NDC calls for Chief Justice’s resignation over ‘self-serving’ judicial appointments

The National Communications Officer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), is calling for the head of the Chief Justice over what he describes as “self-seeking” interest in the selection of some judges to the apex court.

Sammy Gyamfi says although he is willing to overlook Gertrude Torkornoo’s procedural flaws in the whole saga, her action does not serve the interest of the country.

“What she has done is totally wrong, it was totally uncalled for, it is unconstitutional and I think she must eat humble pie, concede this fact, and make amends. But beyond the procedural flaws for me is the whole agenda and intention behind the action,” he said on JoyNews PM Express.

He added, “If the CJ was only making a proposal or a request to the president to increase the number of justices of the Supreme Court to ensure the speedy determination of matters pending before the court, then, the issue of procedural lapses could have sufficed.

“But here is the CJ going beyond a request to the president for him to increase the number of justices of the Supreme Court which in itself is wrong. She actually goes beyond that to propose specific justices of her choosing.

“That, for me, borders on her intents and agenda she has. It shows that this CJ is not interested in having more justices on the Supreme Court, but actually has her own preference of friends, allies, or people in the judiciary that she thinks should be appointed to the Supreme Court. That is problematic because that brings up these issues of conflict of interest.”

Mr. Sammy Gyamfi is worried that as the Chairperson of the Judicial Council, which advises the President on nominations or appointments “she should not be the same person telling the President who to appoint based on her own self-serving criteria.”

“That should tell you clearly, that the main motivation for the CJ is not what we are being told or for the speedy determination of matters before the Supreme Court but to have the preferences of this Chief Justice appointed onto the Supreme Court. And that is why, for me, I think this is reason enough for this chief justice to resign.”

In a letter dated May 30, 2024, addressed to President Nana Akufo-Addo, the CJ recommended the appointment of five justices to the Supreme Court.

The judges recommended include Justice Angelina Mensah Homiah; Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, Justice Edward Amoako Asante, Justice Cyra Pamela C.A. Koranteng, and Justice Afia Asare Botwe.

On Thursday, July 4, the NDC accused the President and the CJ of colluding to shield current government officials from accountability after their term ends.

The opposition party alleged that the Judicial Council had unanimously resisted moves to elevate five judges to the Supreme Court, only to be covertly overridden by the CJ and the President.

Fifi Kwetey, the NDC’s General Secretary, expressed concern over the nomination of the five new justices, describing it as unjust and calling for the decision to be contested.

He highlighted the need for transparency and fairness in the judicial appointment process, emphasizing the party’s apprehensions about potential bias.

On his part, the Majority in Parliament, Alex Afenyo-Markin, has defended the Chief Justice’s proposal to increase the number of Supreme Court judges to 20.

Alexander Afenyo-Markin insists that the recommendation is within legal boundaries.

He emphasised that the Chief Justice has not violated any laws with her proposal.

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Source: myjoyonline.com