By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Where was this Mr. Mathias Kwasi Yakah all this while that he should now presume to second-guess the executive members of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) who are suing President John Dramani Mahama for cherry-picking with his most recent appointments to the Supreme Court of Ghana? Or has the man been paid by some National Democratic Congress shills to make a laughable nuisance of himself before the Ghanaian public? (See “Lawyer Advises GBA To Withdraw Supreme Court Suit” Ghana News Agency / MyJoyOnline.com 7/21/15).

I am writing this piece not as a lawyer, for I have no legal training or expertise. I am simply writing as a critically thinking observer of the Ghanaian political scene who have been studiously following media developments surrounding the GBA lawsuit. I have even written a piece or two to explain what I strongly felt was not clear about the suit from the initial media reports. You see, you don’t have to be a certified or licensed lawyer to fully appreciate the fact that the GBA suit is not about the President’s appointments of Justices Yaw Apau and Gabriel Scott Pwamang to the Supreme Court. Rather, it has to do with the fact that there were more than two nominees recommended by the Ghana Judicial Council to Mr. Mahama. The Judicial Council is, of course, the statutorily constituted independent arm of the judiciary which is charged with making recommendations to the President of Ghana (whoever happens to occupy the seat), periodically, on the basis of professional qualifications, merit and performance.

Now, I don’t know what the details of protocol are; but according to the plaintiffs, President Mahama appears to have flagrantly and capriciously flouted some steps in the appointment process, which the plaintiffs intend to effectively demonstrate in court. What makes Mr. Yakah’s call for the withdrawal of the suit scandalous is his apparent presumption that, somehow, the GBA executive members who filed the lawsuit do not know what they are talking about. Mr. Yakah also claims that the entire membership of the GBA did not confer to deliberate on the suit. Now, that is preposterous, since a nationwide general meeting of the GBA could not have been called, as it simply is not practicable. Mr. Yakah also does not tell his audience whether he thinks or believes he better represents the opinion or position of the GBA on the matter.

In other words, what was the basis upon which Mr. Yakah came to the conclusion that, somehow, his call for the GBA executive members to withdraw their suit against President Mahama was more legitimate than the decision by the plaintiffs to challenge Mr. Mahama’s manner or the basis upon which he made his first and latest appointments to the Supreme Court? My unapologetic contention here is that either Mr. Yakah suffers from some form of acute cognitive dissonance, in which case he ought not to have been awarded his law degree, much less be permitted to practice the trade in a legitimately constituted court of law, or he is simply allowing his ideological and/or political biases to gratuitosly color his judgment.

It is also rather annoying that Mr. Yakah should accuse the GBA plaintiffs of being “indolent” and having “slept on their watch,” when it clearly appears that, in fact, it is the critic who has been intellectually too dense, or obtuse, to appreciate an otherwise quite simply submission. The clearly incompetent critic ought to have paid sedulous attention to what Mr. Sam Okudzeto, one of the most astute and erudite Ghanaian legal lights and former president of the GBA, had to say on the matter. In essence, what I am driving at here is that not only ought Mr. Yakah not have been allowed to practice law in Ghana or anywhere else in the world, the man is simply too daft for his own good.

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
E-mail: [email protected]

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