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It's Difficult To Understand The Basis Of Martin Amdidu's Call Now - Akomea   
 
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06-Dec-2013  
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A former Communications Director of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akomea, has questioned the legal basis on which former Attorney General and Minister of Justice Martin Amidu is contending the constitutionality of the Chief Justice’s committee to investigate the “Vickyleaks” saga.

Mr. Amidu, in his latest epistle, has questioned the “constitutionality” of a committee set by the Chief Justice to investigate the sacked deputy Minister of Communication, Ms. Victoria Hammah, over the leaked audio recording, in which she allegedly stated, among other things, that the wife of the lead counsel for the first respondent in the disputed election petition, Nana Oye Lithur, met with the Supreme Court judges before the delivery of the final verdict.

Nana Akomea is, however, of the opinion that “unless Mr. Amidu can give us a more concrete demonstration of the unconstitutionality, it is difficult to understand the basis of his call now.”

In his submission on the mater on Metro Television, Nana Akomea contended that the Chief Justice only activated a provision already in place to deal with such matters when they arise.
“This committee that has been activated by the Chief Justice (CJ) is not something that she has done anew. It’s a committee that is already in place.”

The Chief Justice, acting on a petition sent to her by General Secretary of the NPP, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, set up a committee, headed by Dr. Justice Date-Bah, to investigate the matter, but Mr. Amidu holds the opinion that the exercise has no legal basis.
Mr. Amidu contended that “the Constitution does not entrust any disciplinary power over superior court justices to the Chief Justice or the Judicial Council, or to an appointments and disciplinary committee, or any other committee of the Judicial Council.

“The independence of the judiciary and the individual justice in the performance of his judicial functions are guaranteed in article 127 by the framers of the Constitution.

“The reason for those provisions is simple. Mahama v Soli [1976] 2 G. L. R 99 and those lines of cases showed how Chief Justices tried to interfere with superior court justices in the performance of their judicial functions.”
According to Mr. Amidu, reposing disciplinary authority at first instance, in any Chief Justice over other superior court justices, is to make superior court justices apprehensive of the Chief Justice’s ability to intimidate such justices with threats of removal from office, and thereby, interfere with their judicial independence.
 
 
Source: The Chronicle
 
 

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