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Judges, JUSAG condemn threat against Chief Justice

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Chief Justice Georgina Wood

The Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana (AMJG) and the Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana (JUSAG) on Thursday expressed “grave concern” about the recent outburst from the Network of Social Democrats threatening the Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina Wood, in particular and attacking the judiciary in general.

In a joint statement, they said they had also observed “the persistent vicious and ill motivated attacks on the judiciary” by a section of the public under varying names and descriptions.

The Police are investigating the group that made the statement.

“Much as we welcome constructive criticisms which would help shape the Ghanaian Judiciary and the Judicial Service and improve upon the constitutional duty of administering justice, persistent unwarranted and unjustified attacks by people hiding behind various groupings have the potential to undermine the rule of law and thereby run down the very institution they purport to protect,” the statement said.

“We as members of the Judiciary and the Judicial Service are not above criticism. We, however, have a sacred duty to God and mother Ghana to render justice which we will do to the best of our ability without fear or favour.”

The statement was signed by Justice Joseph Akamba, President of AMJG, Justice Elizabeth Ankumah, Secretary, AMJG, Mr Adia Abdul-Latif, National Chairman of JUSAG and Mr Ato Quansah, General Secretary of JUSAG.

The two associations condemned “the mischievous incessant attacks” on the Judiciary and the Judicial Service and vowed to “strongly resist any attempt to remove the Chief Justice by any unconstitutional and cruel means”.

They urged all members of the Judiciary as well as the staff of the Judicial Service to remain steadfast and go ahead with their duties without let and not be intimidated by the current incessant and unfounded attacks.

“We equally call on the Government and the Inspector General of Police to ensure the protection of the Chief Justice as well as all Judges, Magistrates and staff of the Judiciary and the Judicial Service respectively and to provide a congenial atmosphere for law and order to operate.”

The statement said the country had lessons to learn from its surroundings in the West African sub-region where past years of lawlessness and vandalism had reduced otherwise thriving and exuberant economies to beggar states.

“Let not the deliberate peddling of falsehood and mischievous comments lead us into tearing down the very institutions that the good people of this country have mandated us under our Constitution to safeguard our current constitutional dispensation.

“This decade is for Africa and it must be so for the right reasons – that we are also capable of governing ourselves with respect for institutions established to ensure good governance and rule of law.”

The statement pointed out that the Constitution had laid down procedures for the removal of Judges and those who strongly believed they had any case against any judge including the Chief Justice should resort to the constitutional provisions and refrain from irresponsible and criminal acts.

“We believe the challenges confronting the Judiciary and the Judicial Service amidst logistical and financial constraints, coupled with the difficult and poor conditions of service for both judges and staff ought to be the focus for all believers in the rule of law rather than the resort to threats and intimidation.”

The two associations renewed their confidence in the Chief Justice and urged her to vigorously pursue the on-going reforms aimed at addressing the challenges confronting the Judiciary and the Judicial Service and not to be distracted by any cowardly acts of barbaric intimidation.

Source: GNA

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