The Judicial Service has cautioned media houses to refrain from publishing statements that incite “anger, hate and passion” against the justices presiding over the election petition case.
The Service’s caution, which was contained in a statement, comes on the back of what it calls a “flurry of statements and speeches” directed at justices hearing the case.
It believes such statements have the tendency of “bringing the administration of justice into disrepute as unsuspecting Ghanaians are being deliberately misinformed and manipulated”.
“It is unacceptable to publish on your platforms, speeches and statements and publications which excite anger, hate and passion against the Justices presiding over the election petition whose only involvement in the matter arises from their obligation to perform their constitutional duty of determining the dispute between the parties which must necessarily go one way or the other,” excerpts of the statement added.
The Service demanded a withdrawal of such “hateful” stories.
It also asked the public to be cautious in expressing dissatisfaction with the decisions of the court.
“In the delivery of justice, persons interested in the proceedings in one way or the other and who do not find the decisions of the courts favourable, are usually unhappy but hastens to add that in a civilised society such as ours, which is regulated by law, the expression of dissatisfaction with decisions of the courts must be dealt with in accordance with the same rules which accord persons the right to access the courts and no more.”
The Service’s statement comes days after a former Deputy Attorney General, Dr. Dominic Ayine was cited for contempt of court.
Dr Ayine is reported to have accused the seven-member Supreme Court panel hearing the election petition case of having a “predetermined agenda” to rule against the petitioner, John Dramani Mahama.
He was thus summoned before the Supreme Court on Monday, February 22, 2021, after making the contemptuous comment.
He subsequently admitted in court that he “crossed the line” and appealed to the court for clemency.
After apologising publicly for scandalising the court, the Supreme Court judges forgave and discharged him.