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Opinions of Thursday, 10 December 2015

Columnist: Daily Guide

Scale of justice


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News about the tilting of justice by some members of the bench shocked the nation to its marrow, recovery from which is only beginning, if at all. Ghanaians have largely followed keenly the developments which originated from the newsbreak. They could not have wished for anything less than a dismissal of those found culpable and an accompanying programme to restore the confidence of the people in the judiciary which for now has evaporated into thin air.

The dismissals as directed by the Judicial Council expectedly made the headlines not only in Ghana but in some international news networks, the reason being the weirdness of the stated misbehaviour by the torchbearers of justice.

When those who are bestowed with the onerous task of balancing the scale of justice do otherwise, it casts a slur not only on the image of the judiciary, an arm of government, but challenges the integrity of the country as a whole. Indeed the economy suffers as investors steer away from countries where judges are steeped in graft.

We are elated that for some of the accused persons justice has finally been administered in the spirit of fairness. Others who think they have a case and have commenced a legal battle let them be given all the opportunities they are entitled to under the circumstances. After all, our country is supposed to be ruled by laws and not man’s arbitrariness; we are composing this commentary because of a breach of this principle of justice.

Ghana is still reeling from the effects of the exposure about corruption in the judiciary; until the evidence-triggered probe, there was nothing to stand on.

The Chief Justice at the press conference held to announce the Judicial Council’s decision against those found culpable assured the nation that efforts would be made to restore the sanctity of the judiciary.

It is a long journey, we can assure all stakeholders who are Ghanaians; but as the Chinese saying goes, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a step.” It is reassuring that the effort towards that goal of sanctifying the judiciary is going to be pursued by the Chief Justice and like-minded persons at the top of the judiciary.

A determined leadership of the system and the cooperation of members of the public can expedite the achievement of that goal.

Fighting corruption in an economically challenged country is by no means an easy task. There would be resistance, muffled and open, from those who benefit from the social cankerworm.

This group of Ghanaians, ingenious as they are, would improvise fresh means of perpetuating the evil called judicial corruption.

The Judicial Service, with the Chief Justice’s direction, should also be innovative so they can effectively counter the devilish ingenuity of the corrupt who are lurking in the alleys of the judicial system ready to unleash their innovations.

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