Former Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo has expressed her disapproval of former President John Dramani Mahama’s recent comments accusing President Akufo-Addo of stacking the judiciary with judges affiliated with the NPP.
Sophia Akuffo criticized Mahama’s remarks, characterizing them as unnecessary and potentially detrimental to the judiciary’s integrity.
The NDC flagbearer at the third annual lawyers’ conference of the NDC in Akosombo, claimed that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has packed the courts with judges aligned with the ruling party.
He indicated that the NDC lawyers should be ready to be appointed to the bench to bring a balance if the NDC wins the 2024 elections.
“We know they [NPP] have packed the courts because they fear accountability when they leave office. We must be prepared as NDC lawyers to go to the bench to balance the current situation,” Mahama said.
In response, the former Chief Justice, in an interview, said such comments unfairly tarnish the reputation of the judiciary.
She questioned whether appointments made by Mahama during his tenure were based on political affiliation and emphasized the importance of avoiding such labels, which could create unnecessary pressures within the judiciary.
“He has been through the process of appointing other people before, so was it that because they were NDC?…it always upsets me when you get comments like oh this one is NPP judge, oh this one is NDC and yet you have never seen the person on any party’s rally or platforms.”
She added, “And these are some of the unnecessary pressures that are put on the judiciary. What difference will that tag make to me, my career and my work?…sometimes it gets to you.”
President Akufo-Addo on Monday, September 11, strongly criticized Mr Mahama for his remarks during a speech at the Bar Conference in Cape Coast.
He described Mahama’s comments as “very dangerous” and said they constituted a “brazen attack on the independence of the judiciary”.
The GBA also said it shared Akufo-Addo’s concerns about the independence of the judiciary, but that it did not agree with his methods.
“The GBA believes that the best way to protect the independence of the judiciary is to ensure that all politicians, regardless of their party affiliation, respect the rule of law and the separation of powers.”