President Mahama has expressed worry about the judiciary’s commitment to help fight corruption and urged the independent arm of government to show “active” commitment to fight the canker.
“There are many times decisions of our courts have served to dampen the spirit of our people and the agencies involved in the fight against crime and corruption,” the President said.
He made this comment at a swearing-in ceremony for two new Supreme Court judges. Justice Yaw Apau and lawyer Gabriel Pwamang, were sworn in Monday morning at the Flagstaff House after being vetted in Parliament.
Prior to their appointments, Justice Yaw Apau was the Sole Commissioner of the Judgment Debt Commission, whiles Gabriel Pwamang was a lawyer and a Managing Partner at Pwamang and Associates and the Center for Public Interest Law.
President Mahama led them to administer the oaths of secrecy, office and allegiance. The Chief Justice, Georgina Wood and the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Marrieta Brew Oppong-Appiah and other distinguished members of the bench were present.
The President congratulated them and added the country looks up to them. Urging the judges to remain impartial and independent, the President said the judiciary must also its demonstrate commitment in helping fight corruption.
President Mahama also urged them to give rulings which can stand the test of time and could also be used as references by the lower courts.
He acknowledged that as a “human” institution, the judiciary was prone to “error by omission and commission”.
Nonetheless, each of the three arms of government must strive for “continuous improvement” because Ghanaians demand nothing less, the President explained.
His government will continue to support the judiciary to remain independent, he assured.
In his remarks, the new Supreme Court judge, Justice Apau promised the president that the two will discharge their duties with dedication, honesty, integrity, excellence and zeal.
“I wish to humbly state with all sincerity that we shall never disappoint you…in settling on us when the need arose”, he spoke on behalf of his colleague, Justice Gabriel Pwamang.
Justice Apau pledged that they will make the President and the good people of Ghana proud in their conduct on the bench.
According to the website of the judiciary, there were 11 Supreme Court judges as of November 2014. Two, Justice Date-Baah and Justice Rose Constance retired in 2013. Justice Rose Constance Owusu retired in August 2014 after six years of service on the highest court of the land. Professor Justice Samuel Kofi Date-Bah, hanged his robe on August 26, 2013, ten years after his appointment to the Supreme Court.
For the presidential decision to elevate the two legal professionals to the the highest court of the land, Justice Apau said ‘thank you.
According to Article 128 (1) of the 1992 Constitution states: “The Supreme Court shall consist of the Chief Justice and not less than nine other Justices of the Supreme Court”.
There is no ceiling to the number of judges that can be appointed to the Supreme Court.