Prof Ransford Gyampo is a political science lecturer at the University of Ghana

A senior lecturer at the University of Ghana says the confidence Ghanaians have in the Judiciary to be fair is dwindling.

Professor Ransford Gyampo noted that this is due to the unanimity with every decision the Supreme Court takes bordering on the state and other parties that come before it.

“Is it always the case that every time a case is brought before the judge, between the ruling party and those in opposition, every now and then, the ruling party has a strong case and the opposition has a very bogus case? Can it always be so?”

“Clearly, there are some Ghanaians who are also losing confidence in the Judiciary and this is a major national security threat. The unanimity with which they take their decisions in favour of the ruling party creates an impression, it may be erroneous, but creates an impression that something untoward is happening,” he said.

Speaking on JoyNews’ AM Show on Wednesday, he argued that it may be that strong defenses are not made and the judges are always right.

However, Prof Gyampo stressed that “justice must not only be done” but must also be “perceived to be done.”

Interacting with host, Benjamin Akakpo, Prof Gyampo revealed that there are two school of thoughts – judicial activism and judicial restraint – that the apex court has at its disposal.

According to him, the Supreme Court should not always play by judicial restraint, where they stick directly to what the law says.

He suggested that “even as you stick to what the law says, you must also maintain and have room for judicial activism – where you look at common sense and the implication of the overly legalistic pursuit of the law.”

“Why can’t some of the judges also try in an attempt to create that impression that we are not so bias, look at the facts of the matter and give a majority decision. But you are always unanimously deciding in favour of government,” he added.

Professor Gyampo indicated that should the apex court fail to vary its module, there would be a “serious national security problem.”

“I’ve spoken to so many people who have resolved that giving the way things are going, they will not be thinking about taking their matters to court,” he added.

Meanwhile, Prof Gyampo has called on Ghanaians to trust the words of the National Security Minister that a continuous unanimous decision by the Supreme Court will have dire consequences on the country’s security.

“Kan Dapaah is not a small boy. He is the national Security Minister. He is privy to information those who are criticising him do not know. He employed people and knows where he gets his information as a Security Minister, he knows what he is talking about.”

Speaking during a sensitisation workshop on the national security strategy for judges of the superior courts, Mr Kan Dapaah stated that citizens may be forced to take the law into their own hands for personal satisfaction if the bench is deemed to be biased.

In reaction, the New Patriotic Party (NPP)’s Legal Committee Chairman, Frank Davies, said the minister’s comments are misplaced because “saying that one political party is in power [so] the justices should be mindful of how they interpret the law is completely lopsided.”

According to Prof Gyampo, should Mr Kan Dapaah go to sleep, “we will all be in danger.”

He therefore entreated the public “not to offer partisan defenses and opposition to everything.” “There should be an elite consensus on some of these things,” he advised.

Supreme Court and their unanimous decisions

On March 4, 2021, a seven-member panel of Supreme Court Judges in a unanimous decision dismissed the election petition filed by the 2020 NDC Presidential Candidate, John Dramani Mahama.

This according to the apex court is because the case before it has no merit.

On March 9, 2022, the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision ruled that a Deputy Speaker of Parliament can be counted during the formation of a quorum for parliamentary decision-making and participation in voting while presiding.

Also on March 16, 2022, the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision ruled that a case filed against Parliament’s approval of the budget on November 30, 2021, is moot.

The Court stated that it’s judgement that held that a Deputy Speaker can vote and form part of a quorum for decision making while presiding, deals with this matter.

Broadcaster Richard Dela Sky filed the case against the Attorney-General challenging the decision by Deputy Speaker, Joe Osei-Owusu to vote in the determination that led to the approval of the budget, when he presided over the affairs of the House in the absence of the Speaker.

On April 5, 2022, the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision dismissed an application filed by Assin North MP, James Gyakye Quayson.

This was a review application that urged the Apex court to set aside its March 8, ruling that ordered the legislator to file his defence in a case seeking to stop him from performing parliamentary duties.

Supreme Court to rule whether Assin North MP can perform parliamentary duties henceforth

The apex court will today, April 13, rule on whether Assin North MP, James Gyakye Quayson, can continue to represent his constituents in Parliament.

Michael Ankomah Nimfah, a resident of the constituency, brought the application to the Supreme Court, insisting that James Gyakye Quayson’s continuous stay in office despite a High Court Judgment annulling his election offended the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.

This, he says, was not fair to the people of Assin North and frowns on the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.