Communications Officer for the National Democratic Congress, Sammy Gyamfi, holds the assertion that Bolga East MP, Dominic Ayine, did not err with his comments about the apex court because it is his candid opinion.
He emphasized that a statement is termed to be scandalous only when it involves utterances that cannot be substantiated.
Sammy Gyamfi offered this clarification following the recent summoning of Dr. Ayine by the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Counsel for making statements that were deemed to have breached the laws of the highest court of the land.
Joining discussions on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana Thursday, Sammy Gyamfi said, Dominic Ayine undertook an exercise aimed at seeking the opinions of legal practitioners across the political divide of their impression about court proceedings, and as such he shared his subjective views.
“He goes for an academic exercise with other lawyers from the NPP present to discuss the impact of these election petitions on our democracy. He’s asked a direct question: what is your confidence in the independence of the judiciary in the wake of this judgment? Other lawyers said we are very confident in the judiciary because the decision went well, it was decided well, and all that. He says no! For me, my hopes in the independence of the judiciary have been dampened because of the way and manner the Supreme Court determined some of the interlocutory application of the petitioner without due regard for judicial precedence and settled rules and practices” he added.
Mr. Gyamfi questioned the offense committed by the former deputy Attorney General, stressing “He’s been brought before the disciplinary committee. Is it by force to have confidence in somebody? He is talking about his subjective opinions, his hopes.”
He further opined that a statement is considered to be scandalous when it provides defamatory utterances about an individual or an institution that cannot be backed by facts.
“But that will have to do with you publicizing information, facts, and statements about a judicial officer which you know to be false or without due regard for the truth of that statement. So that statement has to do with a statement of fact. For example; if you go out there and you say ‘some judges took bribes in the hearing of this petition. That one is a statement of fact that you should be able to substantiate” he emphasized.
“If you are unable to substantiate because that statement is false, and that statement is about a judicial officer, then rule 52 kicks in. You can be disciplined as a lawyer. But if am merely asked a question about my subjective opinion relative to my confidence in an institution but I say that the way and manner they decided some of the applications for me my hopes in their independence have been dampened. What is scandalous about this? What is scurrilous about this?” He quizzed.