A former Attorney General and the chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) constitutional committee, Nii Ayikoi-Otoo, has said the party failed to consult him in taking key legal decisions, including the drafting of a guideline for party communicators on how to avoid contempt.
He also said he had no idea the NPP General Secretary, Mr Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly called Sir John, would address a gathering of party supporters at the NPP headquarters after he escaped jail on Wednesday.
“…Nobody told me that there was a reception anywhere and we should go. They went and they were doing their own thing.
“Some people think they are more NPP than some of us so they take decisions without consulting…”
Speaking to Joy News, he said the NPP General Secretary was expected to formally retract and apologise for contemptuous comments he made on Accra-based radio station, Oman FM later yesterday.
“This will be in compliance with orders given by the Supreme Court when he appeared before it on Wednesday”.
Mr Owusu Afriyie was spared jail term for scandalising the court and rather fined GH¢5,000 and made to sign a bond to be of good behaviour. He has already paid the fine and signed the bond.
His lawyer and former Attorney General, Ayikoi-Otoo, told Joy News Mr Owusu Afriyie still had one more order to comply with.
He said the NPP scribe must formally retract and apologise for his conduct using the same platform he employed earlier.
“If I were advising him [Sir John] what I will tell him is that he should go back [to the same platform]… ” he stated, “If [Sir John] goes back to get the hawks surrounding him to tell him what he should do, I may not be there”.
The-man-of-the-moment, Nii Ayikoi Otoo, also revealed his strategies in court that snatched Sir John and Hopeson Adorye from the jaws of an ominous jail sentence after they were found guilty of intentional criminal contempt.
The strategy of Mr Otoo, lawyer for the two contemnors, could be summed up as apology, mitigation and leveraging his standing as a senior lawyer.
Nii Ayikoi Otoo became an instant hero after a combination of these tactics laced with humour appeared enough for the nine justices to let Sir John and his colleague spend the night at home and not in jail.
His efforts have been applauded and his personality celebrated by lawyers and partisan intercessors who have been praying for Sir John since Tuesday night.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story, Mr Ayikoi Otoo said it was important for him to first apologise before the judges because they had presumed his client guilty of the offence. Explaining the offence was as dangerous as pouring petrol into fire.
After the apology, the experienced advocate then moved to plead with the court to mitigate any sentences the panel might impose on his client. He said Sir John knew he was wrong and, therefore, asking for mercy was the right thing to do.