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09.09.2005 General News

Wayo Raises Doubt About Justice System

By Ghanaian Chronicle
Wayo Raises Doubt About Justice System
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The marverick politician, Charles Kofi Wayo a.k.a 'Chuck' has raised doubts about justice delivery system in the country, labeling it as an effigy for disaster.

According to him, in the current state of the country, perversion of justice is so rife that the rich and affluent in society always seek to suppress the voice of the poor and vulnerable who cant afford to influence authority.

This, he noted has the tendency of plunging the nation into chaos since similar situations have plunged other West African countries into civil wars.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with the paper over what he sees as pervasive injustice in the system, Wayo indicated that, "the level of injustice in the Ghanaian society is so pervasive that the ordinary Ghanaian cannot contend an issue in court for fear of being intimidated by top and high-ranking members of society who more often than not influence the decisions of the court".

To him, this has instilled fear in most Ghanaians who should, under normal circumstances, not be discriminated against as stipulated in the constitution that no person should be discriminated against in anyway, be it financial or ethnic.

According to him, after observing close to twelve separate proceedings in the country's courts, he realized that perversion of justice was rife in society, hence cautioning that if effective mechanisms were not put in place to avert the situation, there was the tendency of the country being plunged into chaos.

In this regard, he noted that the situation could compel a handful of disgruntled and peeved individuals to take to the streets in arms.

He said there was therefore an urgent need for the transformation of the country's judiciary to ensure an effective and efficient justice delivery system.

"I can't understand why some of these things are still happening in the country. This is an indication that Ghanaians don't learn from the past," he noted.

Obviously not happy with the system, he noted that such injustices result in nothing more than discontent, because most of these individuals who feel peeved are tempted to resort to violent means to vent their pent up feelings.

Wayo submitted that the system is so disparaging that the rich who have the backing of top and influential politicians, easily get away from the grips of the law since they can manipulate the system.

He stressed that, similar situations resulted in civil wars in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cote d'Ivoire and other African countries: "The people were not satisfied with decisions of their leaders," he pointed out.

This situation, he said, cripples the very tenets of democracy and the much talked about rule of law under the NPP government.

He likened the situation to the rule of man since the law was manipulated to an extent that it does not take its course as expected under the rule of law.

"I happen to have witnessed one of such injustices in the court recently at which a fellow Ghanaians was remanded in prison custody without considering his counsel's pleas that he be granted bail".

According to him, this and others he has witnessed confirmed the speculation that the poor and vulnerable did not stand a chance against the affluent, considering their ability to manipulate the system, stressing that the people felt marginalized by the leaders.

"I wouldn't say all judges indulge in such bad practice because I know a couple of them are decent in dispensing justice without fear or favour and never compromise their position to cheat their own people", said Wayo.

He added that in as much as he recognized the paltry salary judges receivd as take-home pay, this should not compel them to mete out injustice to the people.

He however wondered how some people Ghanaians talk, stressing that some individuals still wished the country were ruled by a military government where nobody could cheat the system.

According to him, he took pains to let them understand that notwithstanding the stress they were going through, it was always better to live in a democratically elected system than a military government under which the law was thrown to the 'dogs'.

In the same vein, he charged the judiciary to demonstrate the highest delivery system, to avoid the perversion of justice.