You are here: HomeNews2017 04 07Article 526723

General News of Friday, 7 April 2017


Delta Force attack: Remain calm – Judicial council urges judges

The Judicial Council of Ghana has called on all judges across the country to remain calm in the face of Thursday’s incident at a Kumasi Circuit Court involving members of the Delta Force, a private security body within the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

The Council, in a statement condemning the attack that took place on April 6, said they were in touch with government on the issue of security for judges and judicial staff and additional steps to be taken to avert any such incidents in the future.

These assurances come in the wake of comments by the Association of Magistrates and Judges expressing fear in light of yesterday’s incident.

At a press conference organised by the Association of Magistrate and Judges, Justice Victor Ofoe, its president, condemned the attack and called on the authorities, particularly the police service, to arrest the suspects and bring normalcy to the country and its judicial system.

“We call on the authorities, as a matter of urgency, particularly the police, to arrest and bring to normalcy the situation for peace-loving Ghanaians to go about their lawful duties. Such acts are a threat to and intimidation of the members of the judiciary. It should be most gratifying for us, and of course all Ghanaians, that all involved will be apprehended and dealt with according to law.

“To our members, particularly in Kumasi where the incident occurred, we call upon you to stay calm whilst an immediate solution is found to the impasse. We assure you that we are in discussion with the leadership of the Judicial Service towards providing maximum security to all the courts. As earlier directed, all members who have reason to feel threatened should, through the headship of the regional administration of the service, report to the regional police commander for appropriate steps to be taken.

“We call on the government, particularly the police hierarchy, as a matter of urgency, to take all necessary steps to allay the worries, fears and anxieties of all judges and magistrates in the region. We would, with all deference, strongly advise the police in future not to fail in their threat assessment of cases that come before the courts. Every court should be considered a flashpoint, a point that is worth the constant eye of the security agencies since criminal trials have the potential of emitting violence.”

But the Council, in a statement released minutes after the press conference by the judges, said: “The Judicial Council at an emergency meeting held on the 7th April, 2017, discussed the matter and condemned in the strongest term this brazen and unwarranted assault by members of the group who defied the authority of a duly constituted court of law. This act of impunity is not only a grave affront to the independence and dignity of the judiciary, but also an attack on the rule of law and the administration of justice in a constitutional democracy…

“The nation’s attempt at democratic government and enforcement of the rule of law will flounder and fail if such actions are allowed to fester. Meanwhile the Judicial Service appeals to all judges and staff to remain calm and continue to go about their work without fear. The Judicial Council takes note of the assurances given by the government with regard to this matter. The Council will keep in touch with government on the issue of security for judges and staff and additional steps to be taken to avert any such incidents in the future.”