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Opinions Tue, 2 Mar 2021

The judiciary cannot possibly be a punching bag

1.For some time now, the Judiciary has come under egregious attacks owing to a press statement from the outfit of the Judicial Service of Ghana to all media houses to pull down offensive publications against the Judiciary.

2. The said piece has been met with unwarranted attack by learned personalities who ought to know better but for some unbelievable and despicable reasons, they have decided to join the bandwagon.

3. The harmless letter from the Judicial Service which has created a beehive of attacks was written to caution their media on some publications in respect of the ongoing election petition.

4. According to the Judicial Service, those publications actually offend the sanctity of the justice system we have all ascribed to by virtue of Article 125 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana. Ideally, some of us wouldn't have joined the debate on the propriety of the letter had it not been the wrong direction the debate is heading to.

5. In fact, the angle the debate is going is so dangerous to the extent that, if care is not taken, it would end up eroding public confidence in our justice system. The debate has taken a lynching pedestal purposely to incite the unsuspecting public against the Judiciary and to prepare the minds of NDC supporters ahead of the verdict

6. I have perused the statement written by the GJA President, Mr. Roland Affail Monney on same subject matter. That statement failed to underscore the worries and justifiable sentiment expressed by the Judiciary in its statement through lawyer Thaddeus Sory. The Judicial Service in their statement bemoaned the unwholesome facilitation of jaundiced comments by media houses.

7.The statement issued by the GJA sought to create a misleading impression that, the Judiciary which is the most sensitive arm of government is avoiding public criticisms. This sickening conclusion cannot be true having regard to the details of the letter written by lawyer Thaddeus Sory which in fact even acknowledged the right to free speech guaranteed by the supreme law of Ghana.

8. When Hon. Muntaka, Member of Parliament of Asawase Constituency falsely accused a justices of the Supreme Court for attempting to bribe one of their members in the selection of the speaker, was it not a media house that provided him the said platform to utter those offensive words which impugned the reputation of the current Justices of the Supreme Court.

9. On that very day he made the said allegation, did any of the media houses which provided him the platform subject him to strict proof as required by the dictates and tenets of media etiquette? Was his "words" in its raw form not published by these media houses?

10. Was Mr. Affail Monney not in Ghana when the sad incident occurred? What caution did he give the media houses when they took inspiration from Hon. Muntaka's unsubstantiated claims by publishing same on their online portals?

11. This country is for all of us. Our last resort is the Judiciary and for that matter, any inciteful agenda against the said institution must be condemned by all and sundry.
Columnist: Dawda Eric
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