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General News of Friday, 25 January 2013

Source: Daily Graphic

Empanel entire Supreme Court to hear petition

The Forum for Governance and Justice (FGJ) has commended the Supreme Court for dealing swiftly with the application by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to join the petition by the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

“Indeed, the people, from whom justice emanates and is administered in the name of the Republic by the Judiciary, now anxiously expect hearing on the substantive petition to start on January 29, 2013,” a statement signed by Dr Clement A. Apaak, the Convener of FGJ said.

“As we commend the highest court of the land, we wish to humbly suggest to the Chief Justice to consider empanelling all the Justices of the Supreme Court to sit on substantive case,” it said.

According to the statement, if the Chief Justice saw the need to empanel a nine-member bench to hear and decide the NDC case, it was not unreasonable to make this request, given the nature of the case at hand and its implications for the nation.

It said the suggestion was informed by the fact that since 1992, two main political parties had ruled Ghana, the NDC and the NPP, adding that “equally, it is true that all the Justices of the Supreme Court appointed since the coming into effect of the 1992 Constitution were appointed by a leader elected on the ticket of one of the two parties now in court over the 2012 presidential poll.”

“The nature of this case requires a concerted effort to avoid needless and baseless speculations about loyalties and or lack thereof,” it further stated.

“If nine sat on an application for a joinder, then asking the full house to sit on the substantive case that has consequences for our democracy is not out of place in the national interest,” the statement added.

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