General News of Thursday, 5 October 2017
The president of the Judges and Magistrates Association of Ghana, Justice Victor Ofoe, has appealed to the government to handle matters of welfare of judges and magistrates separately from other institutions.
According to him, judges and magistrates are rendering an important service to state; service he said contributes to the peace and unity of the state, therefore, the government must expedite actions on solving the financial problems and others affecting judges.
For him, the government must not react to their needs as they will react to the needs of others institutions to enable the judges carry out their work effectively.
His comments come on the heels of the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, bemoaning what she describes as the “woefully inadequate” budgetary allocation to the Judiciary.
“The financing of the Judiciary and the judicial service, the service that we are to deliver, is woefully inadequate,” Mrs Akuffo said on Wednesday, 4 October when she delivered the keynote address at the 37th Annual General Meeting of the Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana at the La Palm Beach hotel on the theme: ‘Judiciary, A Bastion of Democracy’.
She added: “…The untimeliness of the supply of the inadequate fund,” in her view, is a problem, “and that is an area we all need to look seriously at”.
Commenting on this in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of the Ghana Yensom show on Accra 100.5FM on Thursday, October 5, Justice Ofoe said: “We have always maintained that the Judiciary should be treated separately from other institutions because every dispute that naturally should arise among human beings and institutions will have to get to the Judiciary for settlement.
“Unless we want people to solve their problems by fighting. If that is what we are looking for, then fine. Definitely the President maintains his ground that he is for rule of law, so he is advising all, acceptably, that nobody should take the laws into his hands, that they should go to the court. But if you go to the court and we have these financial difficulties, how are they going to handle the case?”
He added that the judges will officially write to the President to act quickly on their demands.
“Our last resort will be to get to the President himself and he will definitely understand what we are talking about because he is a lawyer, he has practiced widely in the country, he knows what happens in the courts, he is not new at all in the court system so our last resort will be to get to the President and we believe that the matter will be solved.”