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NDC condemns judicial appointment plans by Akufo-Addo

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By Gloria Amoh

The General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Fiifi Fiavi Kwetey says as the nation stands at this crossroads, the call for unity and vigilance echoes through its streets and institutions.

Speaking at the press briefing at the headquarters in Adabraka on July 4, 2024, Fiifi Fiavi Kwetey explained that, in a nation celebrated for its democratic traditions, the Republic of Ghana now finds itself at a pivotal moment. A storm of controversy has erupted, exposing the deep fractures within its political and judicial systems.

According to him, the protagonist in this unfolding drama is President Nana Akufo-Addo, whose actions have sparked outrage and allegations of a conspiracy aimed at undermining the very bedrock of Ghana’s democracy—the independence of its judiciary.

He emphasized that, the story begins with President Akufo-Addo’s unprecedented appointment of 15 justices to the Supreme Court, an action that many viewed as a bold attempt to consolidate power within the judiciary.

But the situation took a darker turn when it was revealed that President Akufo-Addo together with Chief Justice Getrude Araba Esaaba Sackey Torkornoo were planning to add five more justices to the highest court in the land.

“This move, described by critics as an audacious assault on democratic principles, has ignited a firestorm of protest across the nation”. He added

“In a letter dated 30th May 2024, Chief Justice Torkornoo requested President Akufo-Addo to appoint the additional justices, a request that was promptly received on 4th June 2024. The names put forward—Ladyship Justice Angelina Mensah, Lawsuit Justices Erich Bako and Edward Asante, Ladyship Justice Pamela C.A. Koranteng and Ladyship Justice Afia Asare Botwe—were described as part of a “grand conspiracy” by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

He pointed out that, the controversy deepened when it was discovered that the Attorney General, who is prosecuting the Minority Leader, Cassiel Ato Forson supported this request. And an emergency Judicial Council meeting was convened on June 24, 2024 by Chief Justice Torkornoo to discuss these appointments.

He also mentioned that surprisingly, the council members unanimously rejected the proposal, citing the poor timing and the potential for undermining the judiciary’s independence just months before the general elections.

Fifi Fiavi Kwetey also highlighted that, the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), in a letter dated 29th April 2024, vehemently opposed the President’s plan. They argued that any increase in the number of Supreme Court justices should be pursued through a constitutional amendment, not an executive maneuver.

“The GBA’s stance highlighted a fundamental clash between the executive’s ambitions and the established legal frameworks designed to protect the judiciary’s independence,” he mentioned.

He again explained that the unfolding events have left the nation in turmoil and so many Ghanaians see this as a crucial test of their democracy.
“Will the judiciary remain a barrier against executive or will it become a mere extension of political power? He questioned

He disclosed that, as the nation stands at this crossroads, the call for unity and vigilance echoes through its streets and institutions. The actions of President Akufo-Addo and Chief Justice Torkornoo have sparked a national debate about the future of Ghana’s democracy and the integrity of its judiciary.

The coming months will be crucial in determining whether the country can uphold the principles its forefathers fought for or if it will succumb to the machinations of those who seek to erode its democratic foundations.

In conclusion, he confirmed that in tense and uncertain, the eyes of the world are on Ghana and so the decisions made now will not only shape the future of its judiciary but also set a precedent for how the country handles challenges to its democratic institutions.

“The battle for Ghana’s judiciary is more than a political struggle; it is a fight for the soul of the nation,” He further noted.

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