- President Akufo Addo is nominating three more justices to go serve on the Supreme Court to get the numbers up to 15. It is true that three justices President Akufo Addo is nominating three more justices to go serve on the Supreme Court to get the numbers up to 15. It is true that three justices have hipretired and the idea therefore, is to replace them. But as a nation, how many justices must we have on our Supreme Court? We must think about the absence of ceiling on the number of justices that can be appointed to serve on the apex court of the land. In the US, there are 9 justices of the Supreme Court who sits to bring finality to matters. But in Ghana, there is no ceiling, and this is being exploited by very self-seeking, self-serving, self-aggrandizing and self-perpetuating political cabals.
The first ever research document that called for the review of Ghana’s 1992 constitution, the Democracy Consolidation Strategy Paper (DCSP), prepared by the IEA-Ghana Political Parties Progaramme and published in 2008, inter alia, identified the lack of ceiling on the number of justices that can be appointed to the Supreme Court, as one of the key challenges hindering the maturation of our democratization process. It therefore called for a ceiling to ensure that the apex court doesn’t one day, get packed with party footsoldiers, by a daring myopic partisan president who may seek to pervert justice.
The Constitutional Review Commission accepted this recommendation after it had been subjected to a nationwide public consultation, and proposed that, article 128(1) of the 1992 Constitution be amended to set a ceiling or provide for a maximum of justices of the Supreme Court.
The question however is, what is the state of our Constitutional Review exercise that we spent huge sums of money on? We have just yielded to the plague of policy discontinuity, just because the process, though highly consultative, was initiated by a predecessor government. We were all worried when President Mahama indicated his desire to balance out the courts, but the reality is that, given the absence of ceiling on the number of justices that can be appointed to the Supreme Court, it wouldn’t be illegal if any future President decides to appoint twenty more justices to the Supreme Court to also have a firm grip of the judiciary. Is this the way we want to go as a nation?
Somebody should by all means be charged with causing financial loss to the state by truncating the Constitutional Review process, and we must demand that the next administration that takes over from the current one handle this matter with all seriousness. The disregard for Chapter Six of our 1992 Constitution by unpatriotic and nation wrecking politicians in Ghana is becoming too much and some one must pay to atone for the long period of this, one day!
PAV Ansah Street
Suro Nipa House
Behind Old Post Office