The Legal Affairs Directorate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has criticised Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, over comments made against former President John Dramani Mahama.
According to the party, Mr Dame’s partisanship and bias as an NPP member is not in doubt, especially with his choice of the Bar Conference to berate the former President. It condemned the rather “unwarranted scathing attacks” by the Attorney-General.
Contained in a statement signed by Abraham Amaliba, head of Legal Affairs of the party, it indicated that Mr Dame’s “unjustified outburst is characteristic of the arrogant posturing” of his boss, President Akufo-Addo, and “his failing government that is allergic to divergent views and opinions” on national issues.
The NDC highlighted that it is surprised by the speech because many citizens who have been critical of the Akufo-Addo’s government have suffered one form of attack or another from “this intolerant” government.
“Godfred Dame’s partisanship and bias as an NPP member is not in doubt. However, one would have thought that he would be mindful of his position as the Minister for Justice and leader of the Bar which requires that he demonstrates a certain degree of maturity required of him by virtue of his position. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Sometimes, Mr Dame speaks like a typical NPP foot soldier other than a lawyer and for that matter the Attorney-General.”Abraham Amaliba
The party explained that the Attorney-General’s choice of the Bar Conference to make such pronouncements is disrespectful to lawyers and the legal profession. It stated that his speech has finally confirmed the long held suspicions about his competence as a lawyer and Attorney-General in his appreciation of the law.
NDC clarifies controversy surrounding election 2020 petition
Addressing the substantive issues raised by Mr Dame, the NDC highlighted that his analysis and appreciation of the key issues in 2020 election petition case of President Mahama is not only “pedestrian but pathetic”. It revealed that the Attorney-General’s appreciation of the election petition was on “wrong aggregation of votes and vote padding”, whereas that wasn’t the motive for the party’s election petition.
“We wish to encourage Mr Dame to go back and read the petition again. For his education, the Petitioner’s case was anchored on the fact that the declaration made by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission and Returning Officer in the Presidential Elections fell short of the requirement in Article 63(3) which states that ‘A person shall not be elected as President of Ghana unless at the presidential election the number of votes cast in his favour is more than fifty per cent of the total number of votes cast at the election’. This was apparent on the face of the declaration made by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission.”Abraham Amaliba
Unfortunately, the NDC expressed disappointment over the fact that the Supreme Court failed to allow the Chairperson to enter the witness box to demonstrate to Ghanaians how she ended up causing such an “embarrassment to the people of Ghana” in her declaration. To this end, the party noted that this question still lingers on the minds of many Ghanaians as citizens’ trust in the Electoral Commission keeps declining.
“We are therefore not surprised that the recent Afrobarometer report published by the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD) has revealed a decline in citizen’s trust in the Judiciary by 21 percentage points between 2012 and 2022. Therefore it begs the question how former President Mahama’s observations about the judiciary and calls for reforms in the face of the declining trust in same could be seen as an attack on the judiciary.”Abraham Amaliba
Ghana’s National Security Strategy, the party revealed in its risk analysis, has identified mistrust in the Judiciary as a major threat to Ghana’s democratic stability. It explained that this requires reforms that would restore citizen’s trust in such an important institution.
“Every well-meaning Ghanaian must be concerned about this. Therefore, if former President Mahama, in his own right, expresses his opinion on the state of the Judiciary, why should that warrant an attack from the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice who should rather be concerned about the issues raised and take steps to address them.”Abraham Amaliba
The NDC emphasized the need for the Attorney-General to be reminded that Ghana is a democracy and that citizens including former President Mahama have the right to freely express themselves.