Debate Over ‘Vikileaks’ C’ttee Hot-Up



vickyA former Member of Parliament for Zebilla, John Ndebugri, has reiterated the notion that the Chief Justice “Vikileaks” committee probe will be an exercise in futility.

His assertion came on the kneels of a similar one made by a former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Martin Amidu, who described the committee as “unconstitutional”.

Mr. Amidu contended that, “the constitution does not entrust any disciplinary power over Superior Court Justices to the Chief Justice or the Judicial Council or an appointment and disciplinary committee or any other of the judiciary council”.

The eight-member committee is investigating a gossipy claim by former Deputy Communications Minister, Victoria Hammah, that Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister, Nana Oye Lithur, influenced the final verdict of the nine-member panel of Justices that heard the election petition case.

Mr. Ndebugri, like the former Attorney-General, questioned the constitutional basis for the committee’s two-week probe, which he believed would come to nothing.

“Absolutely not only in futility; it is just muddying the waters further,” he stated on Wednesday.

According to him, any such petition should be based on an allegation, not idle gossip, upon which the sub-committee of the judiciary council appeared to have based its investigative actions.

“In any case, if there is an allegation, it must be against a specific member of the judiciary or the Superior Court and the petition must go to the president, not to the Chief Justice at the first instant,” he pointed out.

However, a former President of the Ghana Bar Association, Sam Okudzeto has disagreed with Mr. Amidu and Mr. Ndebugri, saying “they got it all wrong”.

In his view, the committee had nothing to do with the removal of any of the Justices or overturn the verdict of the apex court — the basis of the arguments posited by the two lawyers.

Mr. Okudzeto argued that since Article 125, sub section 4, empowered the Chief Justice to be responsible for the administration and supervision of the administration of justice, she did the right thing by having the sub-committee put together a probe committee.

He said should the Chief Justice have decided not to act on the matter, “the impression would have been that it is true. Some may say it is not true but some will say that, ‘but she’s a minister coming from the government so if she says it’s so then it’s true’, even though it may not be true…so the purpose is to clear the air to see whether in fact there is any truth or otherwise in the statement that has been made”.

“If she has not done it, tomorrow people will say that is what they do”.

—Ghanaweb

 

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