Sammy Awuku   
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The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, tempered justice with mercy when it decided not to strike hard on Sammy Awuku, New Patriotic Party (NPP) Deputy Communications Director for making presumptuous comments regarding a warning the court issued this week to deal with persons who misreport the court proceedings.

Presiding Judge in the ongoing Election Petition, Justice William Atuguba, who delivered the court's decision said, though they have decided not to invoke their powers of contempt, they will restrict his appearance to court; thus barring the NPP communicator from coming to the courtroom to witness proceedings.

This was after he (Awuku) rendered an unconditional apology to the Supreme Court for describing the Bench as “hypocritical and selective” in its reprimand of errant commentators and reportage by both the media and political Analysts.

Mr Awuku appeared before the court Wednesday afternoon after Justice William Atuguba served notice it was going to deal with comments he (Sammy Awuku) made during PeaceFM's flagship programme, "Kokrokoo".

The NPP Communicator, who personally turned himself in after the court declared him "wanted", withdrew his choice of words in open court which he used to describe the Court’s earlier warnings.

After saying he was wrong, he again told the Court he would apologise on Peacefm this evening at 6pm.

“My Lords I apologise unreservedly for any embarrassment my comments may have caused the Court”, Mr. Awuku remorsefully said in Court on Wednesday June 26, 2013.

Counsel on both sides pleaded on his behalf that the court deals leniently with him for his show of remorse.

The judges then decided to retire and ponder over the matter.

After close to an hour of pondering over the issue in chambers, Justice Atuguba read the decision they have reached.

According to him, having considered the candid admission by Sammy Awuku and the apology issued, they have decided not to invoke their powers of contempt but to restrict his appearance to court.

He ruled that as the first of its punitive measures against all others who have decided to disrespect the authority of the judges, Sammy Awuku is banned from witnessing proceedings.

“…We have considered the candid admission of Mr. Sammy Awuku’s utterances on Peace FM on the 25th day of June 2013 in reaction to the final warning of the Court with regard to improper reportage and the previous warnings of this court concerning contemptuous comments, utterance and attitudes towards this apex court of Ghana, issued just on the 24th day of June 2013. He has apologised and withdrawn the same before this Court and has further undertaken to repeat the retraction by 6pm today...

"...we have noted with great concern, the steady decline of respect for the authority of the Judiciary - the third arm of Government of this country - over the past years...

"..."The pompous show of private power in the pursuit of the right to engage in political organisations and activity by which the passions and humble members of society are stirred up on deliberately false political propaganda, is a recipe for chaos and conflict in this country”.

“…We have seen the Kenyan precedent in this context and much as we are concerned not to exercise our undoubted powers as a Court of law with iron fists, we cannot allow the emergence of over-mighty subjects in this country as we said on the 24th day of June 2013; however to in order to show that we mean well for this country with regard to the exercise of our awesome powers, we have decided to stop short of invoking our powers of contempt and we invoke in the alternative, our power to control the attendance of our proceedings of the public Court by members of the public”.

“…We think that the exclusion of Mr. Sammy Awuku from attending the proceedings of this Court for the rest of the duration of this case should suffice for a start in this direction”, Justice Atuguba averred.

Moments after the ruling, profuse appreciation quickly poured in from counsel from parties on both sides of the petition.

More soon....
Source: Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

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