It must be frustrating for a father to watch his children go astray, particularly when he is in a position to offer some form of counseling to them. However, the exuberance of the young sometimes blind them from seeing obvious perils ahead of them in life, especially when it relates to the complex theme of law.
It is for this reason that former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Hon. Ayikoi Otoo is saddened that the Young Patriots did not seek legal advice from him or any legal expert, before proceeding to write a letter to the Supreme Court.
“We have a Constitutional and Legal Committee of the party of which I am the Chairman. When you want to do something that has to do with the law, one would have thought that in all these cases you refer to the committee for them to advise you”.
“Now if people decide to do their own thing because they think they are more NPP than some of us, then you would sometimes sit down and look and see what happens at the end of the day. This is most unfortunate”.
Lawyer Ayikoi Otoo made these comments in a telephone interview on Asempa Fm, moments after tactfully plea-bargaining on behalf of Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, the General Secretary of NPP and Hopeson Adorye a communications team member of the party, when they appeared before the apex court of the land for comments it (the Supreme Court) deemed contemptuous.
His comments were in reference to a letter sent to the Supreme Court by the Young Patriots, in addition to a litany of audio tapes belonging to members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), which the group believes contains ample evidence of contemptuous matters, including that of President John Dramani Mahama, that they thought had not been brought to the notice of the justices hearing the election petition pending before them.
At a press conference addressed by Richard Nyaamah, President of the Young Patriots on Monday, 13th August, 2013, the group also made copies of the evidence available to the media and cited comments by President Mahama on August 7, 2013 to the Muslim community that the Supreme Court “will affirm him” as president.
The Young Patriots also alleged that Mr. Ali Dawood, an NDC member, who was hosting a “Majority Caucus” programme on Multi TV on June 25, 2013, said “the Supreme Court cannot overturn any elections in Ghana, not in 2013 or ever”, while Mr Owula Mangortey, who is also a member of the NDC, on Radio Gold warned “President Mahama not to accept the Supreme Court verdict if it goes against him”.
However, on Wednesday, Justice William Atuguba gave indication the youth wing of the NPP could be indicted for committing “Young contempt” after they petitioned the Supreme Court.
The Presiding Judge made the remark during hearing of the contempt charge brought against Sir John and Hopeson Adorye.
According to the president of the panel, having already warned that writing letters to the judges constituted contempt, it was surprising that the Young Patriots decided to disregard the warning. Atuguba said the Young Patriot have been charged with young contempt but have been referred to the Peace Council.
When his views were sought on the issue, Ayikoi Otoo admitted though the group could be in the right, they should have sought advice from the leadership of the party before embarking on their action. He further urged them to be more tolerant of all shades of opinions in the party.