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Lawyer and advocate for legal education reforms in Ghana, Mawuse Oliver Barker-Vormawor has asserted that criticising the courts and holding it to account will not bring it into disrepute given that even corruption within the judiciary itself did bring it down and make the populace lose faith in it.
Mr Barker-Vormawor is of the view that if the judges and staff of the Judicial Service who were involved in a corruption scandal that rocked the judiciary a few years ago did bring the judiciary into disrepute, then making unflattering comments about it cannot bring it down as the Judicial Service has sought to suggest.
The Judicial Service earlier this week ordered media to pull down all “incendiary” “spiteful” or “vengeful” publications against the courts, especially those Supreme Court judges sitting on the 2020 Election Petition, arguing that such publications have the potential of undermining the judiciary’s ability to administer justice.
But Mr Barker-Vormawor has criticised the order by the Judicial Service.
“…Did you know that over 100 Judges and members of the Judicial Service accepted (and possibly many more continue to accept) bribes including goats as bribe, in order to compromise Justice?
Did you know how many of these judges and judicial service staff were held in contempt for “scandalising the Court”? ZERO!
But were we not in this country when the Supreme Court refused to grant Raymond Atuguba audience because he said that based on personal experience “No one can convince him that some Judges do not take bribe or that at the very least Ghanaians do not attempt to bribe their judges”.
What did the Bar do? They supported the judges. Everyone was screaming their heads of like he had killed a man. A few moments later, judges were on video dragging goats away as Bribe.
Now if the act of corruption itself by the Bench and their support Staff, did not bring the Court into such disrepute as to have Ghanaians shun the Courts completely, how on earth can you tell me with a straight face that calling you corrupt for that act is what will bring the Courts into disrepute. I can’t think far.
Please do not believe the ridiculous lie that criticising the Court and subjecting them to public scrutiny is what will bring down the Courts and make us degenerate into pure and total anarchy.
People who hold and hoard absolute power will do everything to keep on to it. They will tell you that the heavens will fall if they can’t exercise that power; they will tell you that you are too uneducated and ill-informed to be trusted so they need the power to punish you.
Do not believe the hype. Power expects zero accountability,” He wrote.
Others have criticised the Judicial Service for issuing the order to the media houses, describing it as an attempt to gag the public.