The Member of Parliament (MP) for Asawase Constituency, Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka has apologised for any harm done to the image and reputation of the Lord Justices of the Supreme Court and members of the Judiciary.
This follows his allegation that a Justice of the Supreme Court tried to bribe a National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament-elect (MP) to influence her in the election of a Speaker of Parliament.
“Based upon good counsel, I have also decided to let sleeping dogs lie and will consequently refrain from any further public commentary on the matter which, as I have indicated was originally reported to me by a female colleague Parliamentarian,” part of a release sighted by JoyNews read.
The Chief Whip of the NDC Caucus in Parliament had on January 10, 2021 revealed in an interview on JoyNews that the attempted bribe took place on the eve of the inauguration of the 8th Parliament.
According to him, his female colleague was being induced to vote for Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye as the Speaker as against the NDC’s Alban Bagbin.
Shamefully, a Supreme Court judge called a lady colleague telling her what they will give her, if she votes for Prof Mike Oquaye. He told her that, they will help her take care of her children. She can take fuel from a filling station for free for the next four years.
“So we [NDC] are going to look into it. We will look at the time he made those calls,” he told JoyNews’ Emefa Apawu.
Subsequently, the allegation generated a national debate with many calling on the MP to name the Supreme Court judge involved.
On his part, Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin Yeboah, gave the assurance that he would ascertain the facts involving the alleged bribe by a Justice of the apex court.
A press statement signed by the Judicial Secretary, Justice Cynthia Pamela Addo, explained that the Chief Justice will seek the assistance of the person who made the allegation to find finality to the issue.
But the Ghana Bar Association said such allegations incite hatred for the Judges and expose them to ridicule.
The Association in a letter dated January 12, 2021, described Mr. Muntaka’s allegations as offensive and distasteful.
It asked the MP for Asawase Constituency, to substantiate his bribery allegations or retract same and apologise to the Justices of the Supreme Court and the Judiciary in general.
Responding to this call, Mr. Muntaka admitted in his press release that not specifically naming any judge “may have had the effect of scandalizing the judiciary in its entirety.”
“This unintended consequence is deeply regretted,” he added.
Again, the MP urged the general public and the media to respect his retraction and apology.
It is my fervent prayer that the existing historic cordial relations between the legislature and the judiciary will not be affected by this incident but will continue to grow in the interest of the country,” the statement concluded.