I Can Clean Judiciary
Former President Jerry John Rawlings has expressed his readiness to assist the Chief Justice in undertaking a house-cleaning of the Judiciary to rid it of bribery and corruption. “I can help you with this exercise; I’m very qualified and experienced in house-cleaning,” he assured the Chief Justice.
In a speech commemorating the conferment of an honorary degree on him by the University for Development Studies (UDS) in Tamale last weekend, he decried the situation in the Judiciary where “cases are settled many times with the influence of bribes”.
Sometimes, he said, national security is compromised by corrupt court rulings as crooks cause the illegal detention of foreign sovereign assets “because some judge gave restraining orders.”
The Judiciary, he went on, is dogged with massive corruption especially “in the lower courts and in commercial courts. Millions of dollars are lost each year due to dubious judgment debts.”
If poor Ghanaians are to trust the justice system, justice “must not be for sale to the highest bidder in bribes and corrupt practices.”
The Judiciary, he said, must reflect soberly on these developments and “build on your newly-established credibility and independence by engaging in a thorough house-cleaning exercise to purge the Judiciary of real and perceived corruption!”
Ghana, according to him, needed strong men and women of integrity in all sectors of its society “if we are to successfully combat corruption and indiscipline.”
He had charitable words for Mr. Justice William Atuguba, the man he elevated to the Supreme Court when he was President and who he said appeared to have absolved from the bribery and corruption he has associated with the Judiciary.
Describing him as the great Atuguba, he said, by the manner in which he steered the election petition hearing, “he helped to restore some of the image the Judiciary had lost over the years. His ability to stamp his authority and expose the indiscipline that some of the parties in the case were exhibiting served as a great complement to all the peace initiatives that we all lent a hand to.”
He however described as unfortunate media commentators and controllers who “could not bring themselves to see or recognize a role model, the gem of a man. The kind of man this country now needs. The dedication and integrity of Justice Atuguba is the kind of ideal that June 4 and December 31 stood for.”
Former President Rawlings was instrumental in the establishment of the UDS alongside other personalities whom he paid tribute to: “I cannot mention everyone, but people like Nathan Quao and Shirley Ababio of blessed memory, Dr Abubakar who traversed the region to identify abandoned and dilapidated buildings for rehabilitation into university structures, Valerie Sackey, Professor Benning and many many more.”