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Friday, August 20, 2010

Judges reply Kwabena Adjei; say his remarks are insensitive and unfortunate

The Association of Magistrates and Judges has described as unfortunate recent comments by the Chairman of the National Democratic Congress, Dr Kwabena Adjei, threatening to cleanse the Judiciary.

A statement signed by Justice Joseph B. Akamba, President of the Association and the Secretary Elizabeth Ankumah stated “it is unfortunate for a perception of bias in any particular direction to be attributed to the Bench when there are several dimensions to the success of a case."

Dr. Kwabena Adjei had at a press conference directed the Chief Justice Justice Georgina Wood to rid the Bench of corrupt judges or the NDC shall take steps to cleanse it for her.

His statements came after several defeats suffered by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Mrs Betty Mould Iddrisu over high profile cases brought against top political opponents accused of misappropriation of funds under the erstwhile Kufuor administration.

The recent striking out and discharging of Kwodwo Mpiani, ex-Chief of Staff and Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana@50 Secretariat by High Court Judge, Justice Marful-Sau appeared to be the last straw that broke the camel's back.

Even though Dr. Adjei has since clarified his remarks arguing they were misconstrued, criticisms of the comments have mounted with the opposition NPP calling for his arrest and prosecution.

A strongly worded statement by the Association of Magistrates and Judges said the comments could usurp the powers and the independence of the Judiciary.

“If history is a lesson to anybody, such utterances as ‘cleansing the Judiciary’ or ‘there are several ways to kill a cat’ should not come from the party that begot the Government of the day which aspires to make this nation a better Ghana. The remark about Christ’s inability to salvage the perceived bias by judges is rather insensitive and unfortunate and ought not to come from the Honourable Chairman,” the statement said.

According to the judges, the Judiciary is itself undergoing reforms and advised well meaning Ghanaians to channel any concerns or suggestions to the client service of the Judicial service.

The statement described as refreshing news by the Attorney General that she is going to appeal the decision of the High Court, a move the statement noted is in consonance with the spirit of the constitution.

“We of the Association of Magistrates and Judges wish to affirm our undivided loyalty to our Judicial Oaths to dispense justice to all manner of persons without fear or favor, ill-will or affection, race, color or creed,” the statement added.

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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