-Former Berekum MP, Captain (rtd) Nkrabeah Effah Dartey has disagreed with the Asantehene over his recent criticism of Ghana's justice delivery system
-The Asantehene had at forum on Monday bemoaned what he termed as unfair judgements from the courtroom citing the recent Delta Force ruling
-Captain (rtd) Effah Dartey, however, has said that such judgements could always be appealed and has cautioned the King to be cautious of such criticisms in the future
Former MP for Berekum, Captain [rtd] Nkrabea Effah Dartey has respectfully disagreed with the recent statement by the Asantehene, Otumfuor Osei Tutu II which questioned justice delivery in the country.
The Asantehene, at a forum organised by by the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo in Kumasi on Monday, criticised the judiciary for delivering what he described as unfair judgements in the court room.
Referring to the recent ruling on the Delta Force group, he wondered people who stormed a court, and freed suspects on trial could be fined Ghc1,800 each while others accused of petty theft would be fined heavily or even jailed.
“If someone steals a goat and is fined GHc 5,000 and is additionally slapped with a jail term, how can people who invade a courtroom, overpower a security, release suspects and put the lives of a judge and staff in danger, and as their punishment are given a paltry fine of GHc 1,800 and discharged. Has justice been served?, he quizzed.
According to Otumfuor Osei Tutu II, “If such judgments come from the court, how can you prevent people from questioning the quality of justice delivered by our judges? Unfortunately, it takes only one case or very few cases for the quality of justice that you profess to deliver to be through into the woods.”
He expressed hope "that by the end of this forum, such ramification of quality justice will be more meaningfully appreciated so we can all be witnesses for the realization of the vision of quality judges delivering quality justice".
But in an interview on Rainbow Radio, Captain (rtd) Effah Dartey has explained that not every decision of the court will please the masses but that does not make the delivery or quality of justice in the country questionable.
According to him, as a lawyer who has practiced for over 30 years, there have been instances where he has disagreed with rulings by the court but he has not questioned justice delivery because there is always a chance for an appeal when one is unsatisfied with any ruling.
Commenting on the Delta Force ruling, he said while it was the duty of the police to prosecute the accused persons beyond reasonable doubt, lawyers also had the responsibility to employ strategies to defend their clients.
He stated that, "If I were the lawyer for the Delta Force, I would not have advised my clients to change their plea to that of guilty. We would have dragged the case for three years and that would have made Ghanaians lose interest in the case. There were so many strategies the lawyer could have used and these are all legitimate strategies,’’ he said.
"With the greatest respect to Otumfuor, I am sure he didn’t speak through Okyeame. When you are criticizing particular cases you should be extra careful. I am sorry but this is my view. I maybe wrong but this is my genuine view", he stressed.
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Source: Yen Ghana