I Owe Them No Apologies

tsatsu_tsikataLead counsel for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the election petition, Tsatsu Tsikata, has dismissed calls on him to apologise for accusations he made against one of the nine-member panel of justices of the Supreme Court that dismissed the petition last Thursday.

Mr. Tsikata said neither Justice Anin-Yeboah, whom he accused of political bias during the hearing of the case, nor former President John Agyekum Kufuor, who expressed reservation following the comments, deserved any apology from him.

“I think that you need to address the truth in the observations that I made. And I think you need to do it in the context of what all of us observed [during the election petition hearing]”, he told Radio XYZ in Accra, yesterday.

Last Saturday, on TV3’s news analysis programme Hot Issues, Mr. Tsikata told show host, Kwesi Pratt Jnr, that Justice Anin-Yeboah, allowed his political affiliations to cloud his judgment.

Mr. Tsikata said Justice Anim-Yeboah from the beginning of the case consistently took an opposing stance against the NDC’s arguments and position.

The NDC were the third respondent in the petition hearing. According to him, he was not really surprised by Justice Anin-Yeboah’s persistent and consistent opposition to the stance of the NDC because he was appointed to the Supreme Court by former President John Agyekum Kufuor of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

He has since come under severe criticism for the comments, with a former President of the Ghana Bar Association, Mr. Sam Okudzeto demanding that Mr. Tsikata withdraws the statements and apologises for same.
Former President Kufuor issued a statement calling the accusations unfortunate and unjustified.

But reacting to the criticisms, Mr. Tsikata asked, “Why should I apologise to the former President?”
He said he only mentioned the fact that Justice Anin-Yeboah was appointed by former President Kufuor as a background fact; hence he did not understand how that should warrant an apology from him.

He indicated that he stood by the comments and would not apologise to the Supreme Court Judge either.
Although some persons have indicated that Mr Tsikata’s comments amounted to contempt of court, he rebuffed such assertions.

“I can tell you for certain that there is a world of difference between what I said; remarks that I made and the remarks of other people, there is a world of difference”, he emphasised.

He said he would instead like to encourage the former President and other people condemning his remarks “to pay attention to the words that [he] used in respect of Justice Anin-Yeboah and the importance of judicial balance and indeed the importance of all of us having balanced and measured approach irrespective of our political perspective.”

“I think Judges, particularly, more than anybody else are people we expect to rise above and we need to hold them accountable and that is really what I seek to do”, he added.

He said Justice Anin-Yeboah can attest to the fact that he (Tsikata) has nothing personal against him, noting that there is the need to address the truth and objectivity of whatever position we articulate.

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