Your ‘scandalous’ judgments without reasons ‘don’t make legal, factual sense’ – NDC to SC

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has said “one disappointing, if not scandalous development, that is likely to make our justice system the butt of jokes among other democracies in Africa and the world at large is the phenomenon of court judgments without reasons”.



The biggest opposition said at a press on Friday, 22 July 2022: “In recent times, our Supreme Court has handed down some judgments and rulings that do not make any legal or factual sense because the court failed to assign any reasons for these judgments. Two examples will suffice”.


The party’s General Secretary, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia pointed out: “It is instructive to note that in the recent case of Abdul Malik Kweku Baako vs Attorney General, (Suit No. J1/225/2018), which had raised certain important constitutional questions about the impeachment proceedings of Mrs Charlotte Osei the then Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, the apex court simply declared that: ‘After listening to counsel in the matter on the question whether the instant action is a proper invocation of our original jurisdiction and also having regard to the processes filed in this matter, we are of the view that the action does not raise any issue of interpretation or enforcement. Accordingly, we strike out the action which in our view is unmeritorious’”.



In the party’s view, “This cryptic judgment fails in many respects to meet the basic standards of a reasoned judgment. It is devoid of an analysis of the facts of the case, the case and arguments presented by the parties, the legal principles upon which the judgment is based, and how those legal principles apply or do not apply to the facts of the case. As to be expected, this judgment cannot form the basis of any legal precedent, suggesting that it was a judgment of convenience fashioned out solely to deny justice to Mrs Charlotte Osei, and once its immediate intended purpose has been achieved the judgment ceases to have any legal relevance in subsequent cases”.



It observed: “True to form, the apex court again applied this scandalous technique in the case of the Republic vs High Court, (Criminal Division) Accra; Ex parte: Stephen Kwabena Opuni & Anor (Civil Motion J5/15/22). The justice hearing the criminal case involving Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni, Mr. Justice Clemence Jackson Honyenuga, had in a recent ruling on an application to recuse himself on ground of real likelihood of bias accused Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni of ‘hallucinating’, ‘malicious lies’, ‘engineered to court public support’”.



“In its ruling on this matter, the apex court stated that: ‘It is our considered opinion that the record does not reflect a personal interest by the trial judge in the matters in issue and the making of discriminatory orders to warrant the grant of an order of certiorari to quash the proceedings and orders of the trial court dated 16th December 2021. Regarding the application for prohibition we have thoroughly examined the processes filed by the parties and do not find the existence of a real likelihood of bias on the part of the trial judge such as would prevent the conduct of a fair trial by the judge. Accordingly, we dismiss the application in its entirety]’”.



This ruling, the NDC noted, “is also devoid of the factual matrix of the case, the case and arguments presented by the parties, the legal principles upon which the judgment is based, and how those legal principles apply or do not apply to the facts of the case”.

“The NDC notes that the phenomenon of unreasoned court judgments has become so commonplace especially in cases with high political stakes. The NDC wonders how the apex court could engender public confidence in the administration of justice and remain accountable to the people when it assumes a calculated posture of rendering unreasoned judgments. The NDC believes that unreasoned judgments violate fundamental principles of justice and fair trial, and we wonder whether this phenomenon of unreasoned judgments is a clear manifestation of dereliction of judicial duties”, Mr Nketia added.

Read the full statement below:

PRESS STATEMENT BY THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS ON CERTAIN DEVELOPMENTS WITHIN GHANA’S JUDICIARY

A. INTRODUCTION

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has carefully considered certain recent developments within Ghana’s judiciary and is gravely concerned that if immediate steps are not taken to nib these negative developments in the bud they will fester with serious harmful effects on our democracy and the public’s confidence in the judiciary.
Our decision to publicly address these concerns has not been taken lightly. We are aware of the auspicious role our judiciary plays in our democracy, the sometimes lonely and solitary lives of our judges, their traditional reserve and no comment policy on certain matters of national importance. These attributes of our judges require that we exercise great restraint in our public comments on the judiciary. We are however convinced that constructive criticisms of our judiciary, particularly the apex court, is a national duty, and as the largest opposition party in Ghana, we will be remiss in our duties to the nation and the people of Ghana if we remain silent about these developments. Accordingly, our duty to our national constitution and obedience to our national motto of “Freedom and Justice” compel us to speak. 3. The NDC observes that our democracy cannot operate efficiently and deliver the values of freedom, justice, development and equality of opportunity for all citizens, regardless of political affiliation, if our judiciary, particularly, elements within the Supreme Court, become or are perceived to be the rented agents or the political wing of a political party. In recent times, certain happenings at the apex court, in particular, have dampened our faith in the court and it was this loss of faith that had provoked our petition to the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations regarding various acts of human rights violations, criminal persecutions and harassment of the members and supporters the NDC by the Government of Ghana headed by His Excellency, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo.
The NDC wishes to outline and share with the good people of Ghana some of the negative developments within our judiciary, particularly, the Supreme Court with the view to seeking remedial action promptly and effectively.
B. NO REASONS ASSIGNED FOR JUDGMENTS AND RULINGS

One disappointing, if not scandalous development, that is likely to make our justice system the butt of jokes among other democracies in Africa and the world at large is the phenomenon of court judgments without reasons. In recent times, our Supreme Court has handed down some judgments and rulings that do not make any legal or factual sense because the court failed to assign any reasons for these judgments. Two examples will suffice. It is instructive to note that in the recent case of Abdul Malik Kweku Baako vrs Attorney General, *(Suit No. J1/225/2018), which had raised certain important constitutional questions about the impeachment proceedings of Mrs Charlotte Osei the then Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, the apex court simply declared that: “After listening to counsel in the matter on the question whether the instant action is a proper invocation of our original jurisdiction and also having regard to the processes filed in this matter, we are of the view that the action does not raise any issue of interpretation or enforcement. Accordingly, we strike out the action which in our view is unmeritorious”.
This cryptic judgment fails in many respects to meet the basic standards of a reasoned judgment. It is devoid of an analysis of the facts of the case, the case and arguments presented by the parties, the legal principles upon which the judgment is based, and how those legal principles apply or do not apply to the facts of the case. As to be expected, this judgment cannot form the basis of any legal precedent, suggesting that it was a judgment of convenience fashioned out solely to deny justice to Mrs Charlotte Osei, and once its immediate intended purpose has been achieved the judgment ceases to have any legal relevance in subsequent cases. 7. True to form, the apex court again applied this scandalous technique in the case of the Republic vs High Court, (Criminal Division) Accra; Ex parte: Stephen Kwabena Opuni & Anor (Civil Motion J5/15/22). The justice hearing the criminal case involving Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni, Mr. Justice Clemence Jackson Honyenuga, had in a recent ruling on an application to recuse himself on ground of real likelihood of bias accused Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni of “hallucinating”, “malicious lies”, “engineered to court public support”. In its ruling on this matter, the apex court stated that: “It is our considered opinion that the record does not reflect a personal interest by the trial judge in the matters in issue and the making of discriminatory orders to warrant the grant of an order of certiorari to quash the proceedings and orders of the trial court dated 16th December 2021. Regarding the application for prohibition we have thoroughly examined the processes filed by the parties and do not find the existence of a real likelihood of bias on the part of the trial judge such as would prevent the conduct of a fair trial by the judge. Accordingly, we dismiss the application in its entirety.”

Source:classfmonline.com

Tagged:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.