The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has described as worrying the appointment of Court of Appeal Judges to preside over High Court Cases.The Party said the phenomenon “is a damper” and had the tendency to demotivate judges at the High Courts.
Addressing a press conference in Accra Friday, July 22, 2022, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, General Secretary, NDC, said the development gave a wrong impression about the competency of High Court judges in dealing with certain cases at their level.
“Without mincing words, we state that we see the appointments of Court of Appeal justices to preside over these cases as worrying,” he said.
The NDC also took issue with what it described as the “phenomenon of court judgments without reasons” on the Part of the Supreme Court.
The Party said it had observed in recent times that the Supreme Court “failed to assign any reasons” for its judgements, a situation it described as “scandalous.”
Mr Nketia cited among others the Supreme Court’s dismissal of a lawsuit filed by Abdul Malik Kweku Baako , the Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper, challenging the removal of the then Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Charlotte Osei.
He said the apex Court only described the suit as “unmeritorious” but did not indicate any reason for striking it out.
“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,” he added.
In the case of the Republic vrs High Court, (Criminal Division) Accra; Ex parte: Stephen Kwabena Opuni & Anor (Civil Motion J5/15/22), the NDC said the Supreme Court dismissed Mr Opuni’s application for Justice Jackson Honyenuga to recuse himself from his case, but did not indicate any reason for the judgment.
“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,” Mr Nketia said.
The NDC also expressed concern over what it described as the “creeping tendency of the apex court to trespass into domains reserved for parliament.”
“In the process, the court has demonstrated legal or institutional hubris and thrown overboard the restraints the court has exercised in the past over matters that fall within the domain of Parliament. ” Mr Nketia said.