‘Angry’ Tony Lithur throws away documents in open Court
Lead Counsel for the President in the election petition trial, Mr. Tony Lithur on Wednesday May 29, 2013 went into a fit of frenzied anger and flung, in open Court; a document and exhibit which the Lead Counsel for the Petitioners, Mr. Philip Addison attempted bringing to the Court’s notice.
Mr. Lithur hurled off the exhibit as it was handed over to him for inspection.
Mr. Addison had attempted, in court, to have the key witness for the First and Third Respondents, Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia, who is being cross-examined, identify the document as “the further and better particulars”, provided to the parties and the Court, at the beginning of the trial.
Mr. Lithur’s flinging of the document in open Court generated brief murmurings among the Court audience.
His behaviour attracted the following reaction from Mr. Addison.
“My Lord this is a man who talks about respect in the Supreme Court; this kind of behaviour”.
Mr. Lithur then riposted that: “When Counsel seeks to bring that kind of document to Court as further and better particulars, I don’t know what kind of response he expects”.
Seeking to justify his anger and behaviour, Mr. Lithur explained that: “The further and better particulars were given in volumes, indicating which paragraph is referring to what, and it’s not just one volume; there are several volumes and the matter has already been ruled on by this Court about what the legal effect of the further and better particulars [is]; they are pleadings and the attempt to tender them was rejected earlier”, he burst out.
“You are talking about respect, I beg your pardon Counsel”, Mr. Lither fumed.
One of the nine Justices hearing the matter however expressed strong reservations about what he described as Mr. Lithur’s “condemnable” behaviour.
“Counsel, clearly I mean this behaviour is very much uncalled for, clearly condemnable; you know your behaviour is toward the Court, you should know that”.
He said it is “clearly an affront to the Court”, adding that: “…To throw the docket away was wrong”.
The President of the nine-member Bench, Justice William Atuguba concurred with his colleague Justice by saying: “I was about to say the same thing, that jettisoning of cargo is not something to be done at the bar”.
He joked that: “It’s on the high seas that when ships are in trouble that they start jettisoning cargo”.
Mr. Lithur aplogised for his behaviour but nonetheless insisted his side stood by their objection to the attempt by Mr. Addison to show the document to the Witness.