Former President John Dramani Mahama has asserted that, given his position as a former Head of State, he is qualified to remark on any and all matters of national importance.
On September 12, Mahama said in an exclusive interview with Accra-based TV3 that he believes he has a powerful voice in the nation and that as a result, he speaks on issues to bring attention to them so that action may be made.
The 2020 candidate for the National Democratic Congress defended his recent statement that the judiciary has a “broken image” and that reforms are needed to restore public confidence in the institution. He claimed that the statement was a call to action.
“My statement was that the perception of the Ghanaian people about the judiciary is low and I was making a call to action that we should do something to change that perception. Why can that be imprudent? I didn’t put the judiciary where it is.
You shouldn’t express the truth if you hold a high office in the country, right?
Is that the meaning, then?
Do we firmly believe that justice will be served if we go to court?
We hear about perverted justice and other things on a daily basis,” Mahama said.
He continued by noting that the Chief Justice Kwesi Anin-Yeboah had made a like decision since he made his initial remark.
He said that in order for the public to have faith in the judiciary, the Chief Justice urged judges to administer justice in a free, fair, and transparent way in a statement read on his behalf by Justice Jones Dotse.
“Recently, the Chief Justice himself in a statement read for him by Justice Dotse raised some of these issues himself. I will applaud him for it because I had said in my statement that I had lost faith in the current leadership to be able to do anything about reforming it and I had hoped that a new Chief Justice will do that.
“Since then he’s made this statement that Justice Dotse did and I saw some positive jewels in it, that he was calling judges to dispense justice freely and fairly, transparently so that people will feel that confidence to go to the judiciary because the judiciary is the last arbitrator,” Mahama observed.
In order to do this, the National Democratic Congress’ 2020 presidential candidate declared that he will not allow Attorney General Godfred Dame to restrict his ability to express his opinions.
He emphasized that he is still committed to calling attention to the issues in the nation that he believes need to be fixed in order for changes to take place.
“We can differ and argue in Parliament and on anything, but when we are unable to come to a consensus, we all turn to the legal system.
We must have faith that it will act fairly, in accordance with the law, and in the general good.
“That’s all I was saying. And how he (Godfred Dame) can interpret that I am imprudent and blah blah…so if you’re a former president, you see something going on wrong in the country you have no right to talk about it? Is that what he is saying?
“No, I’m not going to let him take that from me right now.I will call attention to it if I notice something is amiss.I must fulfill this obligation.I think that if I speak out when anything is wrong in this country, it makes it current so that something can be done about it, which is why I continue to make the statements that I do, the former president stated.