The New Patriotic Party (NPP) is shocked at the open castigation and threats against the judiciary by the National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress, Dr. Kwabena Adjei.
The conduct of the NDC Chairman according to the Minority was tantamount to an attempted coup d’etat on the judiciary and contempt of court.
Mr. Joe Ghartey, the Member of Parliament for Esikandu// Ketan said this on Thursday at a press conference in Accra to react to the recent comments made by NDC Chairman who was said to have stated that the NDC would clean the judiciary if the Chief Justice did not take steps to clean it. “It is an attempt to undermine the independence of the judiciary and the constitution in a manner unprecedented since the coming into force of the 1992 constitution,” he said. “We are of the considered view that Dr. Kwabena Adjei has committed the offence of high treason under article 3 (3) (a) of the 1992 constitution. by calling for the suspension of the part of constitution dealing with the independence of the judiciary” he said.
He said the response of the Minority was the duty imposed on every Ghanaian to protect the constitution and resist any person or group seeking unlawful means to over throw or abrogate the constitution.
Mr. Ghartey said “Let us state in categorical terms that we are not against the criticism of judgment from our courts, however the constitution recognizes the right to freedom of speech but this right is not without limits.” He said the statement the NDC Chairman made was worrying development considering the history of aggression on the judiciary giving an anecdotal reference to the night of June 30, 1982 in which three judges including a retired army officer were killed and their bodies burnt.
Mr. Ghartey said the regime in power at that time was the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) arguing that the terminology “cleaning the judiciary” used at that time was similar to what Dr Adjei used. He noted that the independence of the judiciary was guaranteed under the constitution and in the performance of their duties the judiciary was not subject to instruction or direction by any person including the President, Parliament and from a political party.
He recalled that this was not the first time the state had lost cases in court and mentioned Ms Sherry Ayitey and Kwesi Ahwoi the current Ministers of Environment and Food and Agriculture who appeared before the court on criminal charges and were set free.
He called on Ghanaians to pray for the nation especially those in authority and that the motto of Ghana “Freedom and Justice” and the words of the National Anthem energized all Ghanaians to “resist oppressors rule.” “The suspicion that there are different laws for different people in Ghana dependent on political persuasion or other wise will be proved wrong,” he noted.
He called on all people who believed in democracy and rule of law to condemn what he described as “the strange and disturbing path” Dr Adjei had taken. “Let us learn to condemn what is wrong without regard to political persuasion and be temperate in our utterances,” he said.
Mr Ghartey said the judiciary in spite of this provocation should stand firm and continue to administer justice in accordance with the law without fear or favour or ill will towards any person. Dr Adjei at press conference recently organized by the NDC vented the frustration of government on the judiciary on a high court ruling which exonerated Dr Wereku Brobey, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana @ 50 and Kojo Mpianim former Chief of Staff who were facing charges of causing financial loss to the state. The basis for their courts acquittal was perceived to be doubtful and biased. GNA