Restore public confidence in judiciary – Pres tells judges

President Akufo-Addo (left) and his Vice, Dr. Bawumia (middle) interacting with the congregation after the service

President Akufo-Addo (left) and his Vice, Dr. Bawumia (middle) interacting with the congregation after
the service

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged members of the bar and the bench to work towards restoring public confidence in the judiciary after its image has been “badly damaged” by ace investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ expose.

According to President Akufo-Addo, confidence in the judicial system of any country was necessary for the growth of the democracy and economic boom.

“When we have an efficient delivery of justice through our courts, investors, domestic and foreign, will be encouraged to invest their resources in Ghana because they can be assured of an efficient and business-friendly judicial system.”

President Akufo-Addo was speaking at a solemn ceremony in Accra on Saturday to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the death of late Chief Justice (CJ), George Kingsley Acquah.

President Akufo-Aaddo said: “it was time for us to accept that justice delivery is a service and just like any other service, the customer must be satisfied with the entire process of the service, in this case, justice.”

The foundation of justice delivery was shaken by the ace investigator’s expose leading to the dismissal of some officers of the court, including judges caught on tape receiving different forms of inducements to determine cases in a particular direction.

Proposing reforms in the judiciary to ensure effective service, President Akufo-Addo urged the judiciary to catch up with modern technology so that the court was seen as a place of service than a place where parties meet to settle their differences.

Paying tribute to the late Chief Justice, President Akufo-Addo said the late CJ was a “respectable and decent man” and “one of the most diligent lawyers in Cape Coast and the courts in which he practiced,” rising through the ranks to become the Chief Justice in 2003.

“In my practice as a lawyer, I appeared before him as a member of the panel of the Supreme Court in cases that have shaped our constitutional jurisprudence, including Mensah v. Attorney-General [1997-98] 1 GLR 227 and Republic v. Tommy Thompson Books Limited and others (No 1) [1997-98] 1 GLR 611,” the President recollected.

He said as Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, “I appeared before him, when he sat as a member of the panel of the Supreme Court in Amidu v. Kufuor and others [2001-2002] 2 GLR 510 and Tsikata v. Attorney-General [2001-2002] 2 GLR 1, where he was a part of the original minority, and subsequent majority on review of a case that gripped the public attention of our nation.”

After deciding all these constitutional cases, President Akufo-Addo said it came as no surprise to him and many others in the legal fraternity, when former President John Agyekum Kufuor, appointed him as the eleventh Chief Justice of the Republic, an appointment, he said, was “fitting for a man who was so deeply committed to the principle of judicial independence.”

Justice Acquah, President Akufo-Addo noted helped champion the efforts to reform and codify the laws of Ghana’s customary dispute resolution adding that “he will be remembered for his initiative to improve the excellence of the Judicial Service, and justice delivery in Ghana.”

The ceremony was attended by several dignitaries, including Vice President Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Supreme Court Justice William Atuguba, the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Gloria Akuffo and the widow of the late Chief Justice, Mrs. Jane Acquah.

By Julius Yao Petetsi

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