Ghanaian Judges Are ‘Mad’

November 25, 2021 By 0 Comments

Some judges wearing their traditional wigs

The Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana (AMJG) has expressed worry and dissatisfaction over the manner in which some individuals are using social media to falsely and maliciously scandalise the courts.

According to AMJG, one of their members, Justice Clemence Jackson Honyenuga, has been targeted by these bloggers to level falsehood on their platforms against him.

The Association brought this to the notice of the public at a press conference held in Accra yesterday.

President of the Association, Justice Henry A. Kwofie, in addressing the media, stated that ordinarily the AMJG does not respond to news publications, however, it has been compelled to come to speak, due to the gravity of the misinformation being peddled in the public space, especially social media.

According to him, these allegations are in connection with two brand new vehicles -SUV V8 and a Saloon Car – that have been allocated to a Supreme Court Justice, Clemence Jackson Honyenuga for his official duty.

He said, these vehicles have got these bloggers speculating falsehood that they are gifts from President Akufo-Addo through the Chief Justice, to compromise Justice Honyenuga in order to ensure that the former Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Dr. Opuni and businessman SeiduAgongo were jailed.

Justice Kwofie explained that it is a normal practice that superior court judges sit as additional judge of lower court, hence Justice Honyenuga sitting as additional High Court judge to try Dr Opuni and Mr Seidu Agongo was lawful.

He finds the misinterpretation being given to this as unfortunate, saying “The AMJG finds this allegation against Justice Clemence Honyenuga and indeed the Judiciary as a whole as an attempt to create disaffection against the said judge and by extension the Judiciary in Ghana as a whole and finds it necessary to set the records straight…”

The AMJG President explained that all Supreme Court Judges by their conditions of appointment since 2013 are entitled to two official vehicles; one SUV and a Saloon car.

He added that all Court of Appeal Judges are entitled to one Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, whilst High Court Judges are entitled to one Toyota Fortuner, as Official vehicles.

Justice Kwofie indicated: “This year, 2021, the Judicial Service ordered seven Toyota Land Cruiser SUV Vehicles and eleven (11) Toyota Camry Saloon cars for Supreme Court judges who do not have official vehicles.

These Supreme Court Judges, who are seven (7) in number, were appointed in December 2019 and May 2020 respectively. Among these Supreme Court judges is Justice Clemence Honyenuga.

“The Judicial Service also ordered 14 Land Cruiser Prado vehicles for Justices of The Court of Appeal appointed in December 2019 and August 2020 respectively. The 14 Toyota Land cruiser Prado vehicles for Court of Appeal Judges are yet to arrive in the country.”

He added that the Service also ordered 58 Toyota Fortuner Vehicles for High Court Judges appointed in December 2019 and in 2020 and these Toyota Land Cruiser and Camry vehicles arrived in the country on 15th and 16th October 2021.

His lordship stated that among these vehicles, the service allocated seven to Supreme Court Judges, specifically on October 25, 2021 and “among these seven judges who were allocated the vehicles was Justice Honyenuga who was appointed to the Supreme Court by His Excellency the President on May 22, 2020.”

He added that 13 of the Toyota Fortuner vehicles for High Court Judges have also arrived in Ghana and have been allocated to some High Court Judges.

Justice Kwofie continued that  all the three  Supreme Court Judges appointed in December 2019 and the four appointed on May 22, 2020 were allocated one Toyota Land cruiser vehicle and one Saloon car each, as Duty Post vehicles.

“It is these vehicles allocated to Justice Honyenuga as Duty Post vehicles, which is the source of the accusation that he has been given one SUV and a Saloon Car for the purpose of influencing him to jail accused persons standing trial before him,” he stressed.

He reiterated that the allocation of Official/Duty Post vehicles to Justice Honyenuga or any Judge for that matter has nothing to do with any case or cases pending before him or her.

“This allegation is at once malicious and unfounded and a deliberate attempt to cause disaffection to Justice Honyenuga in particular and the Judiciary in general. This attempt to scandalize the Judiciary must be condemned in no uncertain terms,” he stated.