Lead Counsel for the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the just-ended election petition case, Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, has accused Justice Anim Yeboah, one of the nine Supreme Court Judges that heard the matter, of allowing his political affiliations to cloud his judgment.
Mr. Tsikata said Justice Anim-Yeboah consistently took an opposing stance against the NDC’s arguments and position as far as the case was concerned, from the onset.
According to him, he was not really surprised by Justice Anim Yeboah’s persistent and consistent opposition to the stance of the NDC because he was appointed to the Supreme Court by former President John Agyekum Kufuor of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Mr. Tsikata expressed his concerns when he spoke on TV3’s Hot Issues programme on Saturday, August 31, 2013.
Asked by the host, Kwesi Pratt Jr., if he was surprised that three of the nine Judges consistently voted against the respondents in three of the six pleadings of the petitioners as far as the final verdict of the case pronounced on Thursday August 29, 2013 was concerned, Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata said: “I’ll tell you very frankly that it didn’t surprise me that Justice Anim Yeboah was consistently in that group”.
“I mean he has been consistently against even the NDC being joined as a party and consistently in Court, I mean, it was quite clear that he was taking positions against everything that was put forward from our side, I mean, there was a very consistent way”, Mr. Tsikata observed.
He noted that: “…Again I think that we all understand that the judiciary is made up of human beings. They have their own political ambitions and in his [Justice Anim Yeboah] case, he was appointed as a Judge by President Kufuor. He probably still has a certain loyalty to the cause of [Mr. Kufuor]”.
Responding to a question about whether a Judge’s political affiliation should matter when taking decisions on issues before the court, Mr. Tsikata said: “It should not, but I’m giving you a frank example in a situation where it seems to me like somebody like that [Justice Anim Yeboah] really did not take up what I will call a truly balanced judicial posture in relation to the matters that were before him and I say that very frankly, but I believe that that is an observation that one can make and we do recognise as Lawyers and as Law teachers particularly, we do recognise the ways in which sometimes decisions are affected by some of these personal prejudices and positions”.
Adducing further anecdotal evidence to support his allegations against Justice Anim Yeboah, Mr. Tsikata recalled that: “I gave you an example in relation to my own case. Again, Justice Anim Yeboah, he sat in the court of appeal. He gave a decision. Its in the reports – you can go and read it – in which, you know, against the position that I had taken, that the IFC, International Finance Corporation – is not immune from the jurisdiction of the Courts of Ghana. He gave a decision asserting an immunity and in asserting it, all he relied on was the statement of the immunity of the International Monetary Fund, a different organisation”.
“I mean its in black and white. He read, you know, an article from a statute which is about the International Monetary Fund and he read it to apply to International Finance Corporation. I mean you don’t do that but he did, in my case, and again in that case, there was no doubt in my mind about his political convictions being the driver of the decision,” Mr. Tsikata noted.
According to him, “…I think we need to uncover them in order to correct them also, because Judges should not, indeed, let political partisanship be the determinant of positions they take”.