Whatever has a beginning, has an end, often it is not how we begun, but how we ended that, we are remembered for.
Justice William Atuguba, who can be described as a legal colossus of recent years, has retired after 22 years with the Judiciary.
He was first enrolled as a magistrate on October 3, 1974. He has worked as a private lawyer and served as a prosecutor and state attorney before being appointed a Supreme Court Judge by President Jerry John Rawlings in 1995
Speaking to Joy News on the sidelines of a lecture to honor him for his commitment and dedication to the nation, he described the allegations that, he favoured the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) when he led a nine-member panel of judges to sit on the famous 2012 election petition.
This is sad episode in the life of our public servants, who are every point in their lives, are labeled either being members of the New Patriotic Party or NDC.
Justice William Atuguba, was literally an institution in the legal fraternity, the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, acknowledged it, when she said “”I’ve known and admired Atuguba for many years. It was the election petition for 2013 that brought him into the homes and minds of the general public. Taking on a duty that was as noble as it was delicate; he guided the parties and led the whole nation through eight months”.
Sitting in judgment of others is the most difficult for anyone, you are acting as God on earth, and so it is very disheartening when one dispenses justice without fear or favour and regardless of whose oxe is gored, we also sit to categorise them, based on our idiosyncrasies.
Anytime a judgment goes in our favour, we hail it as victory for the rule of law, when we lose, we say the judges were bias.
It is quite ironic that those who claim to be the promoters of rule of law, are the same people, who plot to stifle judges, who have been at the forefront to restore, sustain and deepen democratic culture in Ghana.
There can be no democracy without an independent judiciary, and Justice William Atuguba, stands tall among his peers, as one who is independent minded.
As a country, we have failed over the years to celebrate people, who dedicate their lives, so we can all have a peaceful and prosperous nation to live in.
Justice Willaim for 22 years, sacrificed his time, talent, energy etc, for a country he love, he deserves more than a lecture.
We are of the opinion that, although he has retired, we have to tap into his experiences to help shape the next generation of lawyers.
People like Justice William Atuguba, are very rare, they don’t come very often, when they do, and as we are fortunate to have him, we should ensure that, he does not retire quietly to his hometown, but that, he becomes a national asset, whose knowledge can be brought to bear in the governance of the country.
Rather than waste time, energy and other vital resources on trying to brand judges, why don’t we take time to read their judgements in the course of their careers.
He summed his years sadly at the bench when he said ““At the beginning, people were saying because I was appointed by the NDC I was pro-NDC. When I started giving judgement against them, then I heard NDC people say I was pro-NPP. And when I gave judgement against…then you see what I mean.
“All I will appeal to those who are thinking that way is that they should take all the judgements I have written, then try to subsume them politically they will get the answer from there,” he told Joy News’ Parker Wilson.