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CJ warns politicians, lawyers over unsavory comment about Judiciary

Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah has cautioned politicians and lawyers alike to be measured in their utterances against the judiciary.

Speaking at the 2022/2023 Ghana Bar Association Annual General Conference at Ho on September 12, he recalled how three High Court judges were gruesomely murdered in 1982 as a reason why utterances needed to be measured.

In comments read on his behalf by Justice Jones Dotse (Jsc), the CJ charged politicians against commentary that puts judges in harm’s way.

“We in Ghana have had a chequered history. We have had three distinguished judges of the High Court abducted and killed. We celebrate this incident since it occurred.

“I have made sure if I am in the country, I always attend these functions. As lawyers, we should not make careless comments and remarks that will revisit the occurrences of 1982.

“I, therefore, entreat all of you to be very very circumspect in making very dangerous comments about the judiciary. I am not saying so because I am a judge because once you are in it, you are in it.

“But then comments from members of the bar and senior politicians should be such that we are not…judges are not put up for sale by those who want to cause commotion and confusion in the country,” Justice Jones Dotse said.

Three High Court Judges as well as a retired army officer were murdered in cold blood at the Bundase Military Range in the Accra Plains, after being abducted on the night by some unidentified assailants on June 30, 1982 – a date now set aside as Martyr’s Day.

The four were Mrs. Justice Cecilia Koranteng-Addo, Mr. Justice Kwadwo Agyei Agyepong, Justice Fred Poku Sarkodie and Major Rtd. Sam Acquah.

In recent times as well, Former President John Dramani Mahama has had course to express concern over a decline in public confidence in the judiciary.

He stated that it will only take a new Chief Justice to chart a path of regaining public trust in the judiciary.

“There is therefore the urgent need for the Ghanaian Judiciary to work to win the trust and confidence of the citizenry and erase the widely held perception of hostility and political bias in legal proceedings at the highest courts of the land.

“Unfortunately, we have no hope that the current leadership of our judiciary can lead such a process of change. We can only hope that a new Chief Justice will lead a process to repair the broken image that our judiciary has acquired over the last few years,” Mahama said at a forum held for lawyers of the NDC on August 28.

Attorney General Godfred Dame has described the comments by Mahama as deplorable, coming from someone who has been a former president.

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