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09.07.2002 General News

Dan Lartey Condemns Supreme Court Ruling

Listen to article is a bad signal for investors

The Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) on Tuesday said the Supreme Court's six - five review of the constitutionality of the Fast Track Court was a bad signal for investors and must be condemned in no uncertain terms.

"One of the cardinal bases for measuring the security of a country for investment to thrive is on the justice system, which must be seen to be truly independent from Executive manipulations and interferences in the adjudication of cases," Mr Dan Lartey, the GCPP Leader and Founder, told the Ghana News Agency.

Mr Lartey noted that the circumstances surrounding the appointment of Mr Justice Dixon Kwame Afreh to the Supreme Court and his subsequent empanelling for the review, though legally sound within the letter of the Constitution, was wrong within the morality and spirit of the document.

"This is a clear violation of the concept of Separation of Powers and Independence of the Judiciary as enshrined in the Constitution". The GCPP Leader also cited a case of conflict of interest against Justice Afreh for sitting on the review case after the controversies surrounding his appointment, especially for being a Judge at the Fast Track Court.

Mr Lartey said; "it could best be described as being the referee, the match commissioner and player in a game. This is a judicial miscarriage of justice and a bad precedent for the growth of democracy." He said; "this is reminiscent of the Danquah-Busia tradition, which in 1969 declared: "No Court, No Court" in the infamous 'Republic versus Sala case, which incidentally had President Kufuor as a Junior Minister."

Mr Lartey called on the various arms of government to ensure that the concept of Separation of Powers, Check and Balances, and the Rule of Law were adhered to for the promotion of good governance and sustenance of democracy in the country.

The GCPP Leader noted that his stand was not to condone with nation wreckers but to ensure that the due process of law was adhered to in all circumstances, stressing that the Executive should not in any way to give the least inkling that it was interfering with other arms of government.

The Supreme Court (SC) by a six-five-majority verdict on 26 June reversed its earlier decision on the constitutionality of the Fast Track Court (FTC). The Chief Justice, Mr Justice Edward Kwame Wiredu, Mr Justices George Acquah, Mr Justice Williams Atugubah, Mrs Justice Sophia Akuffo, Mr Justice George Lamptey and Mr Justice Kwame Afreh held the view that the FTC was not alien to the Constitution.

The five dissenting Judges, who were hitherto in the majority and maintained their earlier decision that FTC was unconstitutional were: Mrs Justice Joyce Bamford Addo, Mr Justice A. K. B. Ampiah, Mr Justice F. Y. Kpegah, Mr Justice E. D. K. Adjabeng and Mr Justice Thoedore Kwame Adzoe.

The court awarded a cost of 10 million cedis against Tsatsu Tsikata, former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), who brought the application, challenging the constitutionality of the FTC. Tsikata was arraigned at the FTC for wilfully causing financial loss of 2.15 billion cedis to the State.

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