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The Informer
9th April 2011, 05:12 PM
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The Center for Democratic Governance, Ghana (CDD), says it is offensive to the integrity of the judicial system for politicians to openly politicize matters that properly lie in the province of prosecutors and the courts.

They said the actions of politicians were threatening the security and independence of judges in the country, and therefore must be checked.

According to the CDD, it was the same politicians, who after politicizing issues brought before the courts, turned around and blamed judges when the outcomes of those cases did not meet with their partisan approval.

A news release titled ‘CDD-Ghana statement on the reactions to the high court ruling in Ya-Na murder trial’, issued in Accra yesterday, expressed grave concern over reactions to the recent decision of the Fast Track High Court, Accra, in respect of the trial of 15 men who were tried for the murder of the Ya-Na in March 2002.

While sympathizing with the family of the late Ya Na and the people of Dagbon, the CDD said they were appalled by the reactions of elements of the ruling NDC and the opposition NPP to the recent verdict rendered by the High Court.

It said, “Instead of providing professional investigators and prosecutors with the resources and support necessary to get to the bottom of this case in a systematic fashion, our politicians have chosen to add partisan fuel to an already tense and divisive situation.

“CDD-Ghana is deeply concerned that the legitimate expectation of the people of Dagbon for justice and closure, in a matter as grave as this, has been seized upon by politicians to further their own narrow and self-interested agendas to the detriment of peace and unity in Dagbon.”

The release said it was worse when political and civic leaders made comments that sought to destroy public faith in judges and the entire judicial system, and mobilize factional and partisan anger and frustration against judges who discharged their lawful duties in the courts of law.

“It is particularly irresponsible for politicians and civic leaders to reinforce the popular misconception that the State’s case in a trial is always foolproof and, therefore, that the State must prevail in every case, or even in most of the cases it brings before the courts of law.”

The CDD said the courts of Ghana were not the judicial wing of the NDC or NPP, adding, “they are established under the Constitution as independent arbiters of legal disputes and are duty-bound to dispense justice based solely on the facts and the evidence, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will toward one or the other party involved in the dispute.”

It said, “It is gravely troubling for politicians to give the impression that the courts exist to do the bidding of one or the other political party.”

The CDD said the country’s legal system of justice offered litigants who were aggrieved by an adverse decision of a court the opportunity to exercise their right to appeal at a higher court, noting that it was highly inappropriate and damaging to the Rule of Law and the peace of the nation for politicians to incite partisan passions for or against a judge who had sat in judgment over a case.

It urged the Constitution Review Commission “to give serious consideration to the idea of depoliticizing the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases by recommending in its final proposals.”



Source: d/Guide