General News of Saturday, 16 December 2017
The National Democratic Congress (NDC)Member of Parliament for Juaboso in the Western Region Kwabena Minta Akandor has lambasted the Chief Justice for questioning his use of the honourable title.
Justice Sophia Akuffo presiding over a case Tuesday in which Akandor and the MP for Ashaiman Ernest Norgbey were praying the court to revoke the appointment of the Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister Otiko Afisa Djaba for failing to undertake the mandatory National Service Program chided the two for adding the title honourable to the writ they filed before the court.
According to her, the NDC MPs were not supposed to add such title to their names stressing that their use of it rendered them “dishonourable.”
Speaking for the first time after the embarrassing ordeal in an interview with Starr News’ Parliamentary Correspondent Ibrahim Alhassan, Akandor stated the CJ’s outrage was because of the political party affiliation of the plaintiffs.
According to him, the rant of the CJ has embarrassed him and his constituents for no wrongdoing.
“She could have done this without behaving like that…in a decorous manner and I wouldn’t have any problem with that,” he told Alhassan Friday.
“And the main reason why I am saying that and I am tempted to believe with the school of thought that has it that it is because I am a member of the NDC that is why she is handling me this way is that at one breathe the Chief Justice indicated that she had a problem with the usage of the word honourable. In another breathe she goes like counsel [not my counsel ] why didn’t you prefix Otiko Djaba’s name with honourable and indicated with Miss…is she not a Member of Parliament and her attention was drawn that Otiko Djaba is not a Member of Parliament,” he added.
“So, if it is a genuine concern about the usage of the title why was she enquiring or why she wondering why Otiko Djaba was not described as honourable. So for me I am praying to the Almighty God that we shouldn’t get to the dictatorship of the judiciary,” he stressed.
Borne-out of pettiness
On his part, a private legal practitioner, George Loh said Justice Akuffo’s treatment of the two legislators was borne-out of pettiness and that it was unwarranted.
He argued the usage of the “honourable” title could not have been the fault of the MPs as they were not the ones who issued the writ.
“The writ was only issued in their names and it is standard practice. The chief justice knows that… it is the lawyers who issue writs. So why do you say that they were dishonourable in putting honourable before their names? I thought it wasn’t fair,” he told Morning Starr host Francis Abban.
“It is nothing that we should create a storm in a tea cup about,” he added.