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Appointment of judges must be based on merit, not on cronyism, ethnicity – Atuguba

Retired Justice of the Supreme Court, William Atuguba, has emphasized the need for appointments to the judiciary and other governance institutions to be based on merit rather than factors such as protocol, cronyism, ethnicity, or improper considerations.

Speaking at a public lecture themed “Protecting our democracy: the role of the Judiciary”, Justice Atuguba highlighted the importance of these institutions, particularly the Judiciary, being shielded from political pressures.

He further stressed the necessity of conducting a realistic audit and restructuring of not only the Judiciary but all governmental institutions.

“The current public image of the Judiciary in Ghana is reflected on Social Media. In view of all this what matters most is the realistic auditing and restructuring of the Judiciary and indeed all other governmental institutions because just as the cyanide of illegal mining galamsey has devastated our forest lands and poisoned our water bodies so also has the cyanide of Political Corruption poisoned our Governance Institutions.

“Appointments to the Judiciary or any other governance institution must be made by thoroughly independent bodies based on nothing but merit and not on things like protocol, cronyism, ethnicity, or other improper considerations.

“The governance institutions particularly the Judiciary must be realistically insulated against presidential and other political pressures. Service conditions must be reasonably attractive and security of tenure of office must be enshrined. The Executive Powers of the President and his functionaries must be drastically curtailed. There must be a real separation of parliament from the Executive branch. The emphasis should be on good and sincere governance in the interest of the people and not on hollow over exaggerated notions of electoral conferment of power on anybody or a group of persons.

“But no meaningful political reforms can be reasonably expected even under a regime change without sustaining the Political Renaissance which has started and is growing well in Ghana.

“It is for this reason that I would like to acknowledge, encourage, and congratulate nationalists like Kwasi Pratt, Dr. Arthur Kennedy of the USA, Dr. Gyampoh of the University of Ghana, Prof. Bokpin of the University of Ghana, Prof Agyeman -Duah of the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), recently Dr. Asare-Baah rtd, formerly of the Political Science Department, KNUST., Kwame Pianim, Dr. Nyaho-Nyaho Tamakloe, Kelvin Taylor of the USA (though he should desist from insults), Emmanuel Wilson Jnr. The Chief Crusader Against Corruption in Ghana. I don’t know most of these people I have mentioned personally but I have followed their works on social media, and I am impressed, however, I hope that they will remain nationalistic no matter the regime in power.

“I also wish to acknowledge some of the many Civil Society Organisations such as Ghana Centre for Democratic Development, Ghana Integrity Initiative, Citizen Ghana Movement, Africa Centre for Energy Policy, Parliamentary Network Africa, Penplusbytes, Media Foundation for West Africa, Send Ghana, One Ghana Movement, Centre for Democratic Development, Democracy Hub, Occupy Ghana, and Institute for Democratic Governance. I regret I cannot recall all of them but nonetheless, none of them should feel excluded.”

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