Chief Justice urges judiciary to show commitment
Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood on Monday called on the judiciary to demonstrate increased commitment at all levels of investigation, prosecution and adjudication particularly on money laundering and financial crime cases.
She underscored the value of applying due diligence in the discharge of their duties stressing that “a court cannot proceed or conclude any case without due attention to the manner in which the documentation are prepared, the prosecution is conducted, the evidence is collected, preserved and presented”.
Justice Wood said this in a speech read on her behalf by Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, Justice of Court of Appeal, at a capacity building workshop on Economic and Financial Crimes organised for judges, investigators and prosecutors in Accra.
The event was on the theme: “An Effective and Efficient Criminal Justice System: A Necessity for Combating Economic and Financial Crimes”.
It is being organised by the Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) in collaboration with the Judicial Training Institute and the Financial Intelligence Centre.
Justice Wood called for inter-agency co-operation among law enforcement agencies to effectively detect and prevent crime.
She said the justice system in Ghana was confronted with systemic and peculiar challenges, namely lack of channels for knowledge flow and expressed the hope that the workshop would provide an effective and efficient networked system with the strength and capacity that would enable the participants to fight organised crime.
She said time was long overdue for the judiciary to evolve strategies to efficiently and effectively clamp down on transnational organised crime.
Justice Wood said “it is also necessary that the proceeds of crime are made inaccessible through strong links flowing from the justice system to the financial system which ensures that the profits of crime are removed from the perpetrator”.
Dr Abdullai Shehu, Director General of GIABA, praised Ghana for its political will and mechanisms for coordinating efforts aimed at detecting and preventing economic and financial crimes.
He, however, observed that sufficient conviction was lacking and recommended that diligent investigation, prosecution and adjudication of cases were needed for the conviction.
Dr Shehu said “…we want the law to be enforced so that we can see results in terms of convictions, freezing and confiscation of criminal assets”.