General News of Sunday, 8 February 2015
Chief Justice Georgina Wood has said the Judicial Service will not shield any “bad nuts” in its rank, but rather smoke them out using appropriate procedures.
Speaking on the theme: “Integrity: The key to effective justice delivery” at the 2015 edition of the Chief Justice Forum for staff of the Judiciary Service in the Western and Central Regions at Takoradi, Wood said: “We continue to receive petitions on the adverse conduct of some of you and I must let you know that Management and the Judicial Council take a serious view of these petitions.”
She warned that staff found to have involved themselves in any form of misconduct or corrupt activity that mars the image and integrity of the judicial service will not be spared.
“We will neither shirk our responsibility nor grow weary of enforcing the decisions of the Disciplinary Committee of the Judicial Council in order to purge the service of such bad nuts,” she noted.
At a similar forum late January this year in the Volta region, Wood said “of all the various forms of corruption in our society, judicial corruption, actually is the worst…”
“Time again, I’ve heard people argue that if only law enforcement were to carry out their function effectively, corruption in other places will stop,” Justice Wood said.
“If Ghana has to be saved, the people who should lead and support this fight is your good self and my good self: if you don’t hide a docket and pretend that the docket has somehow vanished from the surface of the earth…I tell you that things will take a different turn in this country,” Wood added.
Justice Wood said if judicial staff purged themselves of corrupt deeds, and allowed the law to take its course in all criminal and civil cases, and suspects consequently punished by law, then others will be afraid of committing similar crimes.
She bemoaned the increasing public perception about corruption within the judiciary as reported in the recent Afro barometer survey.
According to her, although 85 percent of respondents in that survey said corruption was pervasive among judges and magistrates, not all perceived corrupt activities within the judiciary are committed by judges or magistrates.
She therefore underscored the need for judicial staff, as front line officers of the courts to discharge their duties with a high level of integrity.