Dean of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) faculty of Law, Dr Ernest Kofi Abotsi has called on political actors to be circumspect about their utterances and accusations against the judicial arm of government.
In an interview with JoyNews’ Joseph Ackah Blay, the legal practitioner noted that allegations without evidence levelled against judges could destroy public confidence in the judiciary and subsequently lead to conflict and chaos.
“I will urge our political class to be circumspect in their pronouncement [against the judiciary] because the Court generally survives on confidence in their work. Therefore, if there is an allegation, particularly one which is not established but is thrown out there, the prospect that this can create not only suspicion in the minds of people but actually be undermining the mandate and the legitimacy of the Court,” he said.
“In many countries that fell victim to civil wars, the starting point was to basterdise the court. Ones you basterdise the Court, people think that there is no avenue for resolution so they fight on the street. I think we should be very careful the extent to which we basterdise our Court,” he said.
His comment comes after the Chief Whip of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) caucus in Parliament, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka on Sunday, alleged without any proof that a Supreme Court judge offered an NDC MP bribe to vote for the NPP Speaker nominee, Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye.
But Dr Kofi Abotsi warned that these allegations do not only affect work of the judiciary but threaten the peace and stability of the whole nation.
“Look people have all kinds of suspicions and allegations but saying things, particularly, when you are a Member of Parliament should demand a certain level of responsibility because a lot of people follow you.”
“I do not know the factual baisis on which the statement was made, but ones the statement is not being submitted to a particular forum for investigation and ones the details of this are not being mentioned then what you do is that you literally put and cast the entire Court in doubts and creeps question marks on the minds of every justice of the court and this is not good enough.”