Justice Jones Dotsei, a member of the panel hearing the election petition has directed politicians to make their voice heard on “more productive issues” and not waste their time on “useless issues” which are likely to cause chaos in the country.

He said, Wednesday, during the hearing of a contempt charge against general secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, that there were a lot of issues of national interest which were hindering the development of the country and those were issues to be talked about by politicians.

His counsel followed pleas by Lawyer Ayikoi Otoo who represented Mr Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John in court that the justices temper justice with mercy since he (Sir John) was carried away by the platform he was speaking on.

Citing a scenario, Lawyer Ayikoi Otoo noted that “Most of them as politicians when they get to the platform momentarily forget themselves. When you find yourself on a friendly radio station such as Oman FM and you are talking to your people, you think it’s a political platform and you allow yourself go.”

“And so, my Lords, in trying to play to the gallery, you see, they cheer you on, as you speak they clap and shout and you keep on giving more blows and before you say jack, you might have uttered an unkind and an unguarded word. This is the context that my Lords, we want you to view this incidence,” he added.

Lawyer Ayikoi Otoo also cited instances when presidents have been caught off guard.

“Presidents have been caught; Gordon Brown was caught off guard saying things he ought not to have said. He forgot that he still had his mic on and so, my Lords, it could happen to anybody so we are pleading with you to look at it also from that point of view,” he said.

However, Justice Dotsei, who did not take kindly to his pleas, noted that, “One thing we must all realize, especially those who aspire to leadership position is that if you want your voice to be heard on the airwaves, there are a lot of issues you can talk about”.

He further made reference to an article which was published in the July 29, 2013 edition of the Daily Graphic of a woman who bled to death after she was delivered of her baby due to the lack of a hospital facility in Torgome, a town in the Volta Region.

He noted that “our leaders on both sides, government and opposition must address such issues. If you want people in your village to hear your voice, talk about such issues; how do we fend for the people of Torgome to ensure that at 11pm when somebody is bitten by a snake and he has to be taken to hospital, he is not locked out of hospital?”

“These are issues we should address and not useless issues like this. So if your client wants his voice to be heard, he should be talking of more productive issues,” he counseled.