The Member of Parliament (MP) for Asawase, Mubarak Muntaka, has issued a formal written retraction and apology to the Supreme Court for the alleged bribery comments made against an unnamed member of the bench because the female lady in question, has refused to corroborate the claim.
Insiders have said that ''the lady MP calls the said judge daddy. The judge has been a friend to the family for over 35 years. The lady MP, didn't know Muntaka will go to town with it. And she was not ready to sacrifice her family''.
Although, Mubarak Muntaka, had not mentioned any name, some three week ago, on this same matter, the Nyagbo Traditional Council in the Volta Region, had registered its displeasure on what it described as unwarranted and persistent attacks on their Paramount Chief and Justice of the Supreme Court, Clemence Honyenuga.
The Council in a statement, had decried how some individuals have set out to destroy the hard-earned reputation of the Justice who goes by the stool name Ashuigbagbla Nyagasi V.
Mubarak Muntaka's apology comes as the same Judiciary, has failed to decide on the fate of another MP; Kennedy Agyapong, who had been cited for contempt of court in a land case in which he had an interest, and took to live television to threaten and abuse a High Court judge.
The Supreme Court, late last year ruled that the registrar of the High Court, should select another judge to determine whether Kenney Agyapong had indeed, scandalize the court, several months have passed, but that registrar is yet to obey the instructions of the Supreme Court.
Mr Muntaka, had alleged that a Supreme Court judge, had promised to extend some privileges, including fuel and school fees for her kids, if a female National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP, votes for the Speaker of Parliament nominee, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, as opposed to Alban Sumana Bagbin, who eventually won the speakership.
"So shamefully, a Supreme Court Judge calls a colleague lady, telling her what they will give her. She has children, they will help her take care of her children. She can take fuel from a filling station for the four years [should she vote for Prof. Oquaye]," Muntaka had earlier stated in an interview on Joy News.
The legislator and Chief Whip of the NDC Caucus in Parliament, in a statement issued on Saturday, February 6, 2021, noted, "I have reflected deeply and consulted broadly on the aftermath and disclosure I made during an interview on Joy News TV on 10th Januuary 2021."
"The disclosure was made based on a report from a trusted colleague which was that she had been approached by a Justice of the Supreme Court Judge seeking to entice her to vote for a particular candidate during the contest for the Speakership of Parliament," portions of the statement added.
The Minority Chief Whip in the statement retracted and apologized for his comments, which in his view had damaged the reputation of the Justices of the Supreme Court and the Judiciary.
"Admittedly because I did not specifically name any judge, this may have had the effect of scandalizing the judiciary in its entirety. This unintended consequence is deeply regretted. I, therefore, wish to respectfully retract some and apologize for the harm done to the image and reputation of my Lord Justices of the Supreme Court and the Judiciary as a whole."
Mr Muntaka, said he had decided to "let sleeping dogs lie and will consequently refrain from any further public comment on the matter."
Following the earlier comments made by the MP, the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) waded into the matter and called on him to substantiate the claims or retract it immediately.
Also, Chief Justice of the Supreme, Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, in a statement issued through the Judicial Service said the apex court will conduct a probe into the allegations of bribery made by the MP.
It indicated that an allegation of Justice Honyenuga attempting to influence Angela Alowu-Tay, the MP for Afadzato South-his home constituency-to vote for a particular candidate in the election of the 8th Speaker of Parliament is frivolous, hence must be treated with the disdain it deserves.
These were contained in a press statement co-signed by the Chief Linguist of the Nyagbo Traditional Area, Tsiamihohoe Agubretu II and Ebenezer Efodzi, Coordinator of the Citizens, Youth and Asafo Groups.
"We also see in this, the single-minded purpose to destroy the MP's political career," the statement indicated.
The Council, which believes Justice Honyenuga is innocent of the allegation, implored the Judicial Council to accelerate its investigations into the allegations and make public the findings.
It, however, urged the media and all and sundry to disregard the allegation and served notice not to further tolerate any of such "unsubstantiated allegation
Below is the full press statement.
RE-PERSISTENT AND UNWARRANTED ATTACKS ON JUSTICE CLEMENCE JACKSON HONYENUGA (ASHUIGBAGLA NYAGASI V) JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT AND PARAMOUNT CHIEF OF THE NYAGBO TRADITIONAL AREA
The Nyagbo Traditional Council, the Elders, Youth, Asafo Groups and Citizens of Nyagbo, have noted with grave concern, recent orchestrated attempts by some persons and groups of persons to impugn the character and reputation of Justice Clemence Honyenuga (Ashuigbagbla Nyagasi V) Justice of the Supreme Court and Paramount Chief of the Nyagbo Traditional Area, over unsubstantiated allegations and chicanery.
These groups of people have constituted themselves into prowling forces with the sole aim of:
Destroying the image, character, integrity and reputation of the Paramount Chief and his the hard won reputation as Justice of the Apex Court.
Creating disaffection for him all over and sowing seeds of discord between the Chief and his subjects including the MP of the Afadjato South Constituency, who is also a citizen of Nyagbo.
We also see in this, the single-minded purpose to destroy the MP's political career.
We are particularly dismayed at how these prowling forces have singled out Justice Clemence Jackson Honyenuga among Justices of the Apex Court, for vilification and got a shadowy character like the so-called Kwaku Skirt to make a scurrilous allegation in a video, linking him to an infamous call or calls to a female Member of Parliament in his Constituency with the intent of influencing the election of the 8th Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic.
Prior to this latest incident, we witnessed and endured the various forms of vilification arising from the mischaracterisation of the Justice Clemence Honyenuga (Ashuigbagbla Nyagasi V) with the intent to destroy his reputation locally, nationally and internationally.
The constant unjustified targeting of the Justice of the Supreme Court and Paramount Chief of Nyagbo is obnoxious and nauseating to us. We wish to make it known very clearly that, Justice Clemence Honyenuga (Ashuigbagbla Nyagasi V) who has been the Paramount Chief of the Nyagbo Traditional Area for close to 58years, is an embodiment of the culture and generations of Nyagbo Citizens past, present and future. For this reason, the Chiefs and Citizens of Nyagbo will not tolerate any further targeting of our Paramount Chief and Justice of the Supreme Court with unsubstantiated allegations and chicanery.
We are monitoring all fora, and we caution all such fabricators of unsubstantiated allegations that such will not continue without due consequences. Any allegations against our Paramount Chief, if they merit any substance, ought to be fully proven in the proper institutions and domain.
While endorsing the Judicial Council's announced decision to ascertain the truth, wed urge the Council to accelerate the investigations and make public their findings in order to exonerate him.
The Traditional Council however entreats all the media and the general public to disregard any such untruths in circulation about the Paramount Chief and the Member of Parliament of his Constituency.
Tsiamihohoe Agubretu IICHIEF LINGUIST, NYAGBO TRADITIONAL AREASigned
Ebenezer EfodziCOORDINATOR, CITIZENS, YOUTH AND ASAFO GROUPS