Lawyer and Senior Vice President of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil, has backed former President Mahama’s NPP-packed judiciary comment, calling it proper and very necessary.
This comes after the NDC flagbearer alleged that the incumbent president has congregated the judiciary with NPP affiliated judges
He made these remarks during the 2nd Annual Lawyers Conference of the NDC on August 28.
Critics, including the Ghana Bar Association, described these remarks as disrespectful and unnecessary for the independence and integrity of the judiciary.
But the IMANI vice president shares the opposite opinion. He believes Mr Mahama has every right as a presidential aspirant to worry about the state of the judiciary.
During an interview on Joy News’ News File on September 18, 2023, Kofi Bentil said, “It is also okay for the politician to have worries and as far as I’m concerned, the observation or the statement that President Mahama made was proper !It was necessary for a person of his standing seeking to become president to make the kinds of observations and ask the kinds of questions he does.
“Nobody should hold it against him that this may be a problem”.
According to Kofi Bentil, it is commonplace for a ruling party to appoint people who share their political values and beliefs, people who subscribe to their mandate—to positions in that regard.
“For me, as a matter of fact, you don’t expect them to appoint people who do not believe in your political persuasion.
“Of course, he may put a political spin on it by saying that the opponent or the other party is appointing judges who believe in their political, you know, whatever. So for me, that is not the problem,” he added.
Additionally, he recommends that amid all the realities that seem to be ‘overlooked’, it is incumbent on us to recognise and appreciate the concerns expressed by the former president and strive to attain a posture where, despite partisan affiliations, these judges in question will regard the rule of law and rule accordingly to uphold the country’s judicial system’s justice and integrity.
“It’s a good conversation to have. Let us not pretend that it is not necessary.”
We need to get to a point where, regardless of their political affiliation, we are getting judges or putting judges in place who will rule and continue to rule according to the laws and evidence before them.
“But let us continue to work towards the higher virtues so that we will continue to have the justices we have, he recommended.