Political Scientist, Professor Ransford Gyampo

A senior lecturer at the University of Ghana has rebuked individuals condemning the National Security Minister for alerting that the perception of a biased judiciary will have dire effects on the country’s security.

Professor Ransford Gyampo, in an article, noted that such personalities raising concerns about Albert Kan Dapaah’s comment are either partisan or ignorant of the issue being discussed.

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.”

“National security would be threatened in what way? So, what? The judges are supposed to balance the equation? They give five judgements in favour of the NPP and give another five in favour of the NDC?” he further quizzed.

“It’s not a sharing party. I really respect Kan Dapaah a lot but I think maybe he got the context completely,” he said in an interview with JoyNews on Monday.

In response, Professor Gyampo has indicated that the court of law is prone to shortcomings since it is a human institution, therefore, Ghanaians must not cower but rather identify such weaknesses to be rectified.

“It is a fact that there are some great independent-minded judges in Ghana. But we cannot pretend or suddenly be afraid to point out frankly and without mincing words that some people are also losing confidence in the judiciary, which is a major threat to national security.”

He stressed that “judicial oaths are not godly orders. They are not Biblical or Koranic injunctions that are even flouted with impunity by religious adherents.”

“They are sworn and can be broken by the very fallible mortals who staff the bar and the bench,” he added.

For Prof. Gyampo, anyone who fails to address the discussion on a non-partisan level is a “political infant, a nation wrecker,” and “a great threat to the quest for strong institutions, national cohesion, consensual politics, peace, and political stability, without which there can be no development.”

He remarked that Ghanaians should desist from offering partisan opposition or defense to every single issue raised.

“There must be an elite consensus on many issues that we must agree never to disagree on, else our drive towards the maturation of our democratisation processes would be stampeded at all times,” he cautioned.