Kan-Dapaah’s comment about judiciary wasn’t proper, says NPP Leading Member
Speaking at a sensitisation workshop on the national security strategy for judges, Kan-Dapaah cautioned that the perception that the judiciary is biased has dire consequences on the country’s security
A leading member of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nii Ayikoi Otoo, has disagreed with the National Security Minister Albert Kan-Dapaah over his recent comment on rulings of the judiciary.
What Kan-Dapaah said
Speaking at a sensitisation workshop on the national security strategy for judges of the superior courts, Kan-Dapaah cautioned that the perception that the judiciary is biased has dire consequences on the country’s security.
According to him, if this is not checked, it will force the citizenry to take the law into their own hands for personal satisfaction with the bench deemed prejudiced.
“Injustice occasioned as a result of the absence of an effective justice delivery system or delayed justice or biased justice is certainly a threat to national security.
“Indeed, when injustice abounds, particularly in situations where the bench, which is considered the final arbiter of disputes, is deemed biased, citizens tend to take the law into their own hands most times without recourse to the established systems of justice delivery,” he said.
He added, “If the interpretation of the law is tilted in our favour all the time, people will start accusing the judiciary and will not have the confidence that they need.”
Otoo said Kan-Dapaah should have exercised circumspection because his assertions were inappropriate, adding that the national security minister did not seek legal advice prior to meeting the judges.
“We’re all sensitive to national security concerns. Recently, they themselves [national security] published something they call national security strategy; we all know that you don’t apply that to the justice system the way he did and I will repeat that he did not seek legal advice,” the former attorney general said on Asaase Radio’s weekend news analysis show The Forum.
“…Because any lawyer will tell you justice is not like that, let the perception even be out there but to suggest that you’re [judges] giving too many interpretations in our [NPP] favour, does it mean that if you give five, then you give two, three in the other side? It all depends on the facts before the court and you have a judge or justices who have taken the judicial oath to do justice to all manner of persons without fear or favour, ill-will or affection.”
He added: “So, if you go and tell them this, and I don’t blame him, he’s not a lawyer but then if he had sought legal advice, and I believe his outfit will have a legal department and will say that ‘oh say the rest but as for this one, don’t go there or say it in camera’. So, we’re not disagreeing with him on everything he has said, it is only this aspect that we’re saying that it is not proper for you [Kan-Dapaah] to go that route.”
Kan-Dapaah’s comment was misinterpreted
Meanwhile, renowned Ghanaian lawyer, Sam Okudzeto has said Kan-Dapaah‘s comment was completely taken out of context.
In his defence, Okudzeto said critics, especially intellectuals must pay critical attention and understand what the minister said before crucifying him.
Speaking to Asaase Radio’s Beatrice Adu on The Big Bulletin show, Okudzeto said: “I think it’s quite clear [that he has been misinterpreted] listening to the audio as I have done now. To tell you the truth, not all of us have time now and the patience to programmes like this and listen to it.
“But the job he’s doing is very sensitive and that is the reason why it is important for all of us who claim to be intellectuals to take our time and listen carefully to what the man has said before we jump holding his throat.”