– Says Mahama, promises not to be “clearing agent”
Former President John Dramani Mahama, has accused the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government of appointing cronies to the judiciary.
Mr. Mahama insisted that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has deliberately appointed the most judges to the bench, in order to have people who will do his bidding when he is out of office.
The NDC flagbearer, said the move by the president is an attempt to avoid being held accountable when he leaves office.
The former President, made this revelation on Saturday September 2, when he addressed the 3rd Annual Lawyers Conference of the NDC in Akosombo in the Eastern Region.
Addressing the closing ceremony of the 3rd Annual Lawyers Conference of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Saturday, September 2, at Akosombo in the Eastern Region, Mr Mahama said that, “Currently, the judiciary is packed with NPP-inclined judges because this government has carried out a deliberate policy of putting their people onto the bench.”
“He has appointed the biggest number of judges onto the bench, it is more than 80 towards 100 and counting. You can see what the current president has done. He has packed the court, and we know they have packed the court because they want to avoid accountability after they have left office.”
Mahama called on NDC members to take up careers on the bench, in order to “balance out” the judiciary.
“So, I encourage some of you to look at careers on the bench so that we can balance out what the current situation is. We must be prepared as NDC legal persons to also go onto the bench so that we can balance out the judiciary,” he urged.
Mr Mahama, assured Ghanaians that all appointees who are accused of corruption under his next presidency, will be made to face the full rigours of the law.
He said those appointees will be handed to the constitutionally mandated institutions to be dealt with, as he will not be the one to clear them.
“We have our work cut out for us when it comes to the Executive,” he said.
“We must make sure that we restore the trust of our people in the Executive and that people will not come into office and that money is going to be found under their bed,” he said virtually.
“At least, I can guarantee and assure the nation that I am not going to be a clearing agent president and that if people are accused of corruption, we will allow the constitutional bodies that are mandated to deal with those issues to go ahead to do their work and carry out those investigations.”
This is seen as a swipe against President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who has been tagged as a ‘clearing agent’.
As recent as July, President Akufo-Addo, expressed faith in former Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, after she resigned due to issues to deal with some stolen money from her home.
In his statement to acknowledge the receipt of Madam Abena Dapaah’s resignation on Saturday, July 22, President Akufo-Addo stated that “at the end of the day, your integrity, whilst in office, will be fully established”.
Many lashed out at the President for making statements that could prejudice investigations.
The tag ‘clearing agent’ was given him for frequently absolving his appointees who are accused of corruption and corruption-related offences of wrongdoing.
In 2019, President Akufo-Addo strongly rejected this tag.
While addressing a conference of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) in Sekondi-Takoradi, he stressed: “It is not my job to clear or convict any person accused of wrongdoing or of engaging in acts of corruption.
“My job is to act on allegations of corruption by referring the issue or issues to the proper investigative agencies for the relevant enquiry and necessary action.
“That is exactly what has been done since I assumed the mantle of leadership on 7th January, 2017.
“If an appointee is cleared of any wrongdoing, the evidence adduced and recommendations made by these agencies, after the investigations are concluded, are what clear the accused persons, not myself. None of these agencies has ever indicated any pressure from the Executive over their investigations.”