The Chief Justice: Judge And Kingmaker?


President John Dramani Mahama has been sworn in at last! Oh yes, he is now president of our beloved Ghana. I must admit, it was a beautiful sight to behold despite the incidents preceding this ceremony and perhaps, other expectations. Indeed, the whole world has received the confirmation that Ghana has a new president. Although this is an issue yet to be contested, the reality is that until then, Ghana has a new president! Until conclusive evidence is brought against the results declared by the electoral commissioner, one that would lead to a huge turn-around, President John Dramani Mahama still reigns.

As I watched the ceremony, several thoughts crossed my mind and indeed, one issue had a contradictory sting.

The swearing-in of the president was done by the Chief Justice and so, authenticity of our elections has been further endorsed by the Chief Justice. In the months to come, the results of our elections are to be contested in the highest court of our land; the Supreme Court which is the throne of the chief of our justice system in Ghana; the Chief Justice. This is the same person who just swore in our president. So then, after such a grandiose ceremony, this same person, on a later date, is supposed to sit through a long or several long proceedings, to debate the authenticity or perhaps, legitimacy of our new president?s candidature or win; the same person she personally swore in! Quite clearly, she is to debate the authenticity of her own swearing-in! The humour of politics!

Indeed, the court proceedings of this contest would be very interesting! We keep hearing talks on evidence but the question is: Are they conclusive? It would indeed be a complete waste of time, or perhaps a huge disappointment for most of us, should the case be dismissed quite early, considering the mouth-watering prologue among our local media and even beyond! Ghana lives in wait for the verdict! As the Chief Justice and perhaps, Kingmaker, she is also the one with the final word to undo what she has done; the relegation of President John Dramani Mahama as the president of Ghana!

The real issue here is: Are we seeking true justice? When it comes to the issue of politics and elections, is there anything like justice? Justice in politics! Who can make such claims? The justice, which of course, can only be claimed by its beneficiary!

Our law mandates that the electoral commissioner declares results of which has been done. The Chief Justice, Chief of our Justice system, however has a jurisdiction. The Chief Justice has no mandate to declare election results! ?Are we expecting the Chief Justice to declare results that are to be presented by people other than the electoral commissioner? If then, we should be mindful of the precedence we set! Whose words then, must we take? The words of a supposed winner? The words of a supposed loser? The words of the electoral commissioner, whose integrity is being questioned? Or, the Chief Justice, who can only claim as law, only that which has been certified by the same electoral commissioner whose integrity is being questioned. Could it turn out to be a wild goose chase? We live in wait!

In opening the Pandora?s Box, we should be careful what we let out! In as much as we will try to obtain justice, the consequences could be grave!

Indeed, we live in wait! We live in wait to see what the months ahead hold for us. All the same, we have a new president. As expected, the needs of our country, a growing nation, and our future lay in his hands. We live in hope that the needs of this nation are met in the days or few months ahead, supposed his victory is withdrawn. We also live in hope that he fulfils all the promises that he made to his electorates in the years to come, supposed his victory is further legitimized! This country needs improvement in the living conditions of its citizenry! We need accessible roads, quality education, infrastructural development, improved healthcare and gross socio-economic development and transformation in the life of Ghanaians! That is all I wish for as a Ghanaian. Ghana deserves better!

Anna Esi Hanson (, Takoradi.

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