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02.07.2009 General News

Judges must value justice, not bribes

By The Ghanaian Times
Judges must value justice, not bribes
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The Presiding Bishop-elect of the Methodist Church, Ghana, the Right Rev. Professor Emmanuel K. Asante, has asked judges in the country to rate justice as superior to gifts and bribes which have the potential of influencing their sense of judgement.

He said the judiciary is a sacred institution and it behoved judges to show integrity by embracing truth and justice besides eschewing acts of bribe-taking.

Rt. Rev. Asante was preaching at the Remembrance Day service for the three Justices of the High Court of Justice murdered during the PNDC era.

The 27th anniversary, held at the Wesley Methodist Cathedral in Kumasi on Tuesday was attended by the Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina T. Wood, the Deputy Attorney-General, Ebo Barton Oduro; as well as family members of the departed judges. It was held under the auspices of the Ghana Bar Association.

Justices Fred Poku Sarkodie, Kwadwo Agyei Agyepong and Cecilia Koranteng-Addow, together with Major Acquah, a retired army officer, were murdered on June 30, 1982.

Their bodies were said to have been doused with petrol and set on fire.

A section of the family members broke into uncontrollable tears moments after the Very Rev. Samuel Fred Ansu Superintendent Minister of the church called out the names of the deceased three times and asked the congregation to respond by saying, "Thanks Be to God".

The Very Rev. Asante emphasized that fairness, impartiality and good character were biblical qualities of good judges and wished that such qualities were exhibited by judges of today.

He contended that for the country's young democracy to flourish, there was the need for Ghanaians to adopt a more civilized way of settling disputes through the rule of law, stressing that judges were key in ensuring that.

Mrs Jennifer Dodoo, Justice of the High Court in Kumasi, eulogised the late Justice Cecilia Koranteng-Addow, saying that she was the first Justice to have dared to question the Transitional Provision of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) inserted in the 1979 constitution, besides setting free an AFRC convict.

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