General News Mon, 27 Jun 2005

Murder of Judges gave Judiciary greater independence - CJ

Accra, June 27, GNA - The Chief Justice George Kingsley Acquah on Monday said the murder of the three High Court judges on June 30, 1982 had earned the Judiciary greater independence in the exercise of their functions.

"Their death also secured for us a greater security of tenure and respectability, as the incident drew the entire nation and the international community's attention to the then insecurity and hazards in our work," he noted.

Justice Acquah said this at a wreath laying ceremony held at the Forecourt of the Supreme Court in Accra in memory of the slain Judges. The murdered Judges were Mr Justice Frederick Poku Sarkodie, Mr Justice Kwadjo Agyei Agyapong and Mrs Justice Cecilia Koranteng-Addow. The ceremony marks the commencement of the Martyrs' Day celebration and the 23rd remembrance anniversary of the murdered Judges. Justice Acquah said that by their death, Ghanaians now breathed an air of freedom.


"We seek no vengeance, as vengeance is of God. We demand neither excuses nor apologies from anyone. What we pray for is for the good Lord to have mercy on these evil perpetrators, blot out their transgressions, wash away their iniquities and cleanse them from their heinous sins. "On our part, we are duty bound to honour our murdered colleagues and uphold their dignity; we are duty bound to demonstrate to the whole world that we share their sufferings and death; we are bound to bring joy to the hearts of the bereaved families by assuring them that their loved ones did not die for nothing."

Justice Acquah urged colleagues of the departed Judges to rededicate themselves to continue the good and honest work they began. "Our labours will certainly not be in vain. Let the sacrifice made by the precious blood of these colleagues of ours, inspire us to rededicate ourselves to our calling and contribute our quota to the deepening of democracy and rule of law." He commended the bereaved families for "quietly and stoically" enduring the tragic loss of their loved ones, and expressed the hope that the annual celebrations would rekindle their hearts and help to quench the embers of pain and suffering they endured.

Soldiers during the curfew hours of June 30, 1982, abducted the three High Court Juges and a Military Officer, Major Sam Acquah (rtd) from their homes and murdered. Their charred bodies were found at the Bundase Military Range on the Accra Plains. The GBA instituted the annual remembrance activities in honour of their departed colleagues. Last year, the Judicial Service erected the busts of the three Judges at the Forecourt of the Supreme Court to their memory.

Source: GNA