Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare, known popularly as Kwaku Azar, has lashed the Judicial Service of Ghana for their letter to media houses ordering the media to pull down and clear from their online platforms “hateful, spiteful, vengeful and incendiary” comments about the Justices of the Supreme Court of Ghana.
According to him, the Judicial Service needs to retract their statement which has an effect of the gagging freedom of expression over the ongoing Election Petition at the Supreme Court.
“The Judicial Service is in contempt of the people and it must retract and apologize for the comment with urgent dispatch,” Kwaku Azar stated in a Facebook post on Saturday 27 February 2021.
Azar expressed shock that the Judicial Service would use the taxpayer’s money to hire the services of a private attorney for the purpose of issuing “threats to the taxpayers and to demand their silence on how it performs its public functions!”
“I know this is Ghana, where power is knowledge, right and might,” Kwaku Azar observed. “But this is too much of an aberration and abomination even for us! Justice emanates from the people and is administered on their behalf by the Judiciary”.
He continued: “It is, therefore, way below the belt for the judicial service to characterize these same people as uneducated and ill-informed, merely to justify a self-serving stricter view of permissible criticism of judges or the justice system.
“The deeply flawed characterization is reminiscent of that used by a British Judge in 1899 to justify why committals for contempt by scandalizing the court is obsolete in the UK but is fit for use in small colonies, consisting principally of coloured populations (McLeod v. St. Aubyn ( AC 549, p. 56).
“The characterization is not just demonstrably false and utterly needless but it also appears to be a calculated effort to shield the judiciary from public accountability.”
Kwaku Azar indicated that those behind the letter to the media which is very “contemptuous” have lost the right to serve in their positions, and that “they ought to resign from the service or, failing that, be fired.”
Prof Asare further stated that in other jurisdictions where public scrutiny of the courts is at a higher level, the judicial services of those nations will not dare issue such a statement to those described as the fourth estate of the realm.
“The people will not stand for it and will demand, insist and obtain their instant resignation or firing. We must do no less!!!” he stressed.