The National Security Minister Albert Kan-Dapaah has said a biased judiciary is a national security threat.
At a sensitisation workshop on the national security strategy for judges of the superior courts, Mr. Kan-Dapaah said: “Injustice occasioned, as a result of the absence of an effective justice delivery system or delayed justice or biased justice is certainly a threat to national security”.
Indeed, when injustice abounds, particularly in situations where the bench, which is considered the final arbiter of disputes, is deemed biased, citizens tend to take the law into their own hands most times without recourse to the established systems of justice delivery, he warned.
Mr. Kan-Dapaah argued: “Justice is the foundation upon which the rule of law, equality before the law and fairness of the law are established”.
Therefore, he said the “failure of the criminal justice system to ensure effective and expeditious trial of criminals adversely impacts the morale of law enforcement agencies, emboldens criminals to perpetrate more crime, and breeds lawlessness among the citizenry; developments which threaten the internal security of the State.”
The need to safeguard our collective security as a State requires that we work assiduously to eliminate all forms of injustice, he noted.
The ultimate responsibility in doing so lies squarely at the feet of members of Ghana’s judicial system who are entrusted by law with the power to ensure effective justice delivery, he stated.
A few days ago, former President John Dramani Mahama said the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) had issues with the judiciary.
We do have problems with the judiciary, I must say”, Mr Mahama noted, adding: “I think that it is necessary for some internal reforms to take place there.
It is necessary for the Chief Justice or whoever is responsible to make some reforms”, Mr Mahama said when he addressed the US Chapter of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at Bentley University over the weekend.
According to the former President, “most of the governance institutions have been politicised.”
I give the example of the Judiciary. It is only in Ghana that a Supreme Court will make a decision that a birth certificate is not proof of citizenship, he said.
He explained: “There are many such funny judgments that have been given”.
I remember at one time, our colleague Professor Raymond Atuguba said that from research he had done, judges turn to give their judgments in favour of the political party or leader that appointed them.
He was subjected to such a whirlwind of indignation by the Judiciary but if you bring it down to what is happening today, and you look at it and see who appointed who, you will find that there was some truth in the research.
Mr Mahama said: “The thing is, our Constitution gives the security of tenure to judges. Once you have been appointed, you cannot be removed”.
That is why we give security of tenure so that you will have the courage no matter who appointed you to give judgment according to your conscience. That is what our judges should do. They must rise to the occasion.