John Dramani Mahama
Ex-President John Dramani Mahama has resurrected his venomous attacks on the judiciary, branding judges appointed during the Akufo-Addo administration as cronies and “NPP-inclined.”
Speaking at the 3rd Annual Lawyers Conference of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Saturday, Mr. Mahama, who is running for president again, said the NPP government has deliberately put its people on the bench.
According to him, President Nana Akufo-Addo has packed the courts with the view to avoid accountability upon leaving office, noting that the President has appointed the biggest number of judges onto the bench.
“It is more than 80 towards 100 and counting. You can see what the current president has done. He has packed the court, and we know they have packed the court because they want to avoid accountability after they have left office,” he stressed.
Mahama urged NDC members to enter the judiciary in order to “balance out” the system, intimating, “We must be prepared as NDC legal persons to also go onto the bench so that we can balance out the judiciary.”
His latest attack comes on the heels of a recent one in which he said that the image of the country’s judiciary has deteriorated, and that many of the citizenry openly make mockery of the justice system and of the justices.
“The phrase ‘go to court’ these days met with derisive laughter instead of hope that one will truly get justice if he went to the court.
“If people are not poking fun about politics and inducement being used to sway the hand of justice in the lower courts, then it is poking fun and making statements about the 7:0 of the unanimous FC. Verdicts which mostly involve cases of a political nature in our Supreme Court, this is an unfortunate but serious development,” the opposition leader stated.
He continued, “One of the scariest existential threats to any democracy is when citizens think their judiciary holds no value for them or no use to them, and this is the security threat that the National Security apparatus tried to draw the attention of the nation to recently but was poorly received by the President and his party.”
“It is scary because it threatens the peace and stability of our democracy and we must quickly correct this fast spreading notion. If care is not taken, we will get to a stage where people will have no qualms about taking the law into their own hands because they do not have the confidence that they can get any justice in the system,” the NDC flagbearer suggested.
Meanwhile, the NDC 2024 flagbearer labeled President Akufo-Addo a “clearing agent” for allegedly absolving his appointees of corruption charges.
Mr. Mahama said he would subject any of his appointees accused of corruption to the full power of the law when he is given another opportunity to become President, stating that corrupt appointees would be handed over to constitutionally mandated institutions for investigation and prosecution.
“We have our work cut out for us when it comes to the executive,” he said at the conference held at Akosombo in the Eastern Region.
“We must make sure that we restore the trust of our people in the executive and that people will not come into office and that money is going to be found under their bed,” he added.
“It is not my job to clear or convict any person accused of wrongdoing or of engaging in acts of corruption. My job is to act on allegations of corruption by referring the issue or issues to the proper investigative agencies for the relevant enquiry and necessary action,” he emphasised.
By Vincent Kubi