Lead Counsels Warn Supporters On Contemptuous Comments: “We Will Not Cover Up For Anybody”

Lead counsels for the petitioners and respondents in the ongoing election results contestation in the Supreme Court; have issued a word of caution to their followers in the court case to refrain from making presumptuous comments because they would not be shielded. According to Tastsu Tsikata, the lead counsel for the third respondent (the National Democratic Congress) and who acted as the spokesperson for the lawyers battling the case, warned followers of both the Petitioners( the New Patriotic Party) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to stop making contemptuous comments because the parties are not in support of their actions. Flanked by Lawyer Philip Addison, the lead counsel of the petitioners who seconded the statement, as well as lawyer Tony Lithur, counsel for the first respondent, President John Dramani Mahama. “..We will not cover up for anybody, even within our party that seeks to do anything that will run counter to this important national objective. “So we are here formally indicating our support for the judiciary taking steps to ensure that the authority of the judiciary is not undermined, and we certainly do not want anybody to think that being a member of our party give them a license for anything like that,” Tsatsu Tsikata affirmed in an interview to the media on Tuesday. This caution came on the back of a summon of three persons; the Managing Editor of the Daily Searchlight newspaper, Ken Kuranchie and two communicators of the governing NDC, Kweku Boahen and Stephen Atubiga. Stephen Atubiga is alleged to have declared on Asempa FM’s current affairs programme, “Ekosi Sen” that his party will not accept the Supreme Court’s verdict if it goes against President John Mahama. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has sentenced Mr Steven Atubiga, a member of the communication team of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Searchlight Newspaper, Ken Kuranchie to 3 and 10 days imprisonment for contemptuous comments respectively. This was after the two were afforded the chance to retract their statements after they were summoned by the court. A third member of the "hunted trio", Kweku Boahen, the Ashanti Regional Youth Organiser of the NDC, however, escaped punishment when it was realized that his comments were made after the "final warning" given by the Supreme Court. Their invitation follows a similar one extended to the Deputy Communication Director of the NPP, Sammy Awuku who has since been banned from attending the court proceedings. The judge’s action have been criticised by some members in the public including former NPP presidential aspirant Dr. Arthur Kennedy. Dr. Arthur Kennedy said the posture of the Judges appears to undermine freedom of expression in the country. He therefore described their attitude as “unfortunate”.