20 Jan Ghana Election Petition: Dominic Ayine explains reason for his ‘misconduct’ in court
20 Jan 2021
A member of the legal team for the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress, Dominic Ayine, has explained that the reason for his misconduct earlier in court today was because he was shocked at the proceedings in court.
The Chief Justice, Justice Anim Yeboah, chided the former Deputy Minister for Justice and Attorney General, Dominic Ayine, for continuously raising objections while the timelines for the hearing were being readout.
According to the Supreme Court, the decision had to be taken looking at the strict timelines guiding the election adjudication dispute as contained in the constitutional instrument (C.I) 99.
The judges decided after the parties presented their memorandum of issues.
“I saw you murmuring to your colleagues during the hearing and you should know better. You keep murmuring which I think is not fair. Please out of the respect for you, don’t do that again,” the CJ warned.
But the NDC MP for Bolgatanga East, in defense, told the media that he reacted out of shock; noting that the parties involved in the case were not consulted in the decision-making process which he said should not be the case in the practice of the profession.
Dominic Ayine further argued that the 42-day timeline given by drafters of the rules for the election petition means that the court can deliver within the period thus questioned the urge for a ‘speedy’ trial.
A situation, he said, he has never seen happening in his 25-year experience as a legal practitioner.
“You cannot now begin to truncate and deny the parties the right to be able to file, for instance, preliminary applications that are mandated and allowed by law just because you want a speedy trial.”
“And I was shocked at what was happening and you all realized that the CJ singled me out that my body language was inappropriate but that is because I was very shocked that after 25 years of law practice, I have never seen this happening; that a court will arbitrarily announce the timeline for the party without consultation.”
Mr Ayine, however, wondered why neither of the parties did oppose the decision by the 7-member panel.
In his words, “I had occasioned to ask Mr. Akoto Ampaw why he did not object to the entire deadlines and sitting down there. It reminded me of an inscription that was on the desk of my secondary school rector that “don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up”.
Meanwhile, below is the roadmap for the timeline of the hearing
1.Mode of trial – The petitioner and their witnesses shall file witness statements with exhibits if any, by 12 noon of Thursday, January 21, 2021.
2. The witness statements shall be filed on the counsel for the respondents by close of day on Thursday, January 21.
3. The respondents and their witnesses if any, shall file their witness statements with exhibits, if any by close of day on Friday, January 22, 2021.
4. The first and second respondents shall file their submissions on the preliminary objections raised to the petition by 12 noon on Friday, January 22, 2021.
5. The registrar shall ensure service of the preliminary objections by close of day, Friday, January 22, 2021.
6. The petitioner shall file any response to the submission of the preliminary objections by noon on Monday, January 25, 2021.
7. The registrar shall ensure service of the petitioner’s response by close of day on Monday, January 25, 2021.
8. The ruling on the preliminary objections would be incorporated in the judgement of the court.
9. The court shall sit on Tuesday, January 26, 2021, for the hearing of this petition.