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Opinions of Sunday, 3 August 2014

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Ghana Supreme Court is Redeeming Her Tattered Image

The Ghana judiciary, following some known and established unfair judgments they have pronounced, and still continue to pronounce, on some cases, have lost their credibility in the eyes of the Ghanaian public. The judiciary, correctly or wrongly, are believed by many Ghanaians to be corrupt beyond redemption. They are perceived to sell justice to the highest bidder. Subsequently, most of their declared verdicts are in bad faith, very unfair. The poor are often denied justice, or are treated very badly. Cases are abnormally, repeatedly adjourned, a methodical delay tactic with intent to deny one party justice, usually, the poor party, be they the defendant or the plaintiff.

The public perception about their corruptibility, unprofessionalism, and unreliability to deliver fair judgment came to climax during the Election 2012 petition. From the live telecast of the Supreme Court proceedings on Election 2012 petition, both discerning laymen and legal minds that had the opportunity to follow the case concluded that the petitioners were winning the case. They could not believe their ears and eyes when William Atuguba, upon all the reasons adduced, the credible evidential documents presented by the petitioners to the court, still declared their petition to be without merit and hence, threw it out.

At this point, Ghanaians and the world realised how the Ghana Supreme Court lacks demonstrable integrity. They lost trust in the courts.

However, two recent verdicts delivered by the Supreme Court panel of judges presided over by the Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood; seem to be remedying its tattered image. Both panels of Supreme Court judges sensibly declared verdicts according to better interpretations of the law vis-à-vis the cases before them. They did not twist the truth to suit either their parochial interests or that of a superior hand remotely pulling the cord from the comfort of their corridor of power.

In the first case, they have stopped the Electoral Commission, in which case it is the obstinate Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan, from accepting NHIS registration cards as proof of identity to biometrically register people on the voters register. In the second case, they have ordered the Ghanaian swindler of the century, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, to refund the Ghc51.2 Million he fraudulently obtained from Ghana government in 2010. Woyome, the self-styled sole financier of the NDC party, thought he could get away with the money because his party and accomplices are in power.

If the judiciary had been doing as cited in the two recent Supreme Court verdicts, Ghana would be a much better place to live than her current tormenting socio-politico-economic situation that is driving Ghanaians crazy.

Going by William Atuguba’s nonsensical verdict that has partly contributed to plunging Ghana into her current economic mess, some people in authority thought that is the current order; they can also flout the laws with impunity as did Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan, during Election 2012 and the creation of new Districts and new constituencies.

Unfortunately however, the law that is no respecter of persons, when truthfully interpreted, has held a certain powerful Ghanaian leader by the balls. He thought he could twist history, bully some innocent but poor persons, trample upon their rights, take their birth right away from them and bequeath it to someone else, dubiously availing himself of the poor persons property, all with impunity, is now held firmly in the grips of the law.

With the judiciary now getting their acts together, determined than ever before to deliver credible verdicts, I have only to wish them good luck. I hope they will continue with the good job done lately, by the Supreme Court, as cited above. With the delivery of fair judgments, sanity and hope will be restored in Ghana, thereby paving the way for her speedy recovery from the socio-economic crisis she finds herself in.

More grease to the elbows of all those judges that have seen the light of truth.

Rockson Adofo