Ghana

Arrest Warrant For Kelvin Taylor Is Judicial Tyranny — ASEPA Boss

The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has said an arrest warrant issued for a social media commentator, Kelvin Taylor, amounts to judicial tyranny.

Mensah Thompson, the Alliance's Executive Director said in a statement Sunday that the Judiciary is the most powerful and dangerous of the three arms of government and hence its decisions must be scrutinised.

“Now if you are giving a fellow man the authority to take away the rights of a fellow man bestowed on him by God and the State (sometimes as priceless as life), then there should be absolutely NO reason why Citizens shouldn't be able to criticize their conduct and keep them in check especially in the administration of that Power (Justice),” Mr Thompson said in the statement.

According to the court, the arrest warrant was issued for Mr Taylor because he scandalised it when he alleged that Justice Kyei-Baffuor, an Appeals Court judge, was promoted merely because he was doing the bidding of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s government in the trial of some five people accused of embezzling $4 million belonging to the National Communications Authority (NCA).

Read ASEPA’s full reaction to the arrest warrant below.

JUSTICE KYEI-BAFFUOR'S BENCH WARRANT FOR KEVIN TAYLOR, A FLUID JUDICIAL TYRANNY?

This week one of the issues that became very contentious was the bench warrant Justice Kyei Baffuor issued on freelance journalist Kevin Ekow Kevin Taylor for criticising him in one of his media broadcasts.

It turns out Justice Kyei-Baffuor who is the victim of the attack ie; the complainant, became a Judge in his own Court, on his own case and issued a warrant for the arrest of the journalist (an arrest warrant for life!...now that's very intimidating).

Quite surprisingly everyone is quiet about this, no journalist has spoken about it and not even the GJA has had the balls to scrutinise that action of Judge Kyei-Baffuor against their own (well he may not be, but it is symbolic). As a Public Accountability Activist whose primary interest is the accountability of Power, I get very uncomfortable by such occurrences.

You see among all the three arms of Government, the Judiciary is the most powerful and dangerous one if you ask me, people's fate is decided in a split second and their rights enshrined on them by the State taken away without any apologies.

This is the apogee of Power, you cannot compare Political Power to this one...but it turns out it is the arm of government that is fondly left unchecked and unscrutinised (and we are comfortable leaving it at that)!

You see Judges are human beings just like us, clothed with Judicial Authority of State to administer Justice.

Now if you are giving a fellow man the authority to take away the rights of a fellow man bestowed on him by God and the State( sometimes as priceless as life), then there should be absolutely NO reason why Citizens shouldn't be able to criticize their conduct and keep them in check especially in the administration of that Power (Justice).

The Judiciary just like the two other arms of government also needs straightening, we have left our Judiciary unchecked and unscrutinised for far too long and people have lost their lives, their livelihood and their future all because of the recklessness of some Judges in the administration of justice... and the blood of all those people are on the head of this Nation because we failed to watch out for them.

I listened to the current Chief Justice, Justice Anin Yeboah admit during his vetting that indeed he made a mistake in one or two of his judgements, in comparing his records he emphasised the point that he has sat on several cases and if out of over 30 cases he has decided, he got it wrong in only one or two occasions, then it's impressive.

Well on paper 2 errors out of 30 cases looks like a very impressive record, the only problem is that in each of those instances someone's freedom or rights were taken away from them wrongly.

Now that's how dangerous the Judiciary is.

And so we owe it a duty to ourselves as a Nation to rise and begin to speak up against this dreaded Judicial tyranny that is beginning to swallow this Nation else it eats up the fibre of our Justice System and brings us to our knees in the not so distant future.

Civil Societies must begin to scrutinise the work of the Judiciary more and the Media should start pointing their ‘guns’ more on the Judiciary than the Politicians because most often than NOT the Judiciary is but a conduit through which these Politicians achieve their objectives, and once the conduit is kept in check, we are almost free as a Nation and our Society will be just and equitable for all.

Soon I shall Publish a little investigative Paper on Appeals Court Judges who were promoted to the Supreme Court and the last cases they decided before they were promoted.

It surely will make for an interesting read.

Judges indeed are not God!

Mensah Thompson

Executive Director, ASEPA

—Myjoyonline.com