Read Time: 3 minutes
THE RECENT Interlocutory DECISIONS of the SUPREME COURT tendered in the trial of the current Presidential Election Petition are gradually but effectively TURNING GHANA’S ELECTIRAL COMMISSION, together with the EC Chairperson, into a VERITABLE FRANKEINSTEIN MONSTER in Ghana which will come to haunt the nation and ultimately destroy any semblance of the Public Service as a TRANSPARENT, ACCOUNTABLE, REASOBABLE AND HONEST ENTITY under the Constitution and Laws of Ghana.
The decisions as touching especially on the EC and its Chair BROADLY go beyond the power and privileges of the EC and the Chairperson OF THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION at any point in time in this Country.
WITHOUT DOUBT, the ELECTORAL COMMISSION IS A PUBLIC BODY , subject to the Constitution of Ghana.
The Public Service in any nation is a CREATURE of the State intended to SERVE, in an objective and impartial manner, THE TRUE INTEREST OF THE COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE, generally.
To see the situation otherwise is to misconstrue and misunderstand the concept of SERVICE embedded and encoded in the Public Service Structure underscored by the 1992 Constitution.
The Courts of Ghana, particularly the Supreme Court, have a cardinal duty to promote the Probity, Transparency and Accountability of all Public Bodies, Institutions and Public Officers, according to law. THAT IS SIMPLY A MATTER OF PUBLIC POLICY OF THE FIRST ORDER.
It is my respectful view that a number of the recent decisions delivered by the Supreme Court during the ongoing trial of the Presidential Election Petition, instead of setting the searchlight on Probity Transparency and ACCOUNTABILITY of Public Bodies and Public Service holders, have rather tended to obstruct those Principles and Policies and tolled the death knell to those Constitutional Imparatives.
In a Presidential Election Petition, the SUPREME COURT OF GHANA SERVES AS A CONSTITUTIONAL COURT to determine the legal and political questions raised in the Petition.
In that respect, the Supreme Court must necessarily conduct its affairs and proceed with its trial in a manner substantially different from its other jurisdiction touching on ordinary civil litigation involving private citizens and the determination of PRIVATE RIGHTS.
Electoral Petitions deal with controversies respecting the right to freely vote and decide on the choice of Political Leaders in the nation. In that connection, the Petition goes way beyond the immedite interest and benefit of the individuals involved in the Political Election Petition.
This has SECURITY AND STABILITY IMPLICATIONS FOR THE Nation and hence impinge on Law and Order Issues in the Country.
Consequently, the conduct of the Court in all aspects of decision making must be guided by the highest considerations of National Interest, and not otherwise.
IN THAT RESPECT, THE ACHIEVEMENT OF, and indeed the pursuit of, SUBSTANTIAL JUSTICE, as against following narrow legalism or mere technicalities, should be seen as the cardinal responsibility of the SUPREME COURT in an Election Petition case.
Any significant perception among the general public that the Supreme Court cannot be trusted to dispense Substantial Justice in a Presidential Election matter will tend to erode public confidence in the State, as a whole, which could be the spark that may light the flame leading to a CONFLAGRATION in the nation.
As is seemingly becoming evident in the present Election Petition trial, the ugly public perception emerging that every conceivable effort was being made to protect or otherwise shield the ELECTORAL COMMISSION, and particularly its Chairperson, from public scrutiny and hence from the Ghanaian Constitutional Principles of Probity, Transparency and ACCOUNTABILITY, is the most powerful trigger for IMPUNITY IN PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS AND AMONG PUBLIC OFFICE HOLDERS.
And, worse than the Corona Virus, IMPUNITY OF PUBLIC OFFICE HOLDERS AND PUBLIC ENTITIES, ultimately, kills more quickly, and otherwise much more effectively corrodes, national character as well as public development and progress.
THE open and discernible FIDELITY OF PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS AND PUBLIC SERVANTS is key to national stability, social cohesion and communal HARMONY.
It is precisely because of this that President Barack Obama of the USA once declared on Ghanaian Soil that what Africa needed was Strong Institutions and not Strong Leaders.
But, Strong Institutions must be made up of Principled, Transparent, Sincere, Honest, Bold, Courageous, Humble, Sensitive and Incorruptible Public Servants, at every level.
PUBLIC POLICY CONSIDERATIONS, therefore, dictate that the decisions of our Courts, and more importantly the Orders of the SUPREME COURT, being the Apex Court, must always aid and help to PROMOTE both Strong Public Institutions and open and ACCOUNTABLE Public Office holders.
ANYTHING LESS WILL INEVITABLY LEAD TO A FAILED STATE.