Ghanaians have been urged by President Akufo-Addo to reject those he claims have made it their goal to disparage the judiciary and the electoral commission out of self-interest, partisanship, and narrow-mindedness.
“Just as Government continues to implement policies to advance the rule of law, and, thereby, reinforce the confidence of the people, and shore up our nation’s reputation as a country governed by the rule of law,” says President Akufo-Addo. “But there are some who have made it their political agenda to disparage the image of the Judiciary in a systematic manner for selfish, parochial, partisan reasons.”
The plaintiffs, he claimed, “go to Court, indeed, to the highest court of the land, provide not a single shred of evidence to support their claims, and yet, insist that their claims be upheld, despite the elementary violation of the ancient, common-law rules for the discharge of the burden of proof that such a result would entail.”
The President continued, “It is no wonder that their claims were unanimously dismissed 7-0 by the apex court. The result of this case is in stark contrast to the result of a similar one in 2013, when the unsuccessful plaintiffs managed to persuade four (4) out of a nine (9) member court to find for them, and, yet, the earlier plaintiffs chose not to wage a political war against the court.”
This was stated by President Akufo-Addo on Monday, September 12, 2022, during his keynote speech at the Ghana Bar Association’s annual Bar Conference.
He assured the bar members that Ghana is run according to the rule of law and not based on political considerations.
“It is important that all of us, especially us lawyers, who cherish the democracy we are building, say no to such persons, and guard jealously our democratic way of life, which we have done so much to bring into being. Independent judges, administering the law, protecting the human rights of citizens, and ensuring public accountability, are strong pillars of our democracy,” the President added.
Another such pillar is an independent electoral commission, which is renowned for its effectiveness and transparency in all of its dealings. President Akufo-Addo noted that the electoral commission is, predictably, the target of similar anti-democratic assaults as the judiciary.
“Mercifully for all of us, these attacks have not shaken the confidence of the people in these institutions. Genuine democrats should devote their energies to finding ways and means of strengthening the democratic institutions of our Republic, instead of expending profitless time in undermining them,” he stressed.
In his remarks, President Akufo-Addo informed the audience that the government has put in place a number of policy initiatives since he took office to help close the technology gap in the delivery of justice.
“We are addressing the challenge posed by the inadequate number of courts in various parts of the country, which forces citizens to travel long distances to access courts and, thereby, weakens the rule of law,” he said. “We have launched the e-justice system, which is designed to leverage technology in the delivery of justice.”