Claims of prejudice in Supreme Court decisions on political cases are refuted by the nominee for Chief Justice.

Supreme Court - rapid news gh

In response to claims of prejudice in the Supreme Court’s treatment of political disputes, Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, who has been nominated for the role of Chief Justice, has refuted the claims.

Justice Torkornoo stated in a Friday, May 26, appearance before the Appointments Committee of Parliament that a unanimous ruling by the highest court suggests that the decision is supported by law rather than prejudice.

“When the court rules unanimously, it means that the law unambiguously supports the court’s view and that no member of the court may take a contrary opinion in accordance with their judicial oath. It discloses the true nature of the law.

Because it is not a matter of bias but rather supporting the legal position, the only appropriate answer is to comprehend and learn from the legal principles, Justice Torkornoo explained.

Some members of the National Democratic Congress have publicly criticized the Supreme Court, claiming bias after a series of defeats in the election petition hearings. According to them, the court tends to favor the NPP (New Patriotic Party) during cases involving the two parties.

In November 2021, the party described as a travesty of justice, a Supreme Court decision that gave the green light to Justice Clement Honyenuga to conduct proceedings in the case in which Dr Stephen Opuni and two others are standing trial for procurement breaches in a fertilizer deal.

“We and all those who seek justice will continue to pray for the accused persons in the hope that they are vindicated by the truth and the law at the end of the trial. We urge them to fight with courage and perseverance to the very end,” the party said.

A statement signed by Asiedu Nketia, the then General Secretary of the NDC, said there were certain features of the majority’s ruling that caused “us great concern. “We are at a loss as to why the Supreme Court will prohibit a High Court Judge from hearing the Kennedy Agyapong contempt case on the basis of real likelihood of bias just because the Judge had used the expression “severely punished” while the same Court did not see a real likelihood of bias against the accused persons from the clear prejudicial statements of the presiding Judge in the Opuni case stated above,” it said.

However, the Chief Justice nominee further expounded that people may lose cases due to technicalities and subsequently search for excuses to explain their losses. She emphasized the importance of individuals having a solid understanding of legal principles before passing judgments.

Justice Torkornoo also defended the Supreme Court’s decision to call anybody who disparage or damage the reputation of the high court for contempt. She emphasized that summons people for contempt is a method for preserving the honor and standing of Ghana’s courts.

“Courts have traditionally used summonses for contempt to guard against the reputation of the court being damaged. One of the 400 courts is the Supreme Court, which acts as the final arbiter. When a court acts, whether it’s the High Court, Court of Appeals, or Supreme Court, it does so to protect the fairness of the legal process, Justice Torkornoo said during her confirmation hearing.

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