Chief Technical Advisor, University of Ghana School of Law’s Democratic Vigilance Project., Oliver Barker-Vormawor says Ghana’s democracy is poorer following Asawase MP, Muntaka Mubarak’s retraction and apology for his bribery allegation against a Supreme Court Judge.

According to him, although Mr. Mubarak’s reason for the retraction may be understandable, “For me it reads almost like a hostage’s apology and I think there’s an inclination in our establishment politics to make a virtue of trying to massage certain issues behind closed doors.”

The Chief Whip of the NDC Caucus in Parliament has retracted and apologised for comments he made on January 10, 2021 in an interview on JoyNews that a Supreme Court Judge had tried to bribe a female colleague of his to vote for Prof. Mike Ocquaye during the Speaker election in Parliament.

In his retraction and apology letter, Muntaka stated: “Based upon good counsel, I have also decided to let sleeping dogs lie and will consequently refrain from any further public commentary on the matter which, as I have indicated was originally reported to me by a female colleague Parliamentarian.” 

“It is my fervent prayer that the existing historic cordial relations between the legislature and the judiciary will not be affected by this incident but will continue to grow in the interest of the country,” he concluded.

Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile Saturday, Mr. Barker-Vormawor stated that the release of the Asawase MP’s letter does not necessarily confirm or deny the veracity of his claim.

“I agree with you that reading the letter you do get the impression that he hasn’t abandoned or is not in any way doubting the veracity of whatever report that was made to him, we do not see him stepping back on that.

“What he’s doing is that he’s not going to pursue or prosecute this matter any further and I think that is where the biggest loss is,” he said.

According to him, Mr. Muntaka’s failure to establish whether the allegations he made are true or otherwise still casts a shadow on the Judiciary’s integrity.

“Now I appreciate the sentiment that the others have made as to the fact that he has not put the fact out there for it to be tested as to its veracity and that doubt continues to cast a shadow upon the judiciary generally.”

He added, “But it seems to me that there are bigger forces at play here and I get it. I’m going out on a limb here to say that the reason why he probably issued this letter goes beyond some of the considerations as to whether or not this was in fact true or that he’s trying to walk back an allegation which isn’t true at all.”