University of Ghana Law Professor Raymond Atuguba has explained the complications that come with his work as a political and constitutional critical analyst.
The legal expert said the last time he analysed the work of the police with the intention of drawing their attention to some of their flaws, his house was besieged.
“Eight fully armed police officers were dispatched by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to come and arrest me from my office,” he told a gathering at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) Thursday.
The research analysed the voting pattern of judges on matters “where the law is not clear” and revealed their decisions were largely influenced by the political party that appointed them.
“Somehow, the Supreme Court lost its way after the first years and the judgments started becoming clear on the lines of party appointments,” he said.
Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo
But Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo has dismissed the conclusion of the research, faulting its premise.
“Under the Constitution, a judge will be appointed during somebody’s time…and that somebody will belong to one party or the other,” she confronted Professor Atuguba at the event.
She said all that matters is for the ruling of the apex court to be in line with the law, sound and factual. She cautioned the law lecturer not to introduce alien practices into the Ghanaian setting.
In his reaction, Professor Atuguba said his research is aimed at finding a more sustainable way of scrutinizing the Judiciary and not to disparage it.
“I think the Judiciary can be the most dangerous but we must scrutinize judgment for their fidelity to the law…we must scrutinize judgment in the way judicial discretion has been exercised,” he said.
He was surprised at the negative reaction his work has received, revealing the last time he analysed the activities of the Ghana Police Service, some armed men were sent to arrest him.
He, however, did not mention the name of the IGP who directed his men to arrest him and the year this happened.
But “words are nothing to me,” an unfazed Professor Atuguba said.