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"Justice Anim Yeboah Is Likely To Go Down As The Worst Chief Justice In Ghana's History" - NDC

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) says it is confident that Chief Justice, Justice Kwasi Anim Yeboah, is likely to go down in history as the worst Chief Justice of Ghana since the inception of the 4th Republic.

According to the NDC, his reign as Chief Justice has been characterized by unimaginable administrative abuses.

Addressing Journalists in Accra on Friday, the General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia said "These abuses are thrown into sharp relief when the conduct of the current Chief Justice is measured against the professionalism and conduct of former Chief Justices."

"We recall in particular the words of Chief Justice Kwasi Apaloo at his send-off ceremony that: The one great quality I would wish to see in my colleagues is courage that is to say they should be in a position to defend to the death positions they believe to be right"

"I charge you to keep or help keep the flag of the judiciary flying and may the profession as a whole provide leadership and best counsel on these professional matters which we have all held in trust for the benefit of generations yet unborn".

The General Secretaryadded that it would appear that the wise counsel of Chief Justice Apaloo has no resonance with the current Chief Justice, who has failed to show leadership and to keep the flag of the judiciary flying by abusing his power to empanel the courts.

"It has been our understanding that the setting up of divisions of the High Court in Accra such as the Criminal Division, Land Division, the Human Rights Division, and the Commercial Division were all meant to ensure that these specialized courts deal with matters that directly fall within their competence and jurisdictions"

Mr. Nketia stressed that these courts started very beautifully and many were those who hailed the establishment of it.

He noted that incidentally, in recent times these beautiful arrangements appear to have been thrown into a state of utter confusion where Ghanaians could now witness even land cases being sent to commercial courts, clear-cut commercial court cases being sent to the human rights court and criminal cases sent to the judges at the Land Division.

"Sometimes the assignment of cases to particular judges is done in a manner that makes one wonder what is the motivation for the case assignment"

"Recently, the case involving Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson was originally assigned to Justice Solomon Oppong Twumasi only for the judge to announce in open court that the Chief Justice had reassigned the case to another judge in another division of the High Court"

"Another worrying phenomenon is the appointment of Court of Appeal Judges to preside over High Court Cases, For us these appointments are a damper and go a long way to demotivate our judges at the High Court"

"By these appointments, is the Chief Justice saying that the said cases could not have any competent Justice of the High Court as currently constituted to deal with them or it is more the case that the Chief Justice has a cadet of justices who are specially deployed to do the bidding of his political masters? Without mincing words, we state that we see the appointments of Court of Appeal justices to preside over these cases as worrying"

The NDC says it is saddened by and gravely concerned about the phenomenon of unreasoned judgments, lack of fidelity to the record of cases.

It added that it is also worried about the unpardonable factual errors that have become commonplace in judgments of the apex court as well as glaring administrative abuses by the Chief Justice.

"We were particularly shocked by the palpable blunders committed by the apex court in the election petition judgment. In a case of such magnitude, we expected excellence, professionalism, attention-to-detail and meticulousness from our Supreme Court"

"Instead, what the people of Ghana obtained from the court were these unpardonable blunders, which have the potential to affect people's confidence in the administration of justice"

The NDC, therefore, calls on the Judicial Council to institute an internal inquiry to ascertain the reasons for these blunders and appropriate recommendations made to the Chief Justice.

It added that the institution will forestall their recurrence until appropriate legislation, such as a Judicial Proceedings Bill, is passed by Parliament to regulate the writing of judgments by the various courts.

The NDC stressed that it will also petition Parliament for the Judiciary Committee of the House to conduct a public inquiry into the reasons for the blunders committed by the Supreme Court in the 2020 Presidential Election Petition and other cases with the view to proposing appropriate remedial legislation.

"The NDC remains committed to Ghana's democracy and the promotion of the Rule of Law"

"Accordingly, we shall endeavor at all times, in line with our social democratic ethos, to ensure that the justice system performs the role assigned to it by the 1992 Constitution by serving the interest of all Ghanaians devoid of any political or partisan considerations"

Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith



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