Head of the Legal Committee of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Frank Davies, says he’s baffled by the comments of former President John Dramani Mahama on the Judiciary.
According to him, the sentiments by Mahama are ‘unfortunate’ and ’embarrassing’.
Speaking in an interview with Evans Mensah on Top Story on Monday, the legal practitioner explained that the remarks by the NDC’s 2020 flagbearer do not have any basis in logic.
In his view, the former President’s reactions have only been influenced by the fact that, he feels dissatisfied with some recent pronouncements by the apex court.
“It’s not only unfortunate, but it’s rather embarrassing that a former President of this Republic, Mr. John Mahama who speak about the Judiciary in such terms. I am really baffled. This is the former President who has presided over affairs of state”, he stated.
Addressing the US Chapter of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at the Bentley University over the weekend, Mr Mahama said the party has a problem with the Judiciary.
The 2020 NDC flagbearer who lost the elections and a subsequent petition at the Supreme Court insisted that the Judiciary must undergo urgent reforms.
“We do have problems with the Judiciary, I must say. I think that it is necessary for some internal reforms to take place there. It is necessary for the Chief Justice or whoever is responsible to make some reforms.
Most of the governance institutions have been politicised. I give the example of the Judiciary. It is only in Ghana that a Supreme Court will make a decision that a birth certificate is not proof of citizenship”, he said.
Mr. Mahama added that, “there are many such funny judgements that have been given. I remember at one time, our colleague Professor Raymond Atuguba said that from research he had done, judges turn to give their judgements in favour of the political party or leader that appointed them.
He was subjected to such a whirlwind of indignation by the Judiciary, but if you bring it down to what is happening today, and you look at it and see who appointed who, you will find that there was some truth in the research.
The thing is, our constitution gives the security of tenure to judges. Once you have been appointed, you cannot be removed. That is why we give security of tenure so that you will have the courage no matter who appointed you to give judgement according to your conscience. That is what our judges should do. They must rise to the occasion”.
But reacting to these comments, Frank Davies stated that Mahama’s basis for his assertion cannot be trusted. According to him, the research by Dr. Atuguba, which Mahama relied on, is not reliable because Dr. Atuguba once served as Executive Secretary to Mahama, and therefore his research only reflected the sentiments of his former boss.
Mr. Davies also wondered if Mahama’s criticism of the Judiciary, is suggesting that the Supreme Court ruled in his favour during his tenure as President.
“Is John Mahama trying to tell the whole world that at the time that he was President and the Supreme Court judges were working in this country, their judgments were skewed in his favour? I really can’t understand why he does this to himself. So is it right to say that the election petition of 2013 when he won by a majority of five to four in that election petition, the judges skewed it in his favour? That is the logic Mr. Mahama is portraying? then it is sad”, he added.
He therefore urged the former President’s lawyers to advise him against such commentaries; arguing that such comments are ‘sad’ and ‘distasteful’. He further described Mahama’s comments as intellectual hypocrisy and dishonesty’.
Meanwhile, the Director of the NDC’s legal team, Abraham Amaliba, has stated that Mahama’s comments on the Judiciary is a constructive criticism. Speaking to Evans Mensah on Top Story, on Monday, he opined that Mahama’s assertion is not an attack on the Judiciary arm of government.
“It is our national duty to constructively criticise the judiciary and you heard him say that the Judiciary, the judges have a fixed tenure of office and he implored them to ensure that they do not do the bidding of those who appointed them. That for me is a constructive criticism”, he stated.
In his view, Mahama’s comments are not problematic; adding that Mahama’s views are on the back of recent judgements by the Supreme Court including the verdict which disallowed birth certificates as a proof of citizenship.
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