A Deputy Information Minister, Felix Ofosu Kwakye is cautioning the public against running commentaries on the merits and demerits of the bribery allegations leveled against the Chief Justice.
In an interview with Accra-based 3News, Mr. Felix Kwakye noted that it is necessary to allow every accused person the benefit of the doubt and the opportunity to state their sides of a matter. According to him, this is a courtesy that should not be denied the Chief Justice.
“To begin with, I concede that the general principle that everybody who is accused of some wrongdoing must be given the benefit of the doubt and be allowed every opportunity to state his or her side of the case.
“It must be applied to the Chief Justice as well. So, those of us running commentaries should be careful not to be seen to be pronouncing on the merit and demerit of the case because as we speak we do not have the basis to do so.”
A lawyer identified as Akwasi Afrifa has accused the Chief Justice of requesting a bribe of US$ from his client in order to influence a case in his favor.
Separate statements from the Chief Justice and the said client have however denied this accusation, while the Chief Justice has petitioned the Criminal Investigations Department and the General Legal Council to probe the matter.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ofosu Kwakye has recommended that the Chief Justice recuse himself while investigations into the matter continue.
“The mere fact of this allegation creates enormous problems for them for the level of confidence and credibility that the judiciary has.
“Of all the arms of government if there is any of them that must command the utmost respect and confidence of the people of this country, then it is the judiciary. Because if a dispute were to arise between you and myself and negotiations between us fail we will resort to the law court. When we go to the law court, if the matter is determined either way you and I should be satisfied that even if I was unhappy about how the law has been applied, if we think that the fact of the case was not properly considered, it should not be because we feel that the judge who superintended the case was compromised in any way.”
“If that notion were ever to suspect about our courts, our judges, and our judiciary then we will be in deep troubles because it will completely undermine our governance system,” he added.