Tsatsu's True Colours Would Come To Bare After His Cross-Examination
I would like to humbly comment on the conduct of Tsatsu Tsikata, counsel for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the third respondent in the on-going election petition. As a politician of international repute, who had borne witness to numerous court proceedings around the world, I see lawyer Tsatsu Tsikata's behaviour as very rude, insolent, and a total deviation from normal judicial standards.
The impolite manner he rebuked his fellow counsel, Lawyer Phillip Addison, to 'shut up' was way out of the ordinary.
If this conduct was exhibited in Great Britain, where I domiciled for five decades, Tsatsu Tsikata would have been rebuked and asked to put up a good behaviour by the British Bar Association.
This behaviour would not be tolerated by the Master of Roll, Sir Lord Dennis Stevenson (Baron Stevenson of Coddenham), and I expected the same from the judges. I must stress that I am not against their judgment, though.
I am not a lawyer by profession, but I am of the opinion that Mr. Tsikata should have been made to render a humble apology to Phillip Addison personally. The silence of the judges is what invariably compelled Mr. Phillip Addison to flex his muscle with Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata. It is clear that the lead counsel for the petitioners has not given Mr. Tsikata any room to operate after that incident. If Mr. Tsikata's behaviour before the Supreme Court bench is not scorned upon, as a matter of urgency, it would not augur well for the adjudication of the petition.
I am imploring the Ghana Bar Association, the Judicial Council and other groups in the legal society to condemn the conduct of Tsatsu Tsikata.
Before Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata's cross-examination of the star witness of the petitioners, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, he was touted as one of the most revered legal brains in the country. He was spoken of as legal brain who wielded much power, and commanded respect in the law fraternity. Before his cross-examination, the impression given to many was that he was humble, tolerant, cool and collected.
As someone who challenged the constitutionality of the creation of the Fast Track High courts and won until a review was done, Mr. Tsikata held a strong command as far as the law in this country was concerned. However, in his work as the lead counsel for the third respondent in the election petition case, Tsatsu Tsikata has been exposed as very intolerant, intemperate and dictatorial.
He has, in fact, failed to live up to the bill of his hype. Most Ghanaians had thought before his cross-examination that he was going to tear the petitioners' evidence into pieces, but the more he wastes his time to ask questions, the stronger the petitioners' evidence becomes.
I am not so much perturbed about the number of days he is going to spend in his cross-examination, after all, it is not the number of days spent that matters, but the salient questions asked is the factor here. He has repeatedly asked similar questions which have failed to expose Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia of anything. He has turned around to ask the same questions the judges have overruled in the petitioners' favour, making the whole process boring during his turn, and his attempts to bully the star witness to lose his demeanor have come to no fruition.
I do not know how Tsatsu Tsikata would have felt if his counsel in his long and winding criminal trial, Prof. E.V.O. Danquah, who was a dean of the Faculty of Law at Legon then, had complained of any misconduct by the State Attorney. I believe Tsatsu Tsikata is very conversant with the ethics of the legal profession, and he must accordingly behave.
Writing on his court case of causing financial loss to the state reminds me of his chanted threats of doing everything possible to ensure that he was exonerated from any criminal charges after his pardon. But, nearly five years later, no one knows when he is going to initiate that trial.
For the sake of our young generation who do not know Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, he has been a thorn in the flesh of many Ghanaians for the past four decades. He was one of the leading characters who got both the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council and the Provisional Defence Council to be perceived as dreadful.
He had been a legal representative of the Rawlingses, and a key architect in the formulation of the draconian laws which saw the arbitrary incarceration of innocent Ghanaians during the military era. There were hundreds of both civilians and military officers, who strangely got lost during the era. Up till now, many have still not been accounted for.
Many in the legal profession, and without suspect, he was the person responsible for the smuggling of the entrenched clauses into the Constitution, after the Constituent Assembly had officially approved of the 1992 Constitution.
These entrenched clauses are obviously aimed at protecting Jerry Rawlings, even after his tenure. This is the man in court participating in the rule of law. He was touted as the chief adviser of the Rawlings when he sat at the Castle, persecuting those who had toiled over the years to acquire property.
Some of us are still astounded as to what legal chambers he is operating from as a lawyer.
I do not want to comment on the outcome of the electoral petition, since I do not want to cast any slur on anybody's image. But, I would like to commend the lead counsel of the petitioners, Lawyer Phillip Addison, for showing courage and maturity, so far, in court. After all, the whole trial boils down to intellectual dispensation, and which side the pendulum of guilt will tilt to at the end of the day, and would have aided our route to democratisation of this society. As for Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, he would gradually, but surely, be exposed for what he stands for.
The Bible puts it succinctly. Those who play with the sword will die by the sword. I will like to believe that those who use the law negatively to destroy their fellow Ghanaians, would ultimately, be destroyed by the same law. Life is interesting.