Former President, John Dramani Mahama, has expressed that the country can only hope that a new Chief Justice will lead the process to repair the broken image that the Judiciary has acquired over the last few years.
According to him, the current leadership of the Judiciary lacks what it takes to redeem its sunken image, hence the need for a new Chief Justice. Mr Mahama revealed that, a perceived independent Judiciary is a vital element in safeguarding the country’s democracy.
Nonetheless, he noted that the current Judiciary has become an item of ridicule and mistrust, and therefore the need for a new Chief Justice to restore public confidence in the courts.
“Unfortunately, we have no hope that the current leadership of our Judiciary can lead such a process of change. We can only hope, that a new Chief Justice will lead the process to repair the broken image that our Judiciary has acquired over the last few years.”John Mahama
Mahama urges judiciary to redeem its image
Mr Mahama explained that there is the urgent need for the “Ghanaian Judiciary to work to win the trust and confidence of the citizenry” and erase the widely held perception of hostility and political bias in legal proceedings at the highest courts of the land. He stated that the public perception of bias on the part of the Judiciary, poses a threat to the country’s democracy.
“So badly has the image of our Judiciary deteriorated, that many of our citizenry openly make mockery of our justice system and of our justices. The phrase ‘Go to Court’ is these days met with derisive laughter, instead of hope that one will truly get justice. If people are not poking fun about politics and inducements being used to sway the hand of justice in the lower courts, then it is poking fun and making statements about the 7-0 of the ‘Unanimous FC’.”John Mahama
The former President highlighted that it is an “unfortunate development” when citizens think their judiciary holds no value for them.
On his part, the General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has expressed concern about the ill-treatment given to lawyers who are perceived to be members of the NDC.
According to him, certain state institutions deliberately black-list ‘NDC lawyers’, while some judges also prejudge cases involving NDC attorneys. Mr Nketiah described the situation as worrying, when he addressed a gathering of NDC lawyers at the party’s Lawyers’ Conference on Sunday, August 28, 2022.
“Once you identify with NDC, you’re denied any opportunity to participate in state business. No state organisation will feel comfortable assigning you legal business to do.”Johnson Asiedu Nketia
The NDC General Secretary revealed that the party is aware of the intimidation lawyers in their camp suffer in their profession with the “leaders of your profession” and the Judiciary.
In recent times, the Judiciary has come under widespread criticism due to the unanimous nature of some of its rulings.