Security analyst Col. Festus Aboagye (rtd) says recent judgements by the Supreme Court make it easy for some Ghanaians to have doubts over the fairness of their verdicts.
The comment comes on the back of a caution to judges by the National Security Minister Kan Dapaah over perceived bias in their judgements.
“Confidence in the judiciary will be lost if interpretation always favours government, and the judiciary perceived to be biased is a big threat to national security,” the National Security Minister told judges at a program in Accra last week.
He stressed: “Injustice occasioned as a result of the absence of an effective justice delivery system or delayed justice or biased justice is certainly a threat to national security”.
Speaking to Francis Abban on Morning Starr Monday, the security analyst said judges must take the caution of Mr. Kan Dapaah seriously.
“Personally, I’m concerned that from the election petition to the deputy speakers case and where there are two alternatives, the court always goes to the other alternative. The onesidedness of this for me is not sufficient. The citizens taking law into their hands is something I can resonate with. If we have 9 judges on the bench and all the time it’s 7-0; 9-0, it’s a bit artificial.
“My question is why the minister is saying it at this time and why is he not directing the statement to the general population? What is the minister purporting. What kind of message is he sending. Is it a caution to the judiciary or specific justices? If the justices have been right in their decisions they’ve made in the past, what is the minister worried about?,” he said.
Mahama on judges
Former President John Mahama says the National Democratic Congress has problems with the judiciary and called on the Chief Justice to institute reforms within the courts.
“We do have problems with the Judiciary, I must say. I think that it is necessary for some internal reforms to take place there. It is necessary for the Chief Justice or whoever is responsible to make some reforms,” Mr Mahama told supporters of the NDC in the United States where he has been visiting.
He added “Most of the governance institutions have been politicised. I give the example of the Judiciary. It is only in Ghana that a Supreme Court will make a decision that a birth certificate is not proof of citizenship”.
Mr Mahama also referenced a research by his former executive secretary and lawyer Raymond Atuguba who argued that judges, in crucial political cases, rule based on their party lines.
“There are many such funny judgements that have been given. I remember at one time, our colleague Professor Raymond Atuguba said that from research he had done, judges turn to give their judgements in favour of the political party or leader that appointed them.
“He was subjected to such a whirlwind of indignation by the Judiciary, but if you bring it down to what is happening today, and you look at it and see who appointed who, you will find that there was some truth in the research.
“The thing is, our constitution gives the security of tenure to judges. Once you have been appointed, you cannot be removed. That is why we give security of tenure so that you will have the courage no matter who appointed you to give judgement according to your conscience. That is what our judges should do. They must rise to the occasion.”