Editor in chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper has said the palpable anger demonstrated by the Justice William Atuguba in dealing with the contempt case involving two New Patriotic Party members was “understandable but avoidable.”
Kweku Baako Jnr said judges are not mere human beings like him and that given the training they go through their anger must be controlled when they sit on issues like that.
The President of the nine panel of Judges sitting on the Presidential Election Petition convicted the General Secretary of the NPP, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie and his colleague, Hopeson Adorye on charges of intentional criminal contempt.
The two were deemed to have made contemptuous comments in relation to the ongoing Presidential Election Petition.
The judges reluctantly waived custodial sentences on the two but slapped a ˘5,000 and ˘2,000 fines respectively on them with a six months and three months bond to be of good behavior.
The fines notwithstanding, the two, especially Owusu Afriyie were subjected to severe tongue-lashing by the judges.
The Presiding Judge, William Atuguba was prominent in the criticism and is anger palpable.
Counsel for the contemnors, Ayikoi Otoo at some point had to intervene with comments and jokes to water down the seeming anger of the judge Atuguba among other criticisms, described the NPP General Secretary and others who comment like him as dabbling in illegal political galamsey. He challenged Sir John, as he is affectionately called within political circles to show his power, and ordered him to remain standing until he is sentenced.
Speaking on Newsfile, Kweku Baako Jnr said he and some colleagues who were watching the proceedings on TV were “alarmed” at some point over the demeanor of the presiding judge.
He said whilst a number of the issues raised by Atuguba were valid and legitimate he could have controlled his anger in the discharge of his duties.
Baako Jnr also cautioned against the tactics used by the Ayikoi Otoo in pleading for his clients.
Otoo for most part of his advocacy cited his personal relationship with judges, his birthday and the need to be given a birthday gift and interlaced his submission with jokes.
Whilst the style helped on the occasion, Kweku Baako Jnr said it should not be replicated in future because it could create a problem for the delivery of justice.