President Akufo-Addo on Wednesday inducted into office 15 Justices of the Appeals Court, restating his call on the Judiciary to apply the laws fairly, strictly and without fear, favour or ill-will.
He pointed out that the Judiciary was an indispensable part of the institutional bulwark of the nation, and the growth of the country demanded that it commanded the respect of the people by the quality of its delivery of justice, as well as by the comportment of its judges.
The Judges, comprising ten males and five females, include Justice Alex Owusu-Ofori, Justice Emmanuel Ankamah, Justice Jerome Noble-Nkrumah, Justice Gifty Agyei Addo, and Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe.
Others are Justice Samuel Obeng-Diawuo, Justice Hafisata Amaleboba, Justice Kweku Tawiah Ackaah-Boafo, Justice Jennifer Abena Dadzie, and Justice Charles Edward Ekow Baiden.
The rest are Justice Stephen Oppong, Mr. Patrick Kwamina Baiden, Mr. Christopher Archer, Professor Olivia Anku-Tsede, and Dr. Ernest Owusu-Dapaah.
At a short ceremony at the Jubilee House, Accra, President Akufo-Addo, administered the Judicial, Secrecy and Allegiance oaths, and charged the judges to apply the laws of the land strictly to restore the confidence of the Ghanaian people in the Judiciary.
He reminded the judges of their oaths to dispense justice and apply the laws of the land without fear or favour, affection, or ill will, and without recourse to the political, religious or ethnic affiliation of any citizen.
“It is vitally important that we have judges who are honest, possess integrity, and a sound knowledge of the law.
“When one falls foul of the law, we expect that they must be dealt with accordingly, and the law enforcement agencies, including you at the Appeals Court, must ensure this is done,” he said
President Akufo-Addo said it was unacceptable for Judges to proffer judgments based on decisions from lower courts and cite them as law and even less so when Judges cite non-existent authority in their rulings and give orders without reasons.
“You must be learned, know your case law and ensure your decisions and judgments are properly motivated in accordance with the principle of stare decisis, the doctrine of precedent, which has been the bedrock for the evolution of the common law,” he stressed.
The President further encouraged Judges to take advantage and harness the use of technology to advance the rule of law, making use of the e-justice system to expedite judgments.
“The Transparent and efficient delivery of justice builds confidence in citizens, businesses and the investor community,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo gave the assurance that the government would continue to implement policies to advance the rule of law to reinforce the confidence of the Ghanaian people and shore up Ghana’s reputation as a country governed by the rule of law.
“It should be the objective of our generation to build a new Ghanaian civilization where the rule of law is not a slogan but an operating principle for the development of our state.”
Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe, on behalf of the judges, expressed appreciation to the President for the confidence reposed in them and for the opportunity to serve the country.
She gave the assurance that they would continue to live up to the trust reposed in them and “diligently, dutifully and honestly” discharge their judicial oath.
“We recognize the onerous responsibility placed on us as appellate judges and we undertake to discharge our duties through fidelity to the constitution of the Republic of Ghana, guided by the tenets of freedom and justice.
“We also undertake to pursue our calling with diligence and contribute our quota to the enrichment and development of our jurisprudence in the interest of Justice,” he said.