‘Judges Suspension Statement Not Legally Wrong’
There is nothing legally wrong with the statement issued by the Director of Communications at the Presidency announcing the suspension of four justices of the High Court, Nana Yaw Opoku, a private legal practitioner, has said.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday, 9 May suspended Justices Uuter Paul Dery, Mustapha Logoh, Gilbert Ayisi Addo and Charles Quist.
The suspension letter dated 8 May 2018 and signed by the Director of Communications at the presidency, Mr Eugene Arhin, said President Akufo-Addo, on the advice of the Judicial Council, given in accordance with Article 146 (10) (b) of the 1992 Constitution, suspended, with immediate effect, four Justices of the High Court.
The letter said: “The suspension follows the establishment of a prima facie case against them by the Committee set up by the Chief Justice to investigate alleged acts of bribery and corruption against certain persons, including the four Justices, as contained in the 29th August 2015 petition of investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas”.
But lawyer for three of the justices, Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo, said the statement was needless because “they are already on suspension pursuant to the fact that they are on half salary, not sitting and are not receiving their allowances”, hence the current government cannot suspend them again.
He told Chief Jerry Forson on Ghana Yensom on Accra100.5FM on Thursday, 10 May that: “The justices are not bothered about this development because they have already been suspended. This is no news. The statement was needless and meaningless because the people are already on suspension. It shows that Eugene Arhin who issued the statement is uninformed and not abreast with the issues.”
“The statement is legally incompetent, it shows the presidency is made up of people who don’t know what they are about”, he said, adding: “What prevented the Director of Communication from seeking clarification before issuing the statement? I think he should resign,”
Speaking on the same show, Mr Oppong said: “If, indeed, they have already been suspended and are being suspended again, then there are two possibilities. The first is either the current announcement is for publicity or exercise in media campaign; or a restatement of the government’s position which is political. In which case, legally, there is no prejudice against them.
“I don’t see anything legally wrong with it if it is a duplication, then it is a duplication without prejudice,” he added.