President Mills Dragged To Court
A concerned Ghanaian, Abigail Adams, through her solicitors, has filed a writ at the Supreme Court invoking the ‘Original Jurisdiction’ of the court to force President John Evans Atta Mills to order the payment of all outstanding monies owed the Judicial Service of Ghana within 14 days, or possibly be impeached.
The suit was filed by her solicitors, Nkrabea and Associates, on Friday May 11, 2012.
This suit followed the recent string of confrontations between the Judicial Service staff and government over the latter’s continuous refusal to pay subventions to the former to undertake its operations.
DAILY GUIDE gathered that government subventions had not been paid to the service since the beginning of the year, raising questions about deliberate attempts of stifling the judiciary.
The suit seeks “Funds voted by Parliament or charged on the Consolidated Fund by this Constitution [Article 127(6) for the benefit of the judiciary and to secure its effective running shall be released for the judiciary in quarterly basis, that is at the beginning of every quarter.”
Last week, the Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana (JUSAG) staged a rare demonstration, donning red arm bands to signify its anguish.
According to the Chairman of the Interim Management Committee of JUSAG, Francis Brakwa, the demonstration was the first signal to government about the group’s dissatisfaction after failing to honour two ultimatums – April 30, 2012 and May 4, 2012, issued to the government.
Recently, JUSAG issued a statement saying that the non-payment of the subventions had occasioned a lot of unease in the entire workforce of the Service, leading to threats of strike.
The JUSAG’s strike threat was called off last week and according to Francis Brakwa, the decision was based on recent hints of payment of their subventions by government.
The service claimed that the government’s failure to pay the subvention, as stipulated, had a negative impact on the operation of the judicial service and was causing agitations within the entire membership.
Some judicial service workers told DAILY GUIDE that they had been forced to occasionally bring items such as printers and A4 papers from their homes to do office work.
Critics say the strange phenomenon has a serious implication on the quality of judicial representation in Ghana.
Nkrabeah and Associates claimed the non-payment was a serious violation of the Constitution that could attract impeachment proceedings against the President. “The Violation of Article 127(6) of the Constitution by the President, Prof. Evans Atta-Mills, is an impeachable conduct in terms of Article 69(1) (a) of the Constitution,” stated the writ.
“The President of Ghana, Prof. Evans Fiifi Atta-Mills, having failed, refused and or neglected to release the funds voted by Parliament for the Judiciary for the first quarter, January 2012, is in breach of Article 127 (6) of the Constitution,” it added.
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