Your lordships can decide anyway you want, but I want to be on record – Tsatsu to Supreme Court


Lead Counsel for Assin North MP, James Gyakye Quayson, Tsatsu Tsikata on Tuesday told the Supreme Court Judges they can decide anyway they wanted, but that would not rid them of the right to be heard.

This was his response to being told by the seven-member panel hearing a case involving his client to abide by a court directive.

The Case is being heard by Justices Jones Dotse, Agnes Dordzie, Nene Amegatcher, Mariama Owusu, Gertrude Torkonoo, Prof. Henrietta Mensah Bonsu Emmanuel Y. Kulendi.

The panel had just ruled in favour of Mr. Tsikata, granting his request for an extension of time to file a response to a case filed against the MP.

The Court then pointed out it had two outstanding motions. One was filed by a resident of Assin North, Michael Ankomah Nimfah, urging the Court to restrain the MP from performing Parliamentary duties.

The other was filed by Mr. Tsikata on behalf of the MP, raising an initial objection to the request that the MP is restrained.

Mr. Tsikata took the view that it would be more appropriate for the Court to first deal with his initial objection, which he believed had the potential to result in a dismissal of the request by Mr. Nimfah.

President of the Panel, Justice Jones Dotse, however, informed Mr. Tsikata that the Court, as part of efforts to manage its proceedings, had decided that it first hears from lawyers for Mr. Nimfah on the injunction application.

He continued that he can raise his objection when it’s Mr. Tsikata’s turn to respond.

Mr. Tsikata then immediately registered his protest. He argued it was important for his objection to being dealt with first.

A member of the Panel, Justice Agnes Dordzie, quickly jumped in to point out that the Court had already decided.

“The business of today is waiting. We have devoted all morning to you,“ Justice Dordzie said.

Mr. Tsikata quickly responded that it was important that he is heard on the matter.

“My lords, it’s important that I am recorded on why I believe the objection should be taken first. This is a court of justice. We have a preliminary objection.”.

Justice Dordzie pointed out that the Court had already decided.

“The Court has decided. Enough of all this,” she stated.

Mr. Tsikata, however, had more to say.

“This is a court of justice. We have a preliminary objection. Your lordships can decide anyway you want, but I want to be on record. We have the right to be heard.

“My lordship cannot just say enough of all this. Enough of the law? Enough of authorities? Enough of what binds us? Enough of justice? It is also within the right of counsel to have on record why he believes it will be prejudicial if proceedings are handled this way”.

Justice Dotse then stepped in to read the ruling of the Court.

He stated that the Court had, as had been communicated earlier, decided that the application for injunction be taken first, then the preliminary objection be raised when Mr. Tsikata responds.

After hearing oral arguments on these matters, the Court adjourned proceedings to April 13 to deliver its ruling.

Tsatsu Tsikata, born 1 October 1950 is a Ghanaian academic and lawyer. He is also a former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation. He is a notable affiliate and legal counsel to the National Democratic Congress and regarded as one of the leading member of the political party.

Tsikata held a Junior Research Fellowship at Oxford University where he also served as a tutor. On his return to Ghana in 1974, he was appointed a lecturer at the law faculty of the University of Ghana.