General Secretary of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly called Sir John, has lambasted the Member of Parliament (MP) for Akuapem South, O.B Amoah, for admonishing him to refrain from making comments on the ongoing election conflict.
The NPP Chief Scribe sought to find out the position of the Akuapem South MP, for which he would dare question his authority to speak about the court proceedings.
Though he has pledged to defy the instructions by some seasoned lawyers in the country, O.B Amoah and the Ghana Journalist Association, demanding him and the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, to stop commenting on the pending election case, Sir John wondered why the NPP stalwart would assume a position to caution him.
He therefore asked “on whose authority is he speaking? Is he the authority on free speech or what? What is his locus in this matter? Is he the yardstick; the perfection, that people should look at?…If he’s speaking his mind, let him continue to speak his mind. I will continue to say what I think that it is in the best interest of my constituent.”
“On what basis does he make his analysis? Is it in terms of age, in terms of knowledge or in terms of intellectual capacity? Who are these people to judge and to pontificate to say that they know how to talk and others do not? Who are they?”
Making his submissions on Radio Gold last Friday, Sir John debunked claims that he may be cited for contempt if he continues to give commentaries, stating firmly that he knows “what contempt is. I can assure you that I’m not in contempt of the court proceedings and I will continue to speak as I do.”
According to him, he has a long-standing experience in law which gives him the right to analyse the court proceedings.
“I am a lawyer of 32 years standing. And I think that whatever anybody can comment on including O.B Amoah, I am capable of also commenting in the same manner and doing the same intellectual analysis that any of those persons who are talking could do.”
He challenged his opponents to argue their case in the law court “because we cannot blacklist anybody.We cannot gag anybody from speaking…Since when did this nonsense surface in this country that when people speak, they should be gagged? Is that not an abuse of my right; a constitutional right to have my peace and to speak?…If any of these persons are democrats, obviously they will not be speaking the way that they do.”