The seven-member Supreme Court panel hearing the ongoing presidential election petition has discharged the Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga East and former Deputy Attorney General, Dr Dominic Akuritinga Ayine, from the contempt charges brought against him.
Dr Ayine was charged with contempt following comments he had made against the court which were deemed to be scandalous.
The court on Monday called the case for the first time, and ordered Dr Ayine to render a public apology using the same medium through which he scandalised the court and brought its name into disrepute.
In compliance with the apex court’s order, Dr Ayine rendered a public apology to both the bench and the bar for undermining the sanctity of the judicial system of the country.
Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah yesterday noted that the contemnor had purged himself as ordered and would be discharged without any further punishment.
Lead counsel for Dr Ayine, Frank Becheem, said the former Deputy Attorney General had learned his lesson and would ‘sin no more’.
Lead counsel for the Electoral Commission, Justine Amenuvor, also solidarised with Dr Ayine, and pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy.
Dr Ayine, in an interaction with the media on Tuesday February 16, accused the court of having a “predetermined agenda” against former President John Dramani Mahama.
Dr Ayine’s accusation followed the dismissal of an application by lawyers for the petitioner that was seeking leave of the court to re-open his case in order to subpoena the Electoral Commission Chairperson, Jean Mensa, to mount the witness box.
“For the Supreme Court to reduce the Petition into a single issue Petition is rather unfortunate and smacks of a predetermined agenda to rule against the Petitioner in this matter…we think that the court by this decision has not done the people of this country a great service… The Justices, today, have not given us a reason to believe that they want the people of this country to know the truth about what happened,” Dr Ayine said.
In a related development, counsel for the Electoral Commission (EC), Justin Amenuvor, has urged the supreme Court to dismiss the petition before it for lack of proper evidence.
The EC’s lawyer in his closing address argued that the evidence led on behalf of the petitioner did not advance his case, explaining that the only semblance of irregularity with votes relates to allegation of vote padding of 4,693 votes in favour of the second respondent in 26 constituencies.
Mr Amenuvor argued that if the alleged vote padding were true, and which is not, it would not change the outcome of the election, as the difference between the petitioner and the second respondent was more than 500,000 valid votes.
He noted that the petitioner’s star witness, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, under cross-examination, admitted before the court that the petitioner had no basis to back his request for a run-off.
He further argued that the petitioner raised no issue at all with the total valid votes obtained by him and the second respondent in the declaration contained in the video tendered in court.
“It is our submission that neither the petitioner nor his witnesses led evidence to prove that the valid votes obtained by each of the candidates in the data of the first respondent was wrong or irregular,” he said.
Mr Amenuvor contended that including the Techiman South constituency presidential results, the total votes obtained by the second respondent is 6,776,792, and as a percentage of the total valid votes cast (13,220,547), the percentage obtained by the second respondent becomes 51.260 per cent.
“Thus, it is our submission that the analysis above show clearly that the second respondent still meet the more than 50%+1 threshold under article 63 (3) with both the exclusion and inclusion of Techiman South presidential election results,” the EC lawyer said.