A political science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Legon, and member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Prof. Michael Kpessa-Whyte, is scheduled to appear before the Supreme Court today to answer questions and to explain why he should not be cited for contempt.
The lecturer shared a reflection on the insights from a book by one David A. Kaplan (2018) titled; The Most Dangerous Branch: Inside the Supreme Court’ in the Age of Trump, a book which alleges assault on the US Constitution, and addresses the recent attempt by some democrats in the US to increase the number of justices at the apex court from nine to 13.”
But Prof. Kpessa-Whyte went beyond his reflection and tweeted that: “The highest Court of the Land has been turned into a ‘Stupid Court.”
He said in the tweet that the judges 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,” it said.
Subsequently, the court, apparently unhappy with the tweet, issued a summons to him that his May 19, 2023, tweets were contemptuous and scandalous.
Attached to the summons were copies of a series of publications by various portals arising from Prof. Kpessa-Whyte’s tweet.
His comments followed the Supreme Court’s order to Parliament to expunge the name of James Gyakye Quayson from its records after it found that he had not renounced his Canadian citizenship at the time he filed his nomination forms to contest the Assin North polls in 2020.
In an attempt to explain himself ahead of today’s appearance in court captured in an “apology and retraction statement”, the NDC member said he observed that some media publications sought to associate his tweet with the decision by the Supreme Court.
“But honestly, at the time of my tweet, I had no knowledge of the Supreme Court’s decision as at 9:59am when I did the tweet,” he said.
In his apology and retraction, Prof. Kpessa-Whyte said the tweet was not done with the intent to scandalise, or denigrate a revered institution such as the Supreme of Ghana for which he has tremendous amount of respect and admiration.
“These are consequences I have never intended, though I do accept responsibility that I could have exercised better judgement in my choice of words.”
“Please permit me to state unequivocally that I have no reason to slander our Supreme Court, and I hereby sincerely apologise unreservedly for any pain and discomfort my tweets caused the Chief Justice, the Supreme Court and the entire judiciary.”
“I hereby retract the tweet in question, accordingly, the tweet has been deleted completely and I pray for forgiveness,” the statement said.