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NewsAG warns Franklin Cudjoe against spreading falsehoods

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AG warns Franklin Cudjoe against spreading falsehoods

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The Attorney-General’s Department has issued a warning to the President of IMANI Africa, advising against the dissemination of misinformation regarding the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Dame.

This caution comes in response to Franklin Cudjoe’s call for an apology from the Attorney General to the residents of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe, and Lolobi (SALL), alleging a failure to pursue justice for them and defending the state’s actions in the 2020 general elections, which resulted in their disenfranchisement.

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Furthermore, Mr. Cudjoe has accused Godfred Dame of exhibiting political bias and displaying poor judgment in legal matters, advocating for legal counsel that is less influenced by politics and more focused on prudence.

“The Attorney-General is also a disappointment; very disappointing, this Attorney-General has been legendary when it comes to giving very bad advice. When it comes to important issues that matter, especially when certain persons are involved. He’s been too political, and it’s not healthy for a state like Ghana. Look at SALL, Assin North MP, Gyakye Quayson, the way he’s treating Ato Forson [Minority Leader] in court.

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“My problem with the Attorney-General is that he should have taken the position the Finance Minister took in advising legally that, ‘Mr President the way things are going I think sitting together with the other party is very important to deal with this matter’. But he took a Machiavellian position in trying to say his hands are stayed,” he said on Citi TV’s Big Issue.

In a statement signed by the spokesperson of the Attorney-General, Isaac Wilberforce Mensah, the Office expressed strong disapproval of the remarks made by the President of IMANI Africa.

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The statement cited numerous instances where Mr. Cudjoe has inaccurately portrayed Mr. Dame, despite previous corrections and warnings issued by the Office.

However, on the same day after issuing an apology, the President of IMANI Africa reportedly made another unsubstantiated claim. He demanded that Mr. Dame apologize for what he termed as a “dereliction of duty” in seeking justice for the 30,000 citizens of SALL.

The statement highlighted that using terms like “dereliction of duty” implies the existence of a duty, which, in this case, is not within the Attorney-General’s purview. The duties of the Attorney-General are primarily outlined in Article 88 of the 1992 Constitution and include initiating and conducting criminal and civil cases on behalf of the State. Electoral matters and constituency creation are not part of the Attorney-General’s responsibilities.

“The Constitution places the mandate squarely and absolutely on the doorstep of the Electoral Commision. In fact Article 46 states clearly that “Except as provided in this Constitution or in any other law not inconsistent with this Constitution, in the performance of its functions, the Electoral Commission, shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority,” the statement clarified.

As such, the Office is asking Mr Cudjoe to apologise and retract some comments.

“Franklin Cudjoe, IMANI, lied, lies, and continues to lie and spread falsehoods about the learned Attorney-General and any further derogatory claim by him in respect of the Attorney-General should be treated with the contempt it deserves.

“It’s for his own sake and the sake of the institution that he represents that I am advising him to stop peddling falsehoods, retract, apologize, and desist from these actions that show a sheer lack of basic research,” the release stressed.

Read the full statement below:

I think Franklin Cudjoe is just embarrassing himself all over. He has dirtied himself with lies and when he is called out on his lies against the Attorney-General, he renders an apology and like a recalcitrant child, he tries to attack again from another angle which also proves to be further falsehood.

It appears to me the think tank is not thinking, but continues to woefully tank.

On Saturday morning he posted that the AG has been legendary in giving illiberal and politically divisive advice on the SALL, Domelevo, Charlotte Osei, James Quayson, Martin Amidu, and Ato Forson.
As spokesperson, I called him out on the lies because that was exactly what they were – lies.
I challenged him to produce any such advice since one, it is not true that the AG advised on any of the matters that he listed, and two, Honourable Godfred Yeboah Dame was not even the Attorney-General at the time all those issues occured, except for Ato Forson and James Gyakye Quayson who are currently being prosecuted for crimes which the Attorney-General believes they have committed.

In the case of Dormelovo (2019/2020)
Charlotte Osei (2017/2018)
Martin Amidu (2020)
SALL (2020 Elections), Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame was NOT the Attorney-General at the time.

In any event, no advice was given by the Attorney-General at that time, Gloria Afua Akuffo, on any of the issues.

After being called out on the lies, he issues an apology in the afternoon of the same day and in the evening throws out another vacuous claim that the A-G should apologize for his “dereliction of duty” in seeking justice for the 30,000 citizens of SALL that were callously prevented from the last Parliamentary elections.

To use words like “dereliction of duty” means first there must be a duty. Of course with a penchant for attacking without any sound basis and an eagerness to do so it is understandable that Franklin Cudjoe would forget or ignore to do some basic research. The duties of the Attorney-General are primarily provided for in Article 88 of the 1992 Constitution and they include initiation and conduct of criminal and civil cases on behalf of the State, etc. Matters related to election and creation of constituencies are not a “duty” of the A-G. The Constitution places the mandate squarely and absolutely on the doorstep of the Electoral Commision. In fact Article 46 states clearly that “Except as provided in this Constitution or in any other law not inconsistent with this Constitution, in the performance of its functions, the Electoral Commission, shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority.”

It can only be for mischief that a CEO of a Think tank Imani was unable to either read or grasp this basic legal framework. The A-G has on two occasions expressed his opinion in Parliament, one in July 2021 and in November 2023 where he disagreed with the position of the EC and proposed two solutions that would allow the people within the SALL area to vote especially as part of Buem.

Franklin Cudjoe, IMANI, lied, lies, and continues to lie and spread falsehoods about the learned Attorney-General and any further derogatory claim by him in respect of the Attorney-General should be treated with the contempt it deserves. It’s for his own sake and the sake of the institution that he represents that I at this point advising him to stop peddling falsehoods, retract, apologize, and desist from these actions that show a sheer lack of basic research.

The Attorney-General is indeed legendary in that not many Attorneys-General can say with concrete proof that they have saved the state the amount of money this A-G has, and instituted far-reaching reforms of the law in Ghana. Monies of
Brobdingnagian proportions.

Signed, Isaac Wilberforce Mensah (spokesperson)

Background

It would be recalled that the Electoral Commission (EC) through a release issued on the eve of the 2020 elections, caused the exclusion of SALL to vote and elect a Member of Parliament.

Although voters in the SALL traditional areas were allowed to vote in the Buem Constituency for the presidential election, they were directed by the EC not to participate in the parliamentary elections.

Some residents of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe, and Lolobi (SALL) dragged then Hohoe MP-elect John Peter Amewu and the EC to the High Court.

They contended that by not being allowed to vote in the December 2020 parliamentary elections, their rights have been breached.

They secured a 10-day injunction against the gazetting of John Peter Amewu as the winner of the polls.

However, the then Deputy Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, who is currently the country’s Attorney-General filed an application at the Supreme Court urging it to restrain the Ho High Court from hearing the matter.

He maintained that SALL residents do not have voting rights in Hohoe since the Supreme Court has already ruled that the area falls within the Oti region.

The Supreme Court ruled that the alleged breach of the rights of SALL residents was not caused by Mr. Amewu who just put himself up for elections.

Therefore, any move to question his election ought to be challenged through an election petition and not a human rights action at the High Court.

This did not sit well with the SALL residents who filed for a review insisting the original panel commuted errors of law.

But the Supreme Court later affirmed its earlier decision that the Ho High Court erred when it granted an injunction against the gazetting of John Peter Amewu as Hohoe MP-elect.

Meanwhile in October 2023, the Director of Electoral Services at the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr. Serebour Quaicoe, revealed a Constitutional Instrument (C.I) is before parliament for the establishment of the Guan constituency.

The constituency captures the Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lipke and Lolobi (SALL) Traditional Areas that were unable to vote for a parliamentary representation in 2020.

Speaking on PM Express, Dr Quaicoe said that although the Guan district assembly was established in November 2020 there was not enough time for the EC to place the C.I before parliament prior to the general elections in December.

Due to this, the constituency was unable to come into full force, leaving the people without a parliamentary vote and subsequently representation, he noted.

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