The Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, has constituted a committee to investigate the allegations made by a former Deputy Minister of Communications, Ms Victoria Hammah, regarding the integrity of the Judiciary.
The seven-member committee is chaired by Dr Justice F.K. Date-Baah, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court.
Other members are the Asante Asokorehene, Nana Susubribi Krobea Asante; the Attorney-General, Madam Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong; a former President of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), Mr Frank W.K. Beecham; the current President of the GBA, Nene A.O. Amegatcher; Mrs Joyce N. N. Ocloo; Mrs Ellen Odartey Laryea, with the Judicial Secretary, Mr Justice Alex Opoku-Acheampong, as the secretary to the committee.
The committee has been necessitated by a petition sent to the Chief Justice by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to launch a full-scale investigation into Ms Hammah’s claim.
“The NPP is calling on the Chief Justice to, as a matter of urgency, institute a commission to probe the judgement of the nine Supreme Court judges in the wake of these revelations by Victoria Hammah,” a statement signed by the General Secretary of the NPP, Mr Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, also known as Sir John, had earlier requested.
Ms Hammah had stated in a secretly recorded tape that the Minister of Gender and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, might have influenced the outcome of the landmark election petition which had gone in favour of the ruling party.
Nana Lithur, who is also the wife of Mr Tony Lithur, the lawyer for the President in the election petition, has flatly denied the allegation and described it as untrue and outrageous.
Members of the opposition NPP, however, went to market with the revelation, stating that it affirmed its long-held fears that the verdict in the petition had been influenced in favour of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
It, therefore, petitioned Mrs Justice Wood to launch a full-scale investigation into the allegation to ascertain the truth or otherwise of Ms Hammah’s claims.
“Tony Lithur has been the friend of the Rawlingses, been a friend to President John, now and his wife. I learnt even before the verdict, Nana was with the Justices and all that. You don’t know the role she has played for us to win the court case. Then you want to use your unintelligence to overthrow her. Yeah.”
The NPP petition
Among other things, the NPP asked the Chief Justice to investigate the judges who ruled on the election petition.
The party expressed shock at the revelations and questioned the government’s silence on the matter.
“The dismissal of Ms Hammah, coupled with the deafening silence of President Mahama and his government in not denying her statements, as contained in her dismissal letter, could only mean that they are true and factual,” it stated.
Written by Naa Lamiley Bentil/Daily Graphic/Ghana