Appeals Court judge, Justice Avril Lovelace-Johnson, says she "gets upset" when judges are accused of being corrupt.
The Supreme Court judge-nominee has challenged Ghanaians to demand evidence when corruption allegations are levelled against the judiciary.
She made these comments Monday, December 9, during her vetting by the Appointments Committee of Parliament as one of the three female Appeals Court justices promoted to the Supreme Court by President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The Appeals Court judge’s assertion comes on the back of a recent Afrobarometer report released by the Center for Democratic Development, which ranked the police, judges and magistrates, Members of Parliament, civil servants and tax officials among public officials perceived as most corrupt.
“If you hear anybody say somebody is corrupt please ask for evidence. It is not enough for people to just keep saying ‘people are corrupt’. We are allowing people to get away with [corruption allegations] especially with the judiciary. When people lose a case, the first thing they say is that ‘the judge has been corrupted’. It is not true. If you don’t have a good case, especially when you are a plaintiff, you are likely to lose,” she said.
Justice Avril Lovelace-Johnson also added that such rhetoric fuels apathy among the youth against venturing into the said professions.
“I don’t know what factors were used by this Afrobarometer but I get very upset when people throw about the word corruption. It makes me sad. We are quick to say the police are corrupt, politicians are corrupt, judges are corrupt. What message are we sending to the young people? Why will they want to be politicians, policemen or judges? They are honorable professions,” Justice Lovelace-Johnson said.
The Appeals Court Judge, however, highlighted the need for the judiciary to ensure that all barriers affecting the justice delivery framework in Ghana to be removed.
“There is the need for us to take steps to ensure that the public trusts us. That does not necessarily mean that we are corrupt. Please, that upsets me very much,” she added.