Former President John Mahama, now aspiring president, has alleged that President Nana Akufo-Addo, in a strategic move to ensure appointees of his Government escape accountability after leaving office, has deliberately appointed several New Patriotic Party (NPP) inclined persons to the Superior Courts and other places.
His Excellency John Dramani Maham has therefore promised that the next National Democratic Congress (NDC) led Government under him would carry out a deliberate agenda to politically “balance” the judiciary with NDC-inclined lawyers who would ensure that members of the Nana Akufo-Addo led Government would not escape accountability when their Party leaves office.
The former President made the statements in his speech at the 3rd annual lawyers conference of the NDC held on Saturday, September 3, 2023, in Akosombo.
“I mean you can see what the current President [Nana Akufo-Addo] has done; he has appointed the largest number of judges unto the Bench. It is more than 80 towards 100 and counting. He has packed the courts and we know that they have packed the court because they want to avoid accountability after they have left office.
“And so all manner of people who are known to have been partisan who are known to have been executives of their party [the New Patriotic Party] who are in the legal profession are being leapfrogged into the Superior Courts and other places and so we must be prepared as NDC legal persons to also go onto the Bench so that we can balance out the judiciary”, John Mahama noted.
He continued: “Currently the judiciary is packed with NPP-inclined judged because this Government has carried out a deliberate policy of putting their people on the Bench. And so I encourage some of you to look at careers on the Bench so that we can balance out what the current situation is.”
John Mahama said Ghana’s judiciary currently lacks credibility and there is the need of judicial reforms to restore public confidence:
“But after we’ve won the election, we all know the current situation in which we are when we look at the state of our judiciary. All opinion polling and other surveys that has been done shows that reputation of our judiciary is at its lowest.
“And we all know what has contributed to this. There have already been a low level of credibility with the judiciary and our people have always felt that there is monetary influence that influences judgements and both civil and criminal cases. You remember the Anas exposure that led to the sacking of some judges.
But it has gone beyond monetary inducements. Now, it is also seen as the judiciary is partisan and a lot of people see that justice is not served in many cases. And we bear the brunt of that. You feel that the judiciary is partisan and in many cases some of the decisions are quite bizarre.
“We do believe that there must be judicial reforms. Indeed if you interview most Ghanaians, they do believe there must be some judicial reforms in order to booster its reputation so that not only Ghanaians but foreign investors and any person who is in the jurisdiction of Ghana can trust. And so as part of the discussions you have we must look at how the Executive and the judiciary can work together to improve the image of the judiciary”, John Mahama told his party’s lawyers.
However President Mahama’s comments have not gone down well with the immediate-past Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, Koku Anyidohu who took to his “X” (Twitter) page to complain:
“This is the former President openly telling us how he will implement a destructive partisan agenda within our justice system if given another chance.I have said it already that I can’t support such a dangerous mindset that portends only catastrophe for our nation. Torfiakwa!
“I am respectfully pleading with the National Chairman of NDC & his elected (not appointed) National Executives to tell the nation if it is the Party’s position that the courts will be packed with pro-NDC judges, or it is only the Flagbearer who is desirous of such a dangerous act
“As fate has it, the history of our beloved NDC does not sit us well with the Justice System (3 High Court Judges murder), & after President Mills did extraordinarily well to bridge the gap, look at what JM is saying – to take us back into our dark past. I weep for my NDC.”