The Minority Chief Whip has apologised for “scandalising the Judiciary in its entirety”.
This follows his allegation that a Justice of the Supreme Court sought to entice a parliamentarian to vote for a particular candidate during the contest for the speakership of the current legislature.
In a Press Release on Saturday Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka said he has come to this conclusion after consulting broadly and reflecting deeply on the aftermath of the said allegation which was disclosed during an interview broadcast by Joy News TV on 10th January 2021.
“I …wish to respectfully retract same and apologise for the harm done to the image and reputation of my Lord Justices of the Supreme Court and the Judiciary as a whole.
“Based upon good counsel, I … will consequently refrain from any further public commentary on the matter which, as I have indicated was originally reported to me by a female colleague Parliamentarian,” portions of the statement read.
The context of this allegation makes for special mentioning. For the first time in the history of Ghana’s Parliament, the two leading political parties who have representatives in the House, have equal numbers, with one outstanding representative, who came to the house as an independent candidate.
Despite, the independent candidate from Fomena publicly claiming to exercise the deciding vote on behalf of his former political party, the NPP, in a secret voting for a speaker of parliament between two representatives of the NDC and NPP, the government’s representative lost to the opposition candidate.
The tension prior to Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin’s victory over his predecessor, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye led to fisticuffs among opposing MPs, ballot snatching, Military invasion in Parliament and allegations vote-buying, which included that of the Asawase Constituency MP against an unnamed supreme court judge.
“Shamefully, a Supreme Court judge called a lady colleague telling her what they will give her if she votes for Prof Mike Oquaye. He told her that, they will help her take care of her children. She can take fuel from a filling station for free for the next four years.
“So we [NDC] are going to look into it. We will look at the time he made those calls,” Muntaka told JoyNews’ Emefa Apawu.
The Judiciary which felt harmed by this allegation took steps to rehabilitate its reputation.
The Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin Yeboah said he was going to provide a platform for the allegation to be either substantiated with facts or lacking of which, it should be retracted.
This was contained in a press statement signed by the Judicial Secretary, Justice Cynthia Pamela Addo.
But Mr Mubarak seems to have given up after the Ghana BAR Association also turned the heat on him. The Association in a letter dated January 12, 2021, described Mr Muntaka’s allegations as offensive and distasteful.
According to the BAR Association such allegations incite hatred for the Judges and expose them to ridicule.
Calling for a ceasefire, the former Sports Minister pleaded with the media and interested parties to let sleeping dogs lie.
“Based upon good counsel, I have also decided to let sleeping dogs lie and will consequently refrain from any further public commentary on the matter which, as I have indicated was originally reported to me by a female colleague Parliamentarian.
“I implore the media and the general public to kindly respect the spirit in which I offer this retraction and apology,” Muntaka sermonized