Was the SC’s treatment of Sammy Awuku meant to silence us? Prof. Asare asks

Was the SC's treatment of Sammy Awuku meant to silence us? Prof. Asare asks

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http://abnehmenmitspass.info/?v=do-i-need-a-prescription-to-buy-viagra-online do i need a prescription to buy viagra online June 26, 2013 will go down in history as one of the darkest days of Ghana’s constitutional experiment. On that day, Sammy Awuku was summoned before the Supreme Court of Ghana to answer for his out-of-court comments made about the almost 7-months old Presidential Petition. The accused contemnor had reportedly criticized the Justices for being selective in their warnings to the media, after the Justices had apparently cited a Daily Guide report as an example of poor reporting by the media. In a rare show of unity, both the petitioners’ and respondents’ lawyers pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy. After a hearing, the Justices retired to their chambers and returned with a verdict: Sammy Awuku is banned from making further appearances in the Court, after the Court had “mercifully” decided not to invoke its power of contempt. Only his “candid admission and apology” saved him from a more severe punishment.

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Even the harsh, presumably dated, Ghana’s pre-constitutional criminal contempt law requires an intention to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the administration of justice. Merely stating an opinion, that the Court is being selective, where the Court has used one publication as an example of unfair reporting, hardly meets the “mens rea” required for the committing of this crime.

It is apparent that the Court’s show of force and power was completely unnecessary and cast our Justices and jurisprudence in a rather dark light. What will the rest of the world think about our Justices who have failed to resolve a Presidential petition in close to 7 months but somehow find time to listen to the chatter of Sammy Awuku and devote precious Court time to rebuke and intimidate him? Was this action meant to silence the rest of us?

There are two ways forward for the Supreme Court. The Court could forget its core task in the Presidential Petition and shift its emphasis to monitoring all newspapers and broadcasts to identify those stating opinions about the case. Then every Friday, contemnors should be matched to the Supreme Court, publicly ridiculed, rebuked and remanded in custody. It is only such a full-scale-catch-contemnors operation that can shield the Court from accusation of selective intimidation.

Alternatively, the Court can ignore all the noise outside the courtroom and focus on its core task: whether the irregularities, malpractices, omissions and statutory violations in the 2012 elections materially affected the outcome of the elections.

In the end, the Justices will be respected not because they have the power to throw us in jail but because of the power of their reasoning and timely resolution of disputes before them.