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MPs are not saints; times are hard - Minority Leader

The Minority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu has asked for circumspection in dealing with the judiciary in the wake of the current corruption scandal, as according to him, the system is also made up of fallible officials just like Members of Parliament and the presidency.

His comments come in the wake of the widespread condemnation of the judiciary following the startling revelations of bribery and corruption involving some judges captured in an investigative piece by journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.

“The judiciary is not made up of saints just as those of us in Parliament; equally so for the executive; even the presidency. We shouldn’t be kidding ourselves; times are hard, and if you are not careful you may overstep your bounds to engage in otherwise illegalities to be able to survive. But that should not be justified in any way.”

In an interview with Citi FM’s Parliamentary Correspondent, Richard Sky, he said the country should manage the development well and purge the system of the corrupt ones and also re-orient the entire judiciary.

“It should never be thought or said that, in Ghana, justice is for sale. That will be very detrimental to our democratic governance,” the Minority leader stressed.

22 lower court judges are currently serving a suspension after they were captured in the said video, allegedly taking bribes to influence judgment.

12 other high court judges have also been implicated and have been queried; together with over 100 judicial service staff also believed to have played various roles in the bribery scandal.

The Minority Leader albeit worried about the development, cautioned against attempts to tag the entire judiciary as corrupt.

He said the exposure should rather be seen as an opportunity to rid the entire judiciary of the canker even if some indicted judges are punished at the end of the investigations.

“… If the emphasis is placed on the corrupt nature of the entire judiciary, that will be problematic because it will not help us to address the problem on hand. I would want to believe that from Anas, his own thinking should not be that he is intending to rock the boat but to throw these matters up so that remedial or corrective actions could be taken to restore the sanctity and the integrity of the judiciary. I think that should be the ultimate consideration.”

The Suame legislator said it would be dreadful for the country if conclusions are made to suggest that the Ghanaian judiciary cannot be trusted.

“People should know that we are not completely out of the woods, and this should not provide a trigger to any trigger-happy personality. I think we can use it to our advantage because if the conclusion should be that the judiciary is in such a terrible shape that it cannot be trusted, it will not only affect our national development in so far as trying to raise the standard of living for Ghanaians is concerned, but it will go to the very bottom of the effort of the president himself in going out there to woo investors. If investors have no confidence in the judiciary, who will come? At the end of the day, the nation would suffer, and we will continue to be marking time and that won’t be good for us,” he warned.

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