The Forum for Governance and Justice (FGJ) has questioned the judiciary’s resolve to the protection of public interests.
Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey
Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey

The group believes, Tuesday’s decision by the Supreme Court in the Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey bungalow case will encourage an endearment of the self-serving tendencies widely perceived of politicians and have them act upon those urges with impunity.

The court which came short of making a declaration, as argued by the plaintiffs – Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and Dr Omane Boamah – as to the legitimacy or otherwise of the NPP Chairman’s acquisition of the state property allocated to him while he was a minister of state said, there wasn’t enough evidence to come to that decision.
This [conclusion by the court], in FGJ’s opinion, re-enforces the already widespread perception that politicians are self-seeking individuals who use entrusted power and connections for personal gain.
“It is the view of the FGJ that our ability as a nation to protect public property from being appropriated by persons of influence in our society, especially the political class, has been dealt a fatal blow.
“With the verdict, the floodgates have now been open for public or state property, which is owned collectively by the population of the state, to be sold to private individuals with influence.
“As well, the FGJ believes that this ruling will raise questions about the role of our Judiciary in the protection of the public interest. The Judiciary is the last resort available to the people, and should have an obligation to protect the collective property of the people. Indeed, as the constitution states, justice emanates from the people and shall be administered in the name of the Republic by the Judiciary.”
How can the people be told not to see the verdict as support for the practice whereby public officers exploit their official positions for private gain, given the socio-political status of Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey? Why should the people think otherwise when the said property was not advertised nor the expected tendering processes followed? FGJ interrogated.
“While we respect the highest court of the land, we strongly believe that this outcome, if not challenged, has negative consequences for our nation in relation to the public interest, the protection of public or state property, and good governance.
“We conclude by calling on the good people of Ghana to demand more from our public institutions and to condemn those members of our society who use their privileged positions and proximity to power to plunder the collective property of the people.”

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