Home / GENERAL NEWS / ‘This is beneath me, so I won’t respond’ – Inside Tsatsu’s ‘clash’ with AG in court

‘This is beneath me, so I won’t respond’ – Inside Tsatsu’s ‘clash’ with AG in court

Lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata, lead counsel for ousted Assin North Member of Parliament, James Gyakye Quayson had a heated exchange with Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame when the court sat on June 21, 2023 in the criminal trial of the former MP.

Tsikata had raised issues on recent comments by the AG, which comments he deemed prejudicial to the ongoing case in which Quayson is facing five charges relating to his involvement in the 2020 parliamentary elections.

Dame had in an interview stated that Quayson’s case was like that of former Bawku Central MP, the late Adamu Dramani Sakande, who was jailed for contesting as an MP when he held dual citizenship.

Tsikata held that the said comments were unprofessional and prejudicial.

“The supplementary affidavit is indicating, clearly a pattern of behaviour and utterances by an Attorney General who seeks to prejudice criminal matters before the court.

“The statement he made, in reference to Adamu Sakande for instance shows that clearly”, Mr. Tsikata submitted whiles submitting documents to back his claims.

Dame disagreed.

The AG urged the court to reject the said documents arguing that the case in point was a civil matter which had no bearing on the criminal case at hand.

“It contains absolutely unconnected and irrelevant material to the matters before the court. The instant proceedings arise out of a simple criminal trial.

“The affidavit raises matters bothering an already decided Supreme Court matter, comments they claim I made arising out of the Supreme Court ruling.

“That matter is not before the court and has clearly been adjudicated.”

Tsikata disagreed, stressing that Dame’s comments were insulting and needed to be controlled by the courts.

“I have never seen an Attorney General make insulting remarks about a person in this manner. We want this court to control this process such that it is not abused.

“It is our professional obligation to bring it to your attention. When the AG is acting in a manner that is prejudicing the court. We must bring it to your attention.

“Plain propaganda, those comments are just meant to be prejudicial. Mere citizens will be held in contempt if they had said same. If we can’t bring this to your attention. I don’t know what we can do,” he stated.

Dame’s rebuttal came in fast: “I am surprised that in all his years, he does not understand what is relevant. What is the relevance of those comments to the issue at hand on whether the case should be heard on a day-to-day basis or not?”

On the application for Quayson to absent himself on June 23 when the court rules on whether his trial should be suspended till after the June 27 Assin North by-election, Dame asked the court to stick to its June 18 position and threatened that Quayson will be arrested if he fails to show up.

“If he is saying he won’t come, he should refuse to do so and we will ask for a warrant to arrest him”, Mr Dame said.

Mr Tsikata had a brief reply

“Clearly, my lady, this is beneath me, so I won’t respond”. he stated.

The court granted the request for James Quayson to miss proceedings on June 23.

Trial Judge Mary Yanzuh also admitted Tsikata’s evidence citing the grounds of prejudice as raised.

She also urged the lawyers as officers of the court to desist from use of abusive language in their exchanges.

The court on June 23 will also deliver its ruling on whether the case should be put on hold to allow Mr Quayson to campaign on Friday.

He is the National Democratic Congress’ candidate in the June 27 Asin North by-election that was ocassioned by his removal as MP due to eligibility issues around his candidature prior to the 2020 polls.

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