Dormaahene must resign or be sacked from the High Court — Sam Okudzeto

Prominent Ghanaian lawyer, Sam Okudzeto has said the Dormaahene, Osagyefo Agyemang Badu II, should have been asked to resign as a justice of the High Court for making public utterances on a matter pending before the courts if he was on the Disciplinary Committee of the Judicial Council.

He said the Judicial Council should take action against the Dormaahene.

Sam Okudzeto, a member of the General Legal Council, made the call after the Dormaahene appealed to the Attorney-General (A-G), Godfred Yeboah Dame to discontinue the criminal charges against James Gyakye Quayson, the Member of Parliament-elect for Assin North.

James Gyakye Quayson is facing trial for perjury at the High Court in Accra.

He is facing charges of forgery and perjury in relation to certain alleged offences in the run-up to the 2020 Assin North parliamentary election.

He pleaded not guilty to five counts of forgery of passport or travel certificate, knowingly making a false statutory declaration, perjury, and false declaration for office.

Dormaahene speaking at the Bono, Bono East, Ahafo, and Western North regional version of the Professor John Evans Atta Mills Commemorative Lecture in Sunyani over the weekend appealed for the A-G to drop the criminal charges against Quayson.

Dormaahene, Osagyefo Agyemang Badu II

He insisted that it was needless for the Attorney General to continue the case after the chiefs and people of the Assin North constituency re-elected Quayson.

Osagyefo Agyemang Badu who doubles as the President of the Bono Regional House of Chiefs said the law has a provision that permitted the A-G to discontinue any case if citizens were not interested.

He said continuing with the criminal trial was an insult to Ghanaians and the people of Assin North.

He added that he does not see any benefits coming to the country, should the A-G decide to continue to prosecute James Gyakye Quayson, and that prosecuting him will prevent him from doing his job as a legislator.

But Sam Ikudzeto disagreed and said he would have asked the Dormaahene to resign and asked that he should be sacked as a justice of the High Court.

In an interview on Accra-based Joy FM on Monday, July 3, 2023, Okudzeto said “It is bad, it is just not decent for a judge to make such an utterance.

To me [Okudzeto], it is repugnant, it is senseless for a sitting High Court judge to stand on a public platform [and] make utterances of that nature.

This is my view. If I were [to be] sitting in that Disciplinary Committee on the Judicial Council, I would have asked him to resign or asked that he be sacked as a judge, that is what I would have done.”

I was surprised that as a sitting High Court judge, he should make such statements of that nature, particularly in public. I was actually shocked because I will never dream of making statements of that nature. I think it is shocking. If he felt anything was wrong, he should have rather sought that person in private and maybe make a suggestion to him, which of course, it is the power of the Attorney-General to do what he decides to do, I don’t think anybody has authority to tell him what to do,” he added.

However, Godfred Dame said comments made by individuals in high positions could potentially impact the ongoing criminal trial.

He said such remarks have the potential to affect the fair adjudication of the case adding that any comments that undermine the administration of justice are detrimental and should not be tolerated.



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