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General News of Thursday, 5 September 2013

Source: Daily Guide

Atuguba flies to America

It has emerged that, even before they could give out the reasons for their judgement on the 2012 election petition, a number of the Supreme Court Justices, who sat on the case, had booked their flights to embark on foreign trips.

Apparently, a number of them had already secured foreign visas to enable them to travel outside the country after handing out the judgement.

Details emerging from the inner chambers of the Supreme Court indicated that Justice William Atuguba was the first to have left the country for the United States of America (USA), where he is cooling off in the state of New York from where he was reported to have sent his opinion on the landmark petition.

It is not certain how long he would stay and when he is due back to the country since the Judicial Service is on legal vacation.

Next to have gone after Atuguba was said to be Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, who has come under severe attack by the lead counsel for NDC in the petition, Tsatsu Tsikata.

He was also reported to have left for London in the United Kingdom after the ruling, and is expected back in the country sometime next week.

Justice Anin Yeboah is said to have gone for routine medical check-up.

According to reports, Justice Sophia Adinyira is likely to travel or has already left the country for abroad while her colleague, Justice Paul Baffoe-Bonnie is also said to be earnestly preparing to leave in the next couple of days to an unknown destination.

Interestingly, some of these judges had initially created the impression that it was only politicians and members of their families who were first to secure foreign visas ahead of elections in order to avoid being caught in possible violence in the event of such occurrence.

Apparently, some of these judges also had similar plans ahead of their controversial ruling which has now provoked heated debates across the political divide, with some reading political meanings into their judgement.

While the Executive Director of policy think tank Danquah Institute (DI), Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, described the judgement as corrupt, his senior colleague, Tsatsu Tsikata has accused Justice Anin Yeboah of exhibiting bias in the determination of the judgement.

President Mahama has, however, expressed worry about some of these attacks on the nine justices. “I believe that the current commentary that is going on about the justices of the Court and all that are absolutely unnecessary; the court has decided, let’s put the case behind us. Let’s rally together as a nation; there is a lot of work to do. Let’s put our shoulders to the wheel and let’s do that work so that our nation will become a better place for ourselves and children,” he stated.

This was during a meeting with the national Chief Imam, Sheikh Osumanu Nuhu Sharubutu when the latter called on him at the presidency.

He said the country had gone through eight months of uncertainties and once the judgement was given and accepted by all parties in the case, there was no need to mount attacks on the justices on their religious or political affiliations.

“I have always had confidence in Ghanaians for their obedience to law and order and, therefore, did not expect anything different after the verdict and will like to commend all the stakeholders,” the President said.

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