Kpessa Whyte Hot Over Contempt Comment

Dr. Kpessa Whyte

The Supreme Court has summoned Dr Michael Kpessa-Whyte, a defeated parliamentary aspirant of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), in Shai Osudoku for describing the apex judicial body of Ghana as “a stupid court.”

Dr Kpessa-Whyte had made the comment in response to the Supreme Court’s declaration of the election of James Gyakye Quayson of the Assin North constituency as unconstitutional.

The court had ordered Parliament to expunge Mr Gyakye Quayson’s name from the roll of MPs.

Dr Kpessa-Whyte, a Research Fellow with the History and Politics Section at the Institute of African Studies (IAS) at the University of Ghana, had said that the country’s judges need lessons in political philosophy.

He also noted that “a major element in the death of democracies is partisanship in the delivery of justice.”

“They have succeeded in turning a Supreme Court into a Stupid Court. Commonsense is now a scare commodity. A major element in the death of democracies is partisanship in the delivery of justice. Our judges need lessons in political philosophy and ethics. Time will tell !” the tweet read.

A few days later, he tweeted again to delink his tweet from Ghana’s Supreme Court following some prompts.

The embattled former Assin North MP had challenged the decision by the High Court at the Supreme Court after a Cape Coast High Court had ruled that Mr Quayson owed allegiance to another country other than Ghana at the time of filing his nomination forms to contest the 2020 polls.

The Supreme Court subsequently described the election of James Gyakye Quayson as unconstitutional and ordered for his name to be expunge from parliamentary diaries.

This came after a resident of Assin Bereku in the Central Region, Michael Ankomah Nimfa, had dragged Mr Quayson to court to restrain him from holding himself as MP after the high court had annulled his election.

The petitioner had argued that Mr Quayson’s continuous stay in office despite a high court judgment annulling his election offended the Constitution and was not fair to the people of Assin North.

The Supreme Court’s summons of Dr Kpessa-Whyte is seen as a move to maintain the dignity of the judiciary and prevent the erosion of public confidence in the courts.

It is hoped that the impending hearing will help bring clarity to the boundaries of freedom of expression and the limits of contempt of court.

By Vincent Kubi