Accra, June 19, GNA - Justice Sophia Abena Boafoa Akuffo, Presidential nominee for the position of Chief Justice said with enough resources, there would be a wide range of transformation and improvement to enhance quality delivery of justice in Ghana.
While strongly insist on the independence of the judiciary, Justice Akuffo, prayed for enough resources from the government to the realm, with the promise that “you see wonders (at the Judiciary) if the budgets are not cut.”
Her answer was in response to why budgets to the Judiciary should not be capped, when she appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament on for vetting.
The committee had set June 19, 2017 for the vetting of the Harvard trained lawyer, who turns 68 next December 20, but rescheduled the vetting to this week to avoid keeping the position vacant for long.
President Akufo-Addo in May announced Justice Akuffo as his choice of successor to Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood who retired on June 8, 2017.
Justice Akuffo would be the 13th Chief Justice in the history of the Republic of Ghana if passed, and she will be the second woman in that position.
According to the Chief Justice nominee, annual estimates on the resources to be provided by the Government to the Judiciary should not in any way be cut, but approved to ensure that adequate funds and resources were made available to the Judicial Service.
Among the wide range of transformation she spoke of were; improving the physical structures of the service, including the courts, adequate remuneration for judges and magistrates, capacity development, and training of paralegals for the “Justice for All Programme.”
She indicated that she was concerned about her integrity, and also passionate about the development and stability of Ghana, stressing the need for systems to work.
She cautioned that the breakdown of the judicial system in any country, would wreak chaos for the nation.
“I am extremely passionate about everything to do with Ghana, and I am extremely proud of the strides we have made under the current constitution. It has its legal issues and problems but we have managed to work with it and hopefully the part that needs amendments will one day be amended and we will move on to the next level.
“The other thing I will like to say is that I believe that even if in our endeavours, whether in the work place or in our personal lives, we cannot hit total perfection, we can strive to reach it, so, in terms of my attitude to work, I have always believed that one must always ask the question: ‘Is this as good as it gets or can it get better?’ And if it can get better, how is that to be done?”
She added: “Because of some of my past employment experiences, I have also come to believe in systems, in having proper protocols, proper procedures, spelt out operations systems, so that whether some individual is there or not what needs to be done gets done because all the wisdom is not on somebody’s head and if somebody suddenly leaves an employment life must go on as though the person is still around.”
Justice Akufo distanced herself from mob justice and said effective and quality delivery of justice in the courts would help address the growing incidents ‘mob justice’ in the country.
The other side of mob justice is the delay of justice. “The other side of justice delayed is justice denied, is that justice hurried is justice buried.
“It is being able to strike that balance, that is the area of concern for the judicial system and for the judiciary, because so long as there is mob justice, it means something is not going right. At least, we in the judiciary will do our optimal to ensure that we are not the cause of mob justice,” she added.
The notorious phenomenon is gaining some currency in the country, but the nominee, who said she was appointed to the Supreme Court, with Mr Justice William Atugubah, on the same day in November 1995, promised to work to ensure that as much as it depended on her outfit, mob justice was minimised.
When asked her position on death penalty, she implied that the statute books would have to determine that.