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Supreme Court Is Too Packed With judges; H. Kwesi Prempeh

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Prof H. Kwasi Prempeh

The Executive Director of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) and one of Ghana’s finest legal luminaries, Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh, has expressed concern over the number of judges that have been appointed to the Supreme Court.

According to him, Kenya, which is bigger in size and with larger population has just seven Supreme Court judges, but here in Ghana, he has lost count of the number of judges appointed to the apex court.

Professor Prempeh argued that despite Kenya’s unforgiving legal battles, the same judges are the ones hearing the election petition of the country’s just ended presidential election.

The law professor was speaking at a multi-stakeholder conference on local government reforms organised by the CDD-Ghana in Accra yesterday.

His comment was rooted in allegation that judges are appointed to the Supreme Court of Ghana to sit on cases that sometimes affect their independence.

Apart from the Supreme Court, the CDD-Ghana boss was equally worried over the number of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the country.

He reiterated that Kenya, which has over 45 million population and a large landsize, has about 46 counties, as compared to Ghana’s 261 MMDAs. To him, Ghanaians like multiplication of numbers without outcomes.

On the local government reforms, he argued that there was a need for a more scientific approach for reforming the local government system.

In his view, the current local government being operated can be equated to the colonial era, which is long gone, thus a Governor versus District Chief Executive (DCE).

According to him, it is time Ghana visit other countries on the continent of Africa to learn from their examples of decentralisation system, in order to establish a comparative case.

Some of the suggestions tabled at the conference include scrapping of unit committees of the MMDAs, as well as repealing Article 55(3) to allow political parties participation in district level elections.

Others also argued that political parties’ involvement in local government election would not necessarily translate into producing persons with competence and capabilities or address inclusiveness or tackle corruption.

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