Critics Of My SC Verdict Analysis Are “Ignorant” – Okudzeto

A former President of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), Mr. Sam Okudzeto, has described those criticising his analysis of the Supreme Court verdict on the election petition trial, as “ignorant” people. “…If anybody is [picking] a fight with me, it is because the person is ignorant and I think we Ghanaians should learn now to begin to learn, instead of using sentiments. Sentiments don’t help anybody” he told Radio XYZ’s news magazine programme STRICT PROOF on Friday. Mr. Okudzeto, in an interview with XYZ News on Thursday September 26, 2013, accused the presiding judge of the nine-member Supreme Court panel that heard the case, Justice William Atuguba, of “misreading" the judgment of his other colleague Justices. According to Sam Okudzeto, his own analysis of the 588 pages of the judgment shows the decision went 5-4 in favour of the petitioners. He, therefore, wondered why the Court ruled in favour of the respondents and validated President John Mahama’s election. Mr. Okudzeto said he believes the Presiding Judge, Justice William Atuguba, gave a “wrong” analysis of the judgment. Retired Military Captain, Joel Sowu, his harshest critic, described Mr. Okudzeto’s analysis as wrongly-timed and imprudent. According to Captain Sowu, “…with his age, I thought that prudence should have played a part for him to decide whether to say what he’s saying at this point in time or not”. “If you say the right thing at the wrong time, it is wrong; if you say the wrong thing at the right time; it is wrong and I think the timing is completely overboard and it is uncalled for and it must be condemned by right thinking people who want peace in this country”, he stressed. He wondered why Mr. Okudzeto made those comments despite the fact that: “The petitioner himself has said ‘I will abide by the thing’”. “…So who are you now to start critiquing and rubbishing the judgment of the Supreme Court?” “…We are all saying that the word ‘Supreme’ means ‘something or nothing’, and he, as a former President of the Bar Association, seriously, I’m disappointed in him”, he thundered exasperatingly. Mr. Okudzeto however retorted that: “That is the level of their ignorance; that because the Supreme Court has pronounced judgment therefore, we as academicians should not analyze it?” “If they are doing that then they are ignorant and this is what they need to be educated upon…I was doing a critique of the judgment; I’m entitled to do; in fact which I’m obligated to do. They should learn now and begin to learn because it is the sentiment that creates the tension in the country. It is not the analysis”.