01 Mar You are in contempt of the people and you need to apologise – Stephen Asare tells Judicial Service
01 Jan 2021
US-based Ghanaian Accounting Professor, Stephen Kwaku Asare has lashed out at the Judicial Service of Ghana for their letter to the media houses.
The Service is demanding that all stories deemed “hateful, and incendiary” against Justices of the Supreme Court be pulled down from their online platforms.
In a Facebook post, the lawyer popularly known as Kwaku Azar described the act as ‘contempt against the people’ as such, the Judicial Service needs to retract and apologise.
According to him, the instruction is an indirect way of gagging the press in the country and that must not be allowed since it is against the press freedom clearly spelt out in the 1992 constitution.
“The Judicial Service is in contempt of the people and it must retract and apologize for the comment with urgent dispatch. It must also withdraw that whole statement, whose primary, if not sole effect, is to chill expression on court proceedings.
“Further, those behind the contemptuous remarks have lost the right to serve in their positions. They ought to resign from the service or, failing that, be fired,” his post read.
Mr Azar further expressed shock that the Judiciary Service used “taxpayer’s money’ to hire a private legal entity to issue threats to the masses and demand their silence on how it performs its public functions.
“I know this is Ghana, where power is knowledge, right and might. But this is too much of an aberration and abomination even for us! Justice emanates from the people and is administered on their behalf by the Judiciary.
“It is, therefore, way below the belt for the judicial service to characterize these same people as uneducated and ill-informed, merely to justify a self-serving stricter view of permissible criticism of judges or the justice system.”
Comparing Ghana to other countries, Prof Asare further said in other jurisdictions where public scrutiny of the courts is at a higher level, the judicial services of those nations will not dare issue such a statement to the press described as the fourth estate of the realm.
“The people will not stand for it and will demand, insist and obtain their instant resignation or firing. We must do no less!!!” he stressed