Regional News of Saturday, 8 February 2014

Source: GNA

Seven Circuit Court judges sworn into office

Seven Circuit Court Judges were on Thursday sworn into office by Chief Justice Georgina Wood in Accra.

The Chief Justice administered the oath of allegiance, judicial oath and the oath of secrecy to the new judges.

The newly sworn in judges are Michael Abbey, Bernard Bentil, Baptist K. Filson and Afia N. Adu-Amankwa.

The rest are Kofi Ametewe, Abigail Asare and Alexander Graham.

Justice Alex B. Poku-Acheampong, the Judicial Secretary, said the new judges were appointed after going through a competitive and rigorous recruitment process.

He said the judges, including other candidates, were made to write examinations, followed by an interview and those who excelled were chosen.

He commended them for their hard work and urged them to work to promote justice.

Mrs Georgina Wood said the new judges deserved their appointment after going through rigorous recruitment processes and advised them to bear in mind that justice could only be rendered according to law and not other considerations.

“The administration of justice is not about knowing anybody, but the enforcement and protection of legal rights and interest of litigants vested in the law and it is about due process,” she said.

She said justice was not anchored on friendship, kinship or fellowship, but on the law and urged judicial officers to apply the law impartially, giving each person who appeared before them a free and unprejudiced hearing.

She advised judges not to engage in conducts that would dent their integrity, adding that any conduct that was inimical to the judicial service would not be tolerated.

“Being independent does not mean that members of the Judiciary have free rein to do as they please as the judiciary must be accountable to the sovereign people of Ghana on whose behalf they exercise judicial power,” she said.

Mrs Georgina Wood advised the new judges to serve the nation with all their heart and soul as the oath of allegiance required such commitment.

Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah Oppong, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, urged the judges to conduct themselves well and also to be impartial in their decision-making.

She urged family members of the new judges to lessen their pressure especially the financial ones on the judges as that could compel them to compromise on their work.

Mr Stephen Abuma, the Chief of Justice of Uganda who is on a visit to Ghana with his delegation, urged the new judges to have people in mind as justice emanated from them.