The General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has expressed concern about the ill-treatment given to lawyers who are perceived to be members of the NDC.
According to him, certain state institutions deliberately black-list ‘NDC lawyers’, while some judges also prejudge cases involving NDC attorneys.
The NDC’s chief scribe described the situation as worrying, when he addressed a gathering of NDC lawyers at the party’s Lawyers’ Conference on Sunday.
Speaking at the event, he noted that this does not augur well for the country’s democracy.
“Once you identify with NDC, you’re denied any opportunity to participate in state business. No state organisation will feel comfortable assigning you legal business to do.
We are aware of the intimidation you suffer in your profession [with] the leaders of your profession and the Judiciary. I’m told that if you appear before certain judges, they prejudge your case because you’re not with a certain group”, Asiedu Nketia lamented.
Meanwhile, former President, John Dramani Mahama also says it will take a new Chief Justice to repair the ‘broken image’ of the Judiciary.
According to him, the current leadership of the Judiciary lacks what it takes to redeem its sunken image, hence the need for a new Chief Justice.
Addressing the same gathering of NDC lawyers, Mr Mahama explained that, a perceived independent Judiciary is a vital element in safeguarding the country’s democracy.
He, however, noted that the current Judiciary has become an item of ridicule and mistrust, and therefore the need for a new Chief Justice to restore public confidence in the courts.
“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 the process to repair the broken image that our Judiciary has acquired over the last few years”, Mahama said.
In recent times, the Judiciary has come under widespread criticism due to the unanimous nature of some of its rulings.
The unanimity in its judgements, has subsequently being perceived by a section of the public as politically motivated.
This, Mr Mahama and the NDC believe must be cured to preserve the integrity of the courts in the dispensation of justice.