Private legal practitioner, Cap. [rtd]lawyer Nkrabea Effah Dartey has said he will not agree with anyone who will suggest that, the delivery or quality of justice in the country is questionable.
He explained, as a lawyer who has practiced for over 30 years, there’ve been instances where he has disagreed with rulings by the court.
He added, that is why we have the court’s act and the constitution to facilitate an appeal when one is unsatisfied with any ruling by the court.
He was responding to a statement made by the Asantehene at a forum organized by the Chief Justice, Siophia Akuffo in Kumasi yesterday [Monday].
The Asantehene in his address at the forum slammed the judiciary and with an example of the recent ruling on the Delta Force group wondering why individuals who stormed a court, and freed suspects on trial could be fined Ghc1,800 each.
“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?” “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.”
“I hope and pray 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,” he added.
However, lawyer Darteh says he respectfully and totally disagree with the position the Asantehene took.
Speaking to Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, the legal practitioner who once expressed his interest to contest as president said, if someone says the quality of justice delivery in Ghana is questionable, I will respectfully disagree because we have the law of the jungle, where might is right and we have the law of the civilized human beings where the community and residents abide by the laws.
He stressed that when you are not happy with a ruling, you should appeal and for instance the Delta Force case being used as an example; 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.
He said it is the duty of the police to prosecute beyond reasonable doubt in matters like this and the lawyer of the person being prosecuted, must employ strategies to defend his or her client and only persons who are not lawyers would be agitated.
He added, with the greatest respect to Otumfour, 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.’’