General News of Saturday, 14 February 2015
Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood, the Chief Justice, has decried the level of corruption amongst some courts staff, which she said, tends to undermine the integrity of justice delivered by judges in the country.
She said “The greatest tragedy of it all is that some of us have now graduated into falsifying court proceedings so that hardened criminals who have been justifiably sentenced to imprisonment by honest and hardworking judges would unlawfully gain their freedom.”
She asked, “Where are we now heading to?
The Chief Justice’s sentiments were contained in a speech read on her behalf by His Lordship Mr Justice Dennis Adjei, an Appeal Court Judge, at the Chief Justice’s Forum held in Tamale on Thursday under the theme: “Integrity: The Key to Effective Justice Delivery.”
The forum, attended by judges and court staff drawn from the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions, discussed integrity and informed the general public of the unique role they play to monitor the activities of the Judiciary and to report any problems through the appropriate and approved systems.
Mrs Wood said the Judicial Service continued to receive petitions on the adverse conduct of some of the court officials, adding, Management and the Judicial Council take serious view of those petitions.
She said in all those instances, offending staff have been sanctioned, in accordance with laid down rules and procedures, and warned that “we will neither shirk our responsibility nor grow weary of enforcing the decisions of the Disciplinary Committee of the Judicial Council, to purge the Service of such bad nuts.”
The Chief Justice recognized the great sacrifices some of the court officials had made over the years, in spite of the not so attractive service conditions they enjoyed, and urged them not to lose hope, as the Judicial Council continued to work to bring about the needed changes.
She urged Registrars of the courts who worked directly and closely with other court officials, to set good examples, and let sincerity and integrity be their watchword, to help enhance public confidence in the Judiciary.
Reverend Professor Seth Ayettey, Member of the Judicial Council, urged the court officials to offer their best to preserve the integrity of the Judiciary, which was key in the administration of justice, and upholding of the Constitution.
Her Lordship Justice Gertrude Torkonoo, a Justice of the Appeal Court, urged all court officials to exhibit personal integrity in the discharge of their duties, to ensure that justice was delivered at all times.
Mrs Justice Torkonoo cited various instances and acts of corruption, incompetence and biases amongst courts officials, which she said, affected justice delivery in the country, and urged them to desist from such acts.