Ayikoi Otoo counsels Manhyia to go to Court over allegations of bribery
Former Attorney General, Joseph Ayikoi Otoo, has backed calls for Manhyia to seek redress from the Courts over allegations it bribed the Supreme Court Justices who recently dismissed the 2012 Presidential Election Petition.
The NPP stalwart commended the Asantehene for taking the matter to the National Media Commission (NMC), but noted it may be necessary to go further due to the seriousness of the allegations.
The New Free Press online news portal alleged in a recent publication that the Asantehene Otumfuor Osei Tutu II influenced the outcome of the election dispute by bribing the Supreme Court Judges.
But the allegation was given a boost during a newspaper review discussion on Kessben FM, a Kumasi-based radio station on Monday September 9, 2013.
The Asantehene subsequently issued a strongly-worded statement to describe the claim as “insulting” and “reprehensible”, adding that appropriate steps will be taken to protect the integrity of Ashanti king.
The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service has started investigations into the allegations.
But speaking on Newsfile on the Joy News channel on Multi TV, on Saturday, Mr Ayikoi Otoo said although the case has been sent to the NMC, the Publishers of the New Free Press online news portal may drag their feet when invited to answer questions about the allegations.
“That is why people are saying that if the Asantehene feels so strongly about this thing he can even go to court”, he said.
According to him, the Ashanti king “needs to salvage his image because the [matter] has gone out and it’s already there [in the public domain].”
Speaking on the issue, a Deputy Information and Media Relations Minister, Mahama Ayariga, observed that the bribery allegation against Asantehene has done a ‘colossal damage’ to the August 29 verdict of the Supreme Court.
He added that “it destroys the reputation of the Otumfuor and Manhyia, which is a traditional institution that everybody respects and revered across the country”.
When everything else fails in our democracy, according to Mahama Ayariga, it is Manhyia and other traditional authorities who “hold it together” – stressing the need for them to be held in high esteem.
Kwaku Baako Jnr., Editor of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, however, thinks Manhyia should have ‘ignored’ the allegations.
“Particularly because it comes under a cloak of a certain anonymity”, he explained.
His opinion was that because Otumfuor reacted to the allegations, it gave the issue “oxygen”, noting that had Manhyia kept silent, the issue would not have assume its current significance.
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