Supreme Court Judges

“Watching Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata make extemporaneous legal arguments in the Supreme Court was exhilarating! It is like flying in a jet fighter for the first time, and watching the pilot disentangle the plane from the avalanche of the storm after storm at every turn, yet flying still and ascending in an intense, steady fashion, with calmness and a smile worthy of envy!”

The daily struggle to put food on the table these days deter ordinary, unlearned men like me the pleasure of straying into court to hear legal arguments and compelling banters from the bench and the bar for private edification, which I must confess is the great fascination about the law.

Growing up in Kadjebi in the Volta Region, (now Oti Region I suppose), I would accompany other friends with itchy ears like mine to the then-District Magistrate Court, where we would please our eyes and ears with the sights and sounds of legal wrangling from the court for hours without end with great fascination.

If there was a prominent case in town, we would find time and congregate at the precincts of the court to catch a glimpse of the notorious criminal or marvel at his confessions during cross-examination! The shouts of “order,” “order” by the interpreter would thunder every now and then to restore peace if the onlooking crowd became over-excited or unnecessarily agitated.

Youth having deserted me now, and with some severe mouths to feed, it has not crossed my mind in the past 30 years or thereabouts to return to my old hobby and pastime. So when the chance to revisit the courtroom via Ghana television and hook up again with my old pleasures presented itself through the election petition, you know my enthusiasm not to miss any sound or sight swiftly returned.

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Indeed, if you want a place to exercise a dormant brain, to resurrect and jolt old ideas back to life, please go to court. The learned men and women don’t just put on those wigs for fun. The wigs are covering sharp analytical brains, mountains of legal reports and ethos, secrets of wrongs probably committed by their clients (which they must pretend never happened or justify with articles of the law, in forceful temper befitting the size of the legal fees and the occasion.

Watching Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata make extemporaneous legal arguments in the Supreme Court was exhilarating! It is like flying in a jet fighter for the very first time and watching the pilot disentangle the plane from the avalanche of the storm after storm at every turn, yet flying still and ascending in intense, steady fashion with calmness and a smile fit to be envied!

But Sheshe’s style is different. He operates as a land cruiser, cruising the law in its toughness, dancing and grabbing, dodging and swerving, while jabbing every now and then, and of course dashing to the finishing line with the rapidity of breadth. Such a variety of style and presentation, language, and drama defined the opening days of cross-examination.

So I wait for more “tea and biscuits “to be served in court as the inquisition unfolds!

Credit: Theodore Dzeble

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