University of Ghana lecturer and member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Prof Michael Kpessa Whyte, has been summoned for contempt by the Supreme Court. The summons is in response to a series of tweets posted by Prof Whyte on May 19, which allegedly made derogatory remarks about the court.
The specific tweets in question read as follows:
“The highest Court of the Land has been turned into a ‘Stupid Court'. “They have succeeded in turning a Supreme Court into a Stupid Court. Common – sense is now a scarce commodity.” “A major element in the death of democracies is partisanship in the delivery of justice. Our judges need lessons in political philosophy and ethics. Time will tell.”
Prof Whyte has been called to appear before the Supreme Court on May 30 to justify why he should not be cited for contempt of court. The summons accuses him of scandalizing the Supreme Court, bringing ridicule to its dignity and stature, and inciting prejudice against it.
The summons includes copies of various publications from different portals that reported on Prof Whyte's tweets. These comments were made during a period of intense public discussion surrounding the Supreme Court's order to Parliament to remove James Gyakye Quayson's name from its records. The court found that Quayson had not renounced his Canadian citizenship when he filed his nomination forms for the Assin North constituency in the 2020 elections.
Before his scheduled appearance in court, Prof Whyte has already issued a statement apologizing to the Supreme Court. He clarifies that his tweet was not intended to be related to the Assin North judgment and expresses remorse for any negative impact caused.
Prof Whyte states in his apology, “Sincerely, the tweet was not done with the intent to scandalize or denigrate a revered institution such as the Supreme Court of Ghana, for which I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration. These are consequences I never intended, although I do accept responsibility that I could have exercised better judgment in my choice of words.”
He further retracts the tweet in question and assures that it has been completely deleted. Prof Whyte sincerely apologizes to the Chief Justice, the Supreme Court, and the entire judiciary for any pain and discomfort his tweets may have caused.
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