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The country cannot be fixed without first fixing the law courts

Supreme Court Ghana1 A photo of the Supreme Court

Sat, 5 Jun 2021 Source: Rockson Adofo

Ghana is understandably or verifiably beset with problems of all sorts. This factual assertion is undeniable under the Sun, the moon and the stars. The problems must be fixed without which the country can never be totally fixed no matter how much we honestly or maliciously partisanly bay the phrase “Fixed the country”.

To honestly fix the country as it is the desire of any discerning Ghanaian, especially the upcoming youthful Freedom Fighters, and as hypocritically hijacked by certain vociferous partisan individuals for their political and corrupt ambitions, we had better first fix the law courts even before our general deplorable attitudes.

Corruption is the bane of the economic development of any country seriously aspiring to develop in all spheres of developmental life for the envious collective benefit of its citizens. However, official corruption in Ghana is ramifying like mushroom, spreading her wriggling tentacles like octopus, if not like a mid-summer or harmattan bushfire engulfing swathes of forest.

Until official corruption is decapitated, to make the canker impotent like that of the most poisonous snake whose head has been chopped off hence its lifeless body becoming the proverbial harmless rope, Ghana cannot be ever fixed no matter the intensity of our genuine or politicised agitations to get the country fixed.

The only national institution capably able to help rid the nation of gangrenous corruption is the judiciary. However, the judicial system in the country is established, or perceived, to be the orchestrator, if not the mastermind, of corruption. The courts should severely punish perpetrators of crimes to serve as deterrence to others. However, from their mostly unnecessary but incessant deferment of cases brought to court, without expeditious trials, how can crimes of corruption, murders, arsons etc., be ever gotten rid of to make Ghana developed as hoped for by all genuine Ghanaians cum the freedom fighters shouting the slogan, “fix the country”!

Is the alleged infatuation with acceptance of, or demands for, bribe, by some members of the judicial system to twist justice in favour of the highest bidder not an inducement to criminals to stick to their crimes, if not to embolden them?

It is on record that some Ghanaian judges accept bribe to decide cases in favour of those that bribe them. It is publicly known and repeatedly condemned, the behaviour of some court registrars. They are either removing vital documents from dockets/files or completely intentionally hiding some litigants’ files. They do this to deliberately help delay cases or kill cases, all in favour of those that bribe them.

If those in the judicial service were to be responsibly ethical, professional, fair, firm and friendly, deciding cases speedily and on their merit, punishing guilty parties as it should, crimes of all sorts including corruption, would reduce or be exterminated. In the absence of official corruption or crimes of murder, armed robberies, etc., it will be all development to bring smiles back on our faces.

Is it normal for a judge to convict someone stealing a goat, fowl or a bunch of plantain of say, a hundred Ghana Cedis (GHC100) price tag to five to ten years imprisonment when an official stealing say, ten million Ghana Cedis (GHC10 million) is left off the hook by the deliberate deferment of such official’s case whenever the trial date comes up?

Unless there is a timeframe for judges to decide cases brought before them and punish those rogues within the judiciary committing various crimes with impunity, the “fix the country” cry will simply become a wild-goose chase.

Can the attitudes within the Ghana judiciary be ever practised in Rwanda under the watch of His Excellency Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda and champion of Africa? No!!! Then fix the Ghana judiciary. When the judiciary is fixed, all else in tandem will be fixed!

Columnist: Rockson Adofo