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Supreme Court bans NPP Director from attending election petition

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supreme courtMr Sammy Awuku, a Deputy Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), was on Wednesday banned by the Supreme Court from attending the hearing of the Presidential Election Petition.

The ban followed a contemptuous statement he made on Peace FM coming after the Supreme Court’s final warning on certain comments by the public, especially in the media circles.

Mr Awuku’s comments did not go down well with the judges and when hearing resumed on Wednesday, Justice William Atuguba, President of the Panel asked if Awuku was in court.

Mr Awuku later in the afternoon appeared in court when he heard that the Court was searching for him in connection with the comment he made on Peace FM programme on Tuesday.

He issued an unqualified apology to the Court and the panel for his comments criticizing the judges for being selective in their queries and final touchline warning to the media and counsel.

Mr Awuku explained that he was angered by the New Democratic Congress (NDC) representative on the Peace FM Kokrooko programme to make the comments he made.

Justice Jones Dotse reminded him of an age-old tradition that – when you defame a person you have to go and beat gong-gong in the same manner you defamed the person.

Mr Awuku answered by saying if he happened to have the opportunity on Peace FM again, which he does every Tuesday, he would render unqualified apology to the Court on the programme.

He said the political parties had a cordial relationship with the stations and he hoped he would be given the opportunity to apologize.

When Justice Atuguba insisted that the Court wanted to be clear on what he was undertaking to do, Mr Awuku responded by saying at 0600 hours today Wednesday he would apologize unconditionally on the same network.

Mr Philip Addison, lead Counsel for the Petitioners, said Mr Awuku had expressed remorse at the words he used on radio and implored the bench to tamper justice with mercy.

He said the petitioners brought him to court to apologize personally for those comments.

Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, Counsel for third respondent, who associated himself with the views of Addison, said even though the bench had the power to subpoena Mr Awuku, he came on the request of the petitioners and had apologized accordingly.

He also implored the bench to tamper justice with mercy, adding that what had happened to Mr Awuku was a clear example enough to everybody.

Mr Tony Lithur, Counsel for first respondent, also agreed with the comments made by the other counsels.

Mr James Quarshie Idun, Counsel for second respondent, who also supported the views shared by his colleagues, added he hoped standards did not fall and the respect to the Supreme Court would be maintained.

Justice William Atuguba, President of the panel, in giving the ruling said having considered the candid admission by Mr Awuku and the apology issued, they had decided not to invoke their powers of contempt but to restrict his (Awuku) appearance to court.

He ruled that henceforth, Mr Sammy Awuku had been banned from making an appearance to court and that was the beginning of punitive measures against all others, who had decided to disrespect the authority of the judges.

Source: GNA

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