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Member of Parliament for Yapei Kusawgu Constituency, John Abdulai Jinapor has said that the failure of Supreme Court nominee, Justice Clemence Honyenuga to secure the unanimous approval of the Appointments Committee of Parliament was resultant of his own mistakes.
According to him, even if Justice Honyenuga is later approved as a Supreme Court judge despite the questions, there will be a permanent tag to his name as a partisan judge whenever his ruling causes dissatisfaction to a faction.
While contributing to a panel discussion on Good Morning Ghana, the former deputy energy minister said not only is Justice Honyenuga’s situation a historical happening, but also a dent on his image as judge in the country.
“This will be the first time that the two sides of the house have not unanimously agreed on the approval of a nominee of the president…it is usually not the case that a supreme court nominee would face such resistance and such level of questioning…on this very occasion you’d realize that the nominee brought this upon himself. First of all, chiefs are not even supposed to endorse politicians even more grievous is that of an Appeals court judge…” John Jinapor noted.
John Jinapor indicated that Justice Honyenuga’s fate of ever becoming a Supreme Court judge will have to be decided after plenary discussions and subsequent vote because the integrity of the entire judicial service is at stake.
Justice Clemence Honyenuga who endorsed President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo during a durbar of chiefs and people of the Afajato South District was one of the four appeals court judges who were nominated by the president for further consideration.
He is quoted to have said during the durbar that, “With the vision of the President and the gains made in his first term, Ghanaians may consider giving him another four years".
But while answering questions about his speech during the durbar at his vetting, he denied ever explicitly declaring his support for the president. Adding that, he read the speech in question on behalf of the people and chiefs in Afadjato and not per his personal inclinations.
Justice Honyenuga told the Appointments Committee that, “In reading that statement, we didn’t intend endorsing the president. Our understanding was that we were wishing him well…If out of political dissatisfaction some people are unhappy with whatever I am supposed to have said then I am sorry,” he said.
Reacting to Justice Honyenuga’s apology, John Jinapor maintained that as an Appeals Court judge, he should have known better and created “a window of opportunity for an escape” but the way and manner which he went about it further implicated him and was “most unfortunate.”
“If he hasn’t done anything wrong, why should he apologize?... I dare say that in some jurisdictions he will not be nominated…this is not political, the facts are the facts,” Mr Jinapor emphasized.
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