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30.06.2004 General News

Lawyers remember murdered High Court Judges

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Accra, June 30, GNA - The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) on Wednesday held its 22nd Anniversary Remembrance Service for three High Court Judges murdered on June 30, 1982.

Mrs Justice Cecilia Koranteng-Addow, Justice Fred Poku Sarkodee and Justice Kwadwo Agyei Agyepong were all abducted from their homes and killed and burnt at the Bundase Military Range in the Accra Plains. Some of the dignitaries, who attended the service held at the Accra Ridge Church, were Chief Justice Mr Justice Kingsley Acquah; Mr J. H. Mensah, Senior Minister of State; Papa Owusu Ankomah, Minister of Justice and Attorney General; Ms Gloria Akuffo, Deputy Minister of Justice and a Deputy Attorney General.

Others were Justices of the Supreme Courts, High Courts and Judges of Lower Courts and Mr Paul Adu-Gyamfi, President of GBA.

Preaching the sermon, the Reverend Steve Asante, Vice President of Ghana Baptist Convention, condemned the acts of evil carried out by the perpetrators on June 30, 1982 saying the act was against humanity. He advised the perpetrators to confess to their deeds in order to avoid being harassed by their conscience.

Rev Asante noted that the three murdered Judges served the nation beyond the means of justice and, therefore, called on all professionals to do likewise.

This, he said, could be done if Ghanaians formed a new attitude of serving the nation.

"If we want to build our nation, we need to have a new attitude and eschew evil that would seek to destroy the nation.

"When our attitude is right we would be able to help in nation building."

Rev. Asante said Ghana's progress would depend on the ability of all to sacrifice for one another irrespective of tribe and profession. He urged members on the Bench and the Bar to ensure that justice was done to all including the poor.

He further called on the two Gates in Dagbon to unite and try to solve the issue at stake amicably.

Rev. Asante commended the GBA for showing solidarity despite the odds the Association had gone through over the years and urged the families of the murdered Judges to forgive even in the face of any provocation. Mr Adu-Gyamfi noted that emerging evidence led at the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) had brought out a number of unanswered questions adding that the Special Investigations Board (SIB) called for further examination.

He said the GBA was anxiously waiting for the recommendations of the NRC and was hopeful that the Government would implement the recommendations to ensure that justice was truly done to all victims of human rights abuses including families of the deceased Judges and Major Sam Acquah (rtd) army officer.

Mr Adu-Gyamfi urged all Ghanaians to resist and condemn all forms of human rights abuses and violence in the country adding: "Indeed, never again should we as a nation permit such acts."

He said the unveiling of the bust of the murdered Judges was not intended to be empty gestures "but they were designed to help all to draw inspiration and enable us rededicate ourselves to the cherished goals and principles on the altar of which the Judges made the supreme sacrifices.

" The GBA wishes to leave no one in any doubt that it will forever commend and hold in high esteem judicial courage, honesty, fairness, impartiality and total commitment of all Judges to their judicial oath and of all Ghanaians to the rule of law.

"Without these, no nation can know real peace, happiness and development and by these alone we can give flesh and meaning to the motto proudly emblazoned on our national coat of arms: "Freedom and Justice, " he said. 30 June 04

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