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My attention has been drawn to some published statements on
Ghanaweb under her General News of Sunday, 1 December 2013, attributed to one Professor
Justice Samuel Kofi Date-Bah, a former Ghana Supreme Court Justice.
In his quest to ensure public serenity vis-à-vis public perception
about judges being compromised subsequent upon their judgments, he called for a
more rigorous analysis of court judgments to help resolve such unfortunate
While speaking at a colloquium organized by the Ghana
Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) on Friday, 30 November
2013, he said, “Our public space will be much better if people focused on what
the Judge has written; if the discussion were based on the intrinsic merits of
judgment that will advance our public discourse". He went on to chide the
public insinuating thus, “the confusion and ignorance exhibited by the general
public including some trained lawyers and judges is unfortunate”.
I have a problem agreeing in toto with the learned Professor.
He expects the public to focus principally on the written verdict by the judge
to determine whether or not it is a sound judgment that has been declared.
Do we not have to measure the judgment against some sort of
a yardstick to tell if the judge has been compromised? You cannot concentrate
solely on a single item to tell how better or best it is unless judged in
comparative terms with others.
A written verdict by a judge, especially those on Election
2012 petition must be interpreted in terms of what the public saw with their
naked eyes and heard with their own ears during the live telecast of the court
proceedings. What can be better than what the people saw themselves? Is it not
said since ages that, “seeing is believing?”
Unless the Professor in his mind is taking Ghanaians for
fools, the very character exhibited by most Ghanaians with a higher level of education,
I do not seem to get the point he is dragging at unless of course, he was taken
out of context.
As in Ghana the knowledge of English is a criterion of a man’s
great learning, so does a man with a higher level of education always tend to
underestimate the importance of those with little or no education at all.
We cannot base our analysis only on the merits of the written
statements by a judge but also, on the demerits of his statements as deduced
from public observations and opinions formed in an instance of watching the
court proceedings live on airwaves as it was the case with Election 2012
How could we go with Justice William Atuguba’s explanation
for “over-voting” when the Constitutional Instrument 75, the legal pillar on
which Election 2012 revolved and agreed terms with the Electoral Commission said
otherwise? How do we accept Justice Akoto-Bamfo’s written statements rubbishing
the entirety of the Constitutional Instruments and Electoral laws governing the
election just because she craved to protect the peace of the land and the peace
she has been enjoying since she was born?
Do we go for peace before justice? Would we not be better off
killing two birds with a stone than the vice versa? Once we have justice, peace
will follow automatically but not the other way round as Ghanaian judges, or
Atuguba’s panel of Supreme Court judges have proven to favour. How can we in
such an instance go with the written statements by some of the Supreme Court
I do not have to go in circles to make or prove my point. I
think my point is well made and understood by Professor Justice Samuel Kofi
The modern day Ghanaians with most among them having once
studied and resided abroad are not that stupid to be taken for granted.
We shall not concentrate solely on the written statements by
the judges in analysing the credibility of their judgment but will interpret
them in terms of what we see with our naked eyes (”KOROKORO EYES as a Nigerian would
say), hear with our own ears and read from the Constitution and other relevant
This is the take of the wise one from Kumawu/Asiampa on the
learned Professor’s view as discussed above. I hope he will not prove himself
another disgraced Atuguba when presiding over the “Vikileaks Investigation
Committee”, for discerning Ghanaians and more learned “ABROKYIREFO” are
One does not have to be a lawyer to know the law. The public
is not as stupid as some people purport. It is only in Ghana that the public
opinion is not considered as an effective and strong tool to reckon with in
establishing the truth or seeking solutions as it should, but people like
Rockson Adofo, are making inroads into changing that wrong perception. With the
passage of time, things will change for the better.
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