The Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Bar Association, Saviour Kudze, says unanimous decisions by the Supreme Court are not an oddity, thus the unanimous decision of the court at the end of the 2020 Election Petition should not be treated differently.
He was speaking in reference to statements by former President John Mahama and other members of the National Democratic Congress, who have in recent time raised issue with the Judiciary over the latter’s “unanimous FC” tag.
According to them, the unanimous decision by the court in the 2020Election Petition was merely representative of the saturation of the bench with judges appointed by President Akufo-Addo, further stating that the current judiciary has become an item of ridicule and mistrust, and therefore the need for a new Chief Justice to restore public confidence in the courts.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, Saviour Kudze explained that unanimous decisions are rather common in Ghana’s legal landscape.
He said as long as there is evidence to back the unanimous decision taken by the justices there should be no need for concern, whatsoever.
“My understanding of the former President’s comment is not the fact that he was challenged or he was not happy with the outcome of the Supreme Court case, if that is what the concern is…but rather the fact that all the judges who belonged to that panel that decided that case decided that that should be the decision.
“But the question is this, if they had said otherwise that he had won and the public was making the comment that unanimous seven, would he have made the same comment? I’m not too sure he would have done that.
“In any case, my learned friend Abraham knows that the law reports are replete with a lot of unanimous decisions which we all use as precedents to support our cases in court. So for me the fundamental thing is, is there evidence that supported the decision that was unanimous? If there was evidence to that effect then it shouldn’t be an issue,” he said.
Explaining further, he stated that should the justices have changed their unanimous decision to one which was divided in order to avoid such criticisms from the NDC that would be tantamount to undermining the very independence of the judiciary the NDC claims needs to be restored.
“Because if the three of us, you, myself, Abraham are given the same assignment to do an independent work and we came to meet and we realize that we have arrived at a conclusion, would one of us change their position just because we think people will complain that we have all agreed on the same thing? I don’t think so, that will even undermine our intelligence, I don’t think so,” he said.
He has thus called on the aggrieved party to address any concerns they may have about the Judiciary through the right channels, be it the Judicial Council or the Ghana Bar Association, for appropriate redress.
“So for me if there are genuine concerns to be addressed, let’s use appropriate channels because this is our nation, it belongs to all of us. It doesn’t matter where we come from, whether we are of political party A or belong to political party B. The concern is that let’s use the appropriate channels,” he said.