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Folks, she is set to retire very soon, having been our Chief Justice for 10, probably the longest-serving CJ in our time.
The length of her service doesn’t really matter at this point, given the fact that she will be leaving office, dogged by the question: So, what is her legacy for her successor to build on to improve the justice delivery system in Ghana?
I will remember her for two major issues that don’t augur well for her:
1. The Georgina Woode Commission of Inquiry that investigated the most deplorable instance of cocaine trafficking (the mystery behind the 77 parcels of fine-grained, high-value cocaine trafficking that the “Limping Man” led and for which Kufuor appointed the Commission, putting her in charge to unearth everything about the incident so culprits could be apprehended and dealt with).
The Commission failed to help solve the problem. Ghanaians heaved sighs of contempt but nothing could be done. The Mahama administration managed to arrest the brain behind the deal and whatever happened thereafter belongs to history.
Let it be known here that the administrative action taken against COP Kofi Boakye (who was instrumental in the probe) came across as a senseless punishment. No wonder, the Mahama administration straightened the line and restored him to his rightful standing in public service.
Side note: Akufo-Addo’s IGP David Asante Apeatu has transferred COP Boakye to Accra to be rendered impotent and idle. Just imagine!!
2. Georgina Woode’s being elevated to the position of Chief Justice by Kufuor just after her Commission of Inquiry had concluded its futile assignment.
She was uplifted by Kufuor, disregarding the laid-down norm of appointment to that position on the basis of seniority. This unhealthy approach caused many ripples in the Judicial Service, leading to the resignation of those side-stepped (Justices Kpegah and Joyce Bamford-Addo). The rest belongs to history.
Over the past 10 years, what specifically Georgina Woode did to improve the country’s judiciary is not known. Don’t tell me anything about the “Justice-for-All” programme because that’s not her brainchild.
Under her, the worst episodes of corruption in the judiciary surfaced. The Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ expose caught much attention locally and internationally. Too much of a scandal to dent her image even if she didn’t suffer any penalty.
She didn’t initiate any reform or anything to ensure that the Judiciary could be as strong as expected to counter-balance anything done by the Legislature or the Executive that contravenes the Constitution.
She presided over rot and is leaving office as such. Too much decadence in the judiciary threatens our democracy.
Folks, I am more than persuaded that the outgoing Chief Justice hasn’t left behind her any remarkable footprints for her successors to step into. If anybody has anything to the conrary let him/her provide it.
A good riddance, then, she is to me!!
Source: Dr. Michael J.K Bokor