Mr Yoni Kulendi, one of the lawyers of the freed Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby and Mr Kwadwo Mpiani, says the unbridled bastardisation of the judiciary and the courts must stop!
That is because the judiciary and the courts “is the last resort for everyone. You may be in power today, tomorrow you are out of power. We need to preserve the sanctity of these institutions and free our judges. They’ve taken a sacred oath under this Constitution without fear or favour. When they do their work, we can disagree with them, let’s interrogate their reasoning as we are doing.”
“But” whiles doing this, Mr Kulendi cautioned, “let’s avoid as a people, casting aspersions and unwarranted insinuation and trying to bastardise these institutions,” warning that “if we destroy them, we create the way for dictators and arbitrary people to finish us.”
The lawyer was speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show analysing the judgement of Justice Samuel Marful-Sau which described as unconstitutional the mounting of criminal prosecution against Dr Wereko-Brobby and Mr Mpiani in respect of their management of the Ghana@50 celebrations on the basis of the findings of the Presidential Commission set up to probe the celebrations.
Mr Kulendi rejected suggestions that his sermons for the judiciary and judges to be held in high esteem are borne out of the fact that the judgement on the subject under discussion went in his favour.
“I have a consistent history of saying, ‘listen, there are institutions we have to respect, we [can] interrogate their judgement’. It is not about the judgement being in my favour. Kojo, I have provided advice and steam to people in government today when I thought it was wrong [for them to be treated in a particular way,]” he told show host, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah.
For him, the clamour for the Attorney-General Betty-Mould Iddrisu to jail people accused of impropriety are misplaced.
“Kojo it is important that we all understand that the Attorney-General is the Chief Legal Officer of the republic. The Attorney-General doesn’t go to court to win or lose. The Attorney-General goes to court to uphold the law and so when the courts speak, the Attorney-General has had her day. This ‘I must win, I must lose’, attitude is wrong. Kojo when we get into the must-win fixation, then the AG’s office instead of protecting and upholding the law, begins to fight with the law,” he stated.
Touching on the substance of the judgement, Mr Kulendi said having resorted to using a commission of inquiry to deal with the Ghana@50 matter, the state had forfeited its right to prosecute the chief architects of the celebrations.
He said very important elements of defending a person such as the right to avoid self incrimination were suspended when the two appeared before the Justice Douse Commission.
Section eight of the Constitutional Instrument (CI61) which set up the Justice Douse Commission that probed the Ghana@50 celebrations reads:
8(2) A person shall not be subject to any civil or criminal proceedings under any enactment by reason of that person’s compliance with a requirement of the Commission.
10(1) Subject to paragraph (2), in any proceedings before the Commission, a person called a witness shall be compelled to produce any document or article and answer any question as regards the subject matter of the proceedings although the document, article or answer may incriminate that person.
(2)Where a person gives incriminatory evidence under paragraph (1) the evidence shall not be used in any criminal or civil proceedings against that person.”
Relying on this, Mr Kulendi submitted that mounting a prosecution in spite of the very rules that set up the Commission constituted a violation of the process of natural justice.
In his opinion the case involving Mr Mpiani and Dr Wereko-Brobby is dead and buried, however a co-panelist on the show, Mr Victor Adawudu disagreed.
He conceded that while it was wrong for the prosecution in the case to seek to rely on the findings of the Ghana@50 Commission to prosecute the two, the A-G could still prosecute Mr Mpiani and Dr Wereko-Brobby.
Mr Adawudu said the ruling was a landmark one which had serious legal ramifications and needed to be properly interrogated.
Play the attached audio and listen to excerpts of the submissions on the Super Morning Show.
Story by Malik Abass Daabu/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana