Blame ‘lazy’ Attorney General not EC lawyer – Afenyo-Markin

General News of Friday, 6 March 2015


Afenyo Markin MP Ghana

Lawyer and Efutu Member of Parliament, Alex Afenyo-Markin, has jumped to the defense of under-fire lead lawyer of the Electoral Commission, James Quashie-Idun for losing a landmark case that led to the cancellation of the district assembly elections.

“A bad case is a bad case,” he fumed adding that “I don’t want us to narrow or personalize it as if Mr Idun as a person put up a poor performance in court. The fact that you lose a case does not make you a bad lawyer or else every lawyer will be indicted because he’s lost a case,” Afenyo-Markin said.

The veteran legal brain has come under ferocious public fire after a recent Supreme Court ruling effectively cancelled the district assembly elections which was originally slated for March 3, 2015.

Critics, including the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), have reportedly called on the EC to fire its lead lawyer, accusing him of poor courtroom performance.

But, Alex Afenyo Markin, the man who led the charge at the Supreme Court against the EC’s over questionable preparations for the District Assembly Elections, in an interview with Citi News’ Richard Dela Sky, said the attacks on Mr. Idun is unfortunate saying “as a lawyer, you act on the instruction of your client. If your client does not consult you and act without legal advice, there is little you can do.”

He said Mr Idun tried his best hence it is wrong to point accusing fingers at him for losing the case insisting that “it was so obvious that the Electoral Commission itself had acted without a legal advice in the first place” and also had a bad case.

Lawyer Afenyo-Markin however heaped the blame on the doorstep of the Attorney General questioning why he failed to show up in court knowing very well that the case was one that could have an indelible effect on the elections.

“A very landmark constitutional case of this matter, why didn’t the learned Attorney General come to court or his deputy? If we want to be very fair, then it is important to know that the Attorney General was the second defendant but was not in court. On the day that the case was ripe for hearing the Attorney General had not filed anything.”

“So you ask yourself did the Attorney General’s office attach any seriousness to the suit? The Attorney General’s office is supposed to advise government on the effect of the law on their actions. If we have to be very sincere in dealing with this matter the blame must also go to the Attorney General… If Mr Quashie-Idun is being singled out for blame… which I disagree anyway, then the Attorney General dealt with this in a very lazy manner. Should have been in court. If we want to look at approach then we can’t single out Quashie-Idun.”