• Muntaka says he was disappointed to have learnt that Justice Dotse met Godfred Dame prior to the ruling on the Justice Honyenuga recusal
• Justice Dotse says he met the A-G to discuss the law school issue
• Justice Honyenuga has been reinstated as trial judge for the Opuni case
Mohammed-Muntaka Mubarak, the Minority Chief Whip has slammed Justice Jones Mawulom Dotse of the Supreme Court over his meeting with the Attorney-General Godfred Dame whiles hearing a review case brought before the court by the Attorney-General.
Muntaka said that he was disappointed when he learnt of the meeting and the subsequent justification by Justice Dotse that the meeting with Godfred Dame was to discuss issues related to the denial of admission of some law school students.
He insisted that knowing the stakes involved in the particular case – The Stephen Opuni vs. The State case – Justice Dotse should have resisted any attempt to meet the Attorney-General irrespective of the intention of the meeting.
The Asawase lawmaker said that the conduct of Justice Dotse who was the presiding judge in the review case does not bode well for the judiciary.
Muntaka said that he has been found in situations akin to that of Justice Dotse but always resisted the temptation to have any form of engagement with nominees who were due to face him at the Appointments Committee.
“Justice Dotse, I was sad when I heard you say that you only met the Attorney General to discuss about law school. You know that the Attorney-General has got a case and you are a panel member.
“I have had the greatest privilege to vet all of the Supreme Court justices, he will tell you I will not let you come and meet me. I won’t . Even Ministers, I won’t let you come to me. Sometimes they complain that this small vetting, we’ll call you and you wouldn’t pick but I tell them it’s not morally right for me to meet them.
“I don’t think that is fair. Justice is not just supposed to be done, it is supposed to be manifestly done. It has to be seen to be done. When you do it in a way that creates suspicion, you create problems for everybody,” he said.
Muntaka Mubarak also expressed disquiet over what he says is the determination by the state to have Justice Honyengua preside over the criminal trial of former COCOBOD boss, Dr. Stephen Opuni.
“Look at the case with Dr. Opuni. It’s so worrying that sometimes that makes it seems as if apart from one particular judge, no other judge has can sit on the issue. What did you really discuss with that judge that you insist he sits on that case even when the judge has moved from Appeals Court to Supreme Court? His own colleagues will rule that you are biased so recuse yourself and then you re-panel and overturn the ruling. ”
Justice Dotse was motioned to recuse himself from the panel that heard the review case after it emerged that he held a meeting with the Attorney-General.
He however argued that as acting Chief Justice then, he held administrative meetings with Godfred Dame with the law school issue being the subject of discourse.
The application by lawyers of Dr. Opuni was rejected and Justice Dotse was allowed to sit on the case and pass judgment.