…Tells Judges What To do
President Nana Akufo-Addo, has virtually directed the outcome of Dr. Dominic Ayine’s overage case against Martin Amidu, currently pending before the Supreme Court.
Despite issues about his illegibility, in the presence of the top echelons of Ghana’s judiciary, President Akufo-Addo, charged some newly sworn in Court of Appeal Judges to support the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, in a bid to sanitize the public sector and rid it of corruption.
“With the Special Prosecutor having been sworn into office, to ensure accountability of public officials, past and present, who engage in acts of corruption and financial malfeasance, it is my expectation that you help facilitate the work of this Office,” President Akufo-Addo, said in a clear and indirect message to the bench.
It is not clear, whether he wants the judges to bend court rules and procedures for the Special Prosecutor, who is an officer under the Attorney-General.
Dr. Ayine, a former Deputy Attorney General, filed a suit at the Supreme Court ahead of Parliamentary vetting and subsequent approval of Mr. Amidu, as of Special Prosecutor, saying he was 66, and beyond the statutory age of employment into public service.
In his statement of case, Dr. Ayine is praying the Supreme Court to declare that “by true and proper interpretation of Articles 190(1) (d) and 199 (4) of the 1992 Constitution, no person above the age of 65 years is eligible for employment in any public office created under Article 190(1) (d).”
In spite of the suit, Parliament vetted the nominee and approved him for the job. Shortly thereafter, President Akufo-Addo, went ahead and swore him into office as the first Special Prosecutor.
Meanwhile, legal experts have argued that the Supreme Court judges, are most likely to rely on public policy issues – the menace of corruption – to rule against Dr. Ayine.
The swearing in of the five new Court of Appeal Judges which took place inside the Banquet Hall of the Jubilee House on Wednesday, also had President Akufo-Addo, stressing that a clean Judiciary was critical to Ghana’s development, hence the need for judges to command the respect of the people.
“It is vitally important that we have judges who are honest, possess integrity and a sound knowledge of the law. Application of the laws of the land must occur, in the words of the judicial oath, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will, and therefore, without recourse to the political, religious or ethnic affiliations of any citizen of the land.”
“When you fall foul of the law, we expect that they must be dealt with accordingly, and the law enforcement agencies, including you at the Appeals Court, must ensure this is done. We cannot have development, which will bring jobs to our youth, without order,” the President said.
President Akufo-Addo, added that an uncompromising application of the law will help restore the confidence of the Ghanaian people in the Judiciary, which he said was still recovering from the exposé of corruption in the Judiciary by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
The five Justices, three men and two women, who were sworn into office upon the advice of the Judicial Council, were described by the President as being “eminently fit and qualified for the position of Justices of the Court of Appeal, and have the independence of mind and impartiality of spirit to hold this high office.”
They are Justice Nicholas Charles Abbey Agbevor, former Judiciary Secretary, Justice Alex Berchie Poku-Acheampong, Justice Anthony Kwadwo Yeboah, Justice Merley Afua Wood, and former Solicitor General, Amma Abuakwa Gaisie.