Gyakye Quayson: Sam Okudzeto, will you sack Ayikoi Otoo too?

Estimated read time 4 min read

When the Dormaahene during a public lecture to mark the 10th-anniversary of former President John Evans Atta-Mills pleaded with the Attorney General and the President to discontinue the trial of the Assin North MP, James Gyakye Quayson, he was met with a strong and unwarranted response. Maybe the response was necessary owing to the position of the Dormaahene. He is an esteemed traditional ruler and president of the Bono Regional House of Chiefs. Adding to that, he is a judge so his comments definitely must be taken with all the seriousness they deserve.

But shortly after the response by one of the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) members and a former President of the Ghana Bar Association, Sam Okudzeto, another esteemed member of the NPP and a serving member of Akufo-Addo’s administration said the same thing the Dormaahene said.

From a neutral point of view, a decision by the Attorney General to file nolle prosequi to discontinue the case would be shot which leaves two effects. One is for the “power to the people” campaigners who believe the people of Assin North gave the verdict by reelecting the embattled lawmaker to lead them in Parliament. The other is the observers who think regardless of what happens, the law must be allowed t take its due course.

Either side you are, the argument works and each carries with it the advantages and disadvantages and the state would have to consider its options carefully and see which of them have much impact.

Discontinuing the case would mean people can get away with crime if the people support them. That would effectively mean signing a free crime pass for our elected representatives or anyone with the power to pull the people to its side.

On the other hand, continuing the case means a decision to continually suppress the will of the people of Assin North and deny them representation. The people have barely had any representation in Parliament since 2017 and would only be represented for less than a year. So it would be fair to allow them to have the chosen representative lead them in peace and without further distraction.

Okudzeto’s fights Dormaahene over Gyakye Quayson trial comment

Well, as the debate continued among the Ghanaian public, the comments by Sam Okudzeto, a leading member of the NPP, a respected member in the Ghanaian legal system for his service to the nation at the GBA, the General Legal Council and Judiciary Service makes his comments against the Dormaahene weightier than anyone’s else. It is just like how weighty the Dormaahene’s comments are in reference to the Gyakye Quayson trial.

Many who vilified the Dormaa Chief, especially from the NPP divide would now be wondering what to do now that one of their own has also joined the calls to discontinue the trial. Ayikoi Otoo gave a reasonable response to the calls by supporting it though placing the responsibility on the NPP to consider it as a group, not the Attorney General.

According to Ayikoi Otoo, “It will be a good thing to enter a nolle prosequi and stop all this to show more maturity.” He, however, added that “you cannot as an Attorney-General do it on your own, you are not independent, you are part of a whole”. His reasoning is that the NPP if it has any hopes of winning elections in the area should discontinue the trial else it would be a strong message to the people to despise the NPP if the MP ever get convicted.

“In the matter of negotiations, if we [NPP] want to win elections in Assin North next time and we go on with this trend and then we convict him, in the likely event that we convict him, and then he gets out again, we are going to go into another by-election, this time not with him, but what will the people of Assin North think of the NPP. Will they be ever comfortable voting us into power, will they decide never to forgive us anymore? This is what we should be looking at,” he stated as reported by the Graphic.

One might argue that the comment by Ayikoi Otoo was not a direct call for the trial to be aborted. Whatever that may mean, the call comments are in support of the Dormaahene’s comments and the same response that the Dormaahene got for his comments should also be targeted at the former Attorney General. He is currently the High Commissioner to Canada, a direct political appointee who can be sacked easily if he ever has to be sacked.

So the simple question is, will Sam Okudzeto be confident enough to take on Ayikoi Otoo just as he did with the Dormaahene? If he can do that then where is Sam Okudzeto, we are waiting…

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