According to Ernest Owusu-Bempah, the NPP’s deputy director of communications, the Dormaahene is no longer qualified to serve as a High Court judge because of his comments on the prosecution of James Gyakye Quayson, a member of parliament from Assin North.
The traditional chief, whom Owusu-Bempah believes insulted the judiciary—the very institution he works for as a judge—in his opinion.
As a matter of urgency, I am appealing to the president of the republic that if he has any role to play in that trial, it should be abandoned. As was previously mentioned, Osagyefo Agyemang Badu, who is also a High Court Judge, made this statement while speaking at the 10th anniversary lecture of John Evans Atta Mills in Sunyani. In order to reverse that specific judgement, the Attorney General must act immediately and submit a nolle prosequi.
“I don’t see how this prosecution would help Ghanaians, to be completely honest. In order for him to carry out his duties, he must be out of court, thus the president and attorney general must act quickly to put a stop to this situation so that Ghanaians may go on.
But Mr. Owusu Bempah responded to him in a statement, saying, “Anyone who has been following the political developments in our country would agree that Osagyefo Oseadeeyo Agyemang Badu II, popularly known as Justice Daniel Mensah in the judiciary, has evolved into an increasingly legalistic albino who serves as the National Democratic Congress’s (NDC) puppet.”
His politically incorrect rants and direct criticism of the court, the same organisation to which he belongs, nearly made me vomit as I listened to him.
Intemperate language was used, an open threat was made against the government, and he had the audacity to take the Supreme Court on. I was extremely shocked by this.
What specifically was Justice Daniel Mensah trying to convey when he said that President Akufo-Addo and the Attorney General should halt the criminal proceedings against Gyakye Quayson?
His remarks have also drawn the ire of the Ministry of Justice and Office of the Attorney General, who claim that they “clearly exceed the bounds of acceptable speech” since they aim to discredit prosecutors in the eyes of the general public and thwart the prosecution of certain cases.
“Some of the comments are staged to skew the justice system and/or prevent fair cases from being heard and decided,” the statement reads.
According to Mr. Dame, “The decision to prefer a charge against an accused individual is determined on the strength of evidence submitted to the scrutiny of the courts. It is not made based on a person’s political rank, social status, or economic standing.
“A person’s court-ordered acquittal does not suggest that the Republic intentionally filed a case against them.
“The idea that a crime committed by a person with high political standing in society shouldn’t be prosecuted is dangerous for society and must not be tolerated,” the statement reads.
The Attorney-General continued, “In the performance of his duty to defend the administration of justice against abuse, the public is thus requested to refrain from interfering with the administration of justice by refraining from making unwanted remarks and applying pressure to the courts.”
The Attorney General emphasised that “no immunity from the repercussions of an attempt to interfere with the administration of justice or an attempt to go beyond the bounds of a judgement to be rendered by the court in any matter is conferred by a person’s position in parliament, the judiciary, a traditional authority, the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), or any official position.”