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Isaac Kwabena Abrokwa, Projects and Programmes Specialist for Anti-Corruption Institute

To defend democracy: Supreme Court judges must be patriotic-ACI

THE ANTI-CORRUPTION Institute (ACI), a non-profit organization, has recommended that before democracy can be defended, Supreme Court Judges must be patriotic, learned and truly free to do what is right.

“Unless Judges of the Supreme Court are free to do justice, there can be no true freedom for anyone. Whenever the law no longer constitutes an independent, fair, learned and just authority on right and wrong, the power of state can be used to justify any act, including the declaration of the winners of free and fair elections as losers.”

This was made known at a press conference by Mr Isaac Kwabena Abrokwa, Projects and Programmes Specialist for the ACI on the theme, “Securing Amicable Lawful Transition (SALT) and Legitimate Open Verifiable Election (LOVE)-The Role of the Media and the Citizen.”

The ACI is a non-profit organization of international and national experts in all areas of legal consultancy and due diligence. Management and senior staff include lawyers, development practitioners, local government experts and many others with expertise in areas of civil society development in Ghana.

ACI provides advisory, consultancy and intellectual services on anti-corruption to interested stakeholders including government, businesses and schools.

Mr Abrokwa averred that it was time to curtail the power of the President or of the ruling party from being able to appoint or fire judges, saying there must be alternative ways of appointing, electing and supporting judges to ensure that no President or ruling party intimidates, manipulates or forces them to rule in his favour on any matter.

He said though the succession process in Ghana has been smooth so far,  there is the need to take cue from the recent American Presidential elections where the incumbent, Donald Trump, initially refused to concede defeat on account of suspected electoral fraud in certain states.

“In Ghana there has been several occasions when the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has accused the Electoral Commission of trying to create enabling environment for electoral fraud in favor of the New Patriotic Party”.

According to him, there is no provision in the Constitution that compels an aggrieved incumbent candidate to either concede defeat or leave the scene or sanctions to be involved for non-compliance or any related infractions.

“The rules of evidence, the rules of fundamental justice and important presumptions of the law are relevant for the resolution of election disputes. What it means is that they the accusers, but not only other person or court with a contrary view, determine for themselves what is right and what is true. When this happens, naturally, it is a recipe for chaos.”

He however stated that, there ought to be reserved power for the defense of the people which should be in every Constitution saying, there is no legal or logical necessity for giving all the powers of the state to a few people to grow or to destroy the state for four years after an election.

Mr Abrokwa further suggested that, there should be in the country laws that mandate that, once another person is elected President, the incumbent President’s term comes to an end immediately so that a caretaker or interim special government would be in charge of all the powers and levers of the state.

“It is the observation of the ACI that should it become a reality to the effect that the outcomes of elections can be overturned on the mere allegations of the loser, who is incidentally the incumbent in power, that would be the end of democracy for the entire world”.

 

Ghana/dailyheritage.com.gh/Philip Antoh

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