President John Evans Atta Mills says he has no intentions of striking at the Judiciary in sharp contrast to claims by some government appointees that he (Prof Mills) supports the perceived attack on the Judiciary by the NDC National Chairman, Dr. Kwabena Adjei.
The President who was answering a wide range of questions from Journalists upon his arrival at the Kotoka International Airport on Monday August 23, said the Judiciary is an independent institution and must be respected as such.
“The judiciary is Independent and I have no such intentions,” said the President.
His Excellency was in the United States for a ten-day leave, his first since he took office in January 2008.
President Mills’ position on the perceived attack on the Judiciary by the National Chairman of the NDC, differs from that of one of his Aides at the castle, Nii Lantey Vanderpuije, who told Citi FM on Friday August 20, that the President fully supports comments by the National Chairman.
Dr. Kwabena Adjei stated categorically that government will intervene and “clean the judiciary”, if the Chief Justice fails to fight what he sees as growing rot within the judiciary.
The comments, described by some legal luminaries as a subversion of the country’s 1992 constitution has drawn widespread condemnation from the Ghanaian populace.
On Thursday, August 19, the minority in parliament called for the immediate arrest of Dr. Kwabena Adjei, arguing that his comments on the judiciary amounted to treason and must therefore be hauled to answer for his comments.
The Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana also condemned the remarks.
Dr. Kwabena Adjei has since explained that he only sought to restore confidence in the judiciary and that his statements were being misconstrued by political opponents.
For now it remains unclear if the president’s reaction will put the matter to rest or lighten up the debate further since he appeared quite brief in responding to the matter.
In a related development, President Mills has refuted claims that his trip to the United States was to seek medical treatment.
The President has been out for close to two weeks on a short leave, but some critics say he was out to seek medical attention.
But on his arrival from the USA on Monday morning, he told news men and high powered delegation including the vice president, that he has absolute faith in the doctors in Ghana and did not seek medical treatment in the US.