The Chief Justice nominee, Gertrude Torkornoo, has staunchly defended the decision by Ghana’s Supreme Court, which permits the court to issue contempt summons to anyone who insults or denigrates the image of the apex court in the country.
During her appearance before Parliament’s Appointments Committee on Friday, the Supreme Court Justice explained that summoning individuals for contempt is a useful tool employed by courts to uphold and maintain the dignity, honour and reputation of the entire judiciary in Ghana.
“The issuing of contempt summons has always been a tool that has been used by courts to ensure that the dignity of the court is not scandalized. The [Supreme] Court is one out of 400 courts, and it is the ultimate voice, so whenever the court acts, whether it is the High Court, Court of Appeal, or Supreme Court, it is to ensure that the Justice system is not scandalized,” she emphasized.
Justice Torkornoo was presenting herself to the Appointments Committee of Parliament, hoping to be confirmed as the next Chief Justice of Ghana.
This is on the back of the lecturer at the University of Ghana, Dr. Michael Kpessa-Whyte, who was on Thursday summoned by the Supreme Court for making some derogatory comments.
In a Twitter post, Dr. Kpessa-Whyte referred to the Supreme Court as a “Stupid Court”.
In his tweet, he also criticized the current state of Ghana’s judiciary, accusing it of partisanship and lacking common sense.
Dr. Kpessa-Whyte’s tweets came shortly after the Supreme Court ordered Parliament to remove the name of NDC MP, James Gyakye Quayson from its records due to procedural breaches during his nomination and election in 2020.
The Supreme Court summoned Dr. Kpessa-Whyte to explain why he should not be held in contempt for describing the nation’s highest judicial body in such a manner.
Dr. Kpessa-Whyte has since issued an apology for allegedly denigrating the Supreme Court.
By Vincent Kubi