August 17, 2013

Member of Parliament for Ablekuma West, Ursula Owusu has highly extolled Lawyer Ayikoi Otoo, former Attorney-General during erstwhile President Kufour’s administration for the superb defence tactics he put up at the Supreme Court, resulting in the court freeing but fining his clients; General Secretary of the opposition New Patriotic Party, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie and youth activist of the party, Hopeson Adorye.

Hon. Ursula Owusu, speaking on Peace FM’s flagship programme “Kokrokoo” on Thursday, commended the Counsel for the duo who appeared before the Supreme Court to defend their contempt charges, for calming tempers down in the courtroom and alleviating the sentences of his clients.

On Wednesday, Lawyer Nii Ayikoi Otoo, successfully pleaded with the Judges to temper justice with mercy and therefore rewarded himself with a birthday gift from the bench when the court decided not to impose any custodial sentences on the two NPP gurus.

Lawyer Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, also called Sir John, together with Hopeson escaped being sentenced to prison for making contemptuous comments about the court as they were summoned by the Justices presided by Justice William Atuguba.

But due to the legal prowess of the former Attorney-General, they were rather fined GHC 5000 and GHC 2000 respectively, and also asked to sign a bond to be of good character for six and three months or in default serve six or three months imprisonment correspondingly.

According to Hon. Ursula Owusu, Ayikoi Otoo demonstrated before the court “advocacy at its best” and therefore deserves to be praised for his intervention. She also lauded the bench for stamping its authority and doing its best to whip members of the public who contravene the law into line.

The one-time FIDA-International President, also called on Parliamentarians to see the recent disciplinary action against some politicians as a wakeup call to exercise their authority and serve as a check on the Executive arm of government.

To her, the legislative arm of government should take a cue from the Judiciary and work assiduously to nip corruption in the bud.

“We have seen the judicial authority at work. Let us, as Parliamentarians, also exercise our functions as the legislative authority and exercise our oversight responsibility well over the Executive. We can do better to put things right,” she noted.