Former president John Dramani Mahama has said a new chief justice is needed to fix the “broken image” of the judiciary.
According to him, the current leadership of the judiciary does not have what it takes to redeem its engulfed image, hence the need for a new chief justice.
Addressing a rally at the NDC Lawyers Conference on Sunday, Mahama explained that a perceived independent judiciary is a vital element in safeguarding the country’s democracy.
He noted, however, that the current judiciary has become an object of ridicule and mistrust, and thus the need for a new Chief Justice to restore public confidence in the courts.
“There is therefore an urgent need for the Ghanaian judiciary to work to earn the trust of citizens and erase the widespread perception of hostility and political bias in legal proceedings before the highest courts in the country.
Unfortunately, we have no hope that the current leadership of our justice system 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 justice system has gained over the past few years,” Mahama said.
Still on the judiciary, he suggested that the public perception of bias on the part of the judiciary poses an “existential threat” to the country’s democracy.
In his view, the fact that many citizens continue to ridicule the judiciary by referring to it as “unanimous FC” is a problem that needs to be addressed.
“The image of our judicial system has deteriorated so much. That many of our fellow citizens openly mock our judicial system and our judges. The expression ‘Go to court’ is today greeted with mocking laughter, at instead of hoping that we will get real justice,” Mr. Mahama lamented.
He continued: “If people aren’t mocking the politics and inducements used to sway the hand of justice in the lower courts, then it’s mocking and making statements about ‘Unanimous FC’s 7-0 ‘”.
The former president also pointed out that “this is an unfortunate development. One of the most frightening existential threats to any existential threat to any democracy is when citizens think their legal system is of no value to them”.
In recent times, the judiciary has been the subject of much criticism because of the unanimous nature of some of its decisions.
The unanimity in its judgments was then perceived by part of the public as politically motivated.
This, according to Mr. Mahama, must be corrected to preserve the integrity of the courts in the administration of justice.
In a related development, the former president also described the Akufo-Addo regime as “the biggest political hoax of the 4th Republic”.
His claims were based on the prevailing economic challenges in the country.
This, for Mr. Mahama, is proof of the incompetence of the administration led by Akufo-Addo and Mahama.
He therefore reiterated the NDC’s desire to improve the situation in the future.
“Ghanaians look to the NDC to restore hope and turn the fortunes of our homeland from the pitiful state we currently find ourselves in,” he added.