Cape Coast, Aug. 28, GNA – African governments have been urged to devote time and resources to strengthening state institutions to help engender the essence of freedom and justice for effective public services delivery.
“The critical importance of well-performing public institutions and good governance ensured all people have equal rights and a chance to improve their lives, and access to justice when they were wronged.”
Professor Lydia Nkansah, the immediate past Dean of the Faculty of Law at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), said empowered institutions were an economy’s primary facilitator of socio-economic development, transparency, and accountability.
The former dean made the call at the 9th ‘Jurists’ Confab’ of the University of Cape Coast Faculty of Law.
It was on the theme: “Consolidating democracy, the rule of law and respect for the ballot in an era of good governance.”
Prof Nkansah also questioned the country’s polarized democratization process and wondered why the wanton breach of election rules took place with impunity across the African continent.
The irregularities include reports of voter register anomalies, overvoting, rigging and manipulation of the electoral apparatus usually by the government in power.
“Though we have sustained some form of democracy, it has emerged that the transitional processes including the election apparatus even in places where the constitutional order of succession was complied with have been characterized by anomalies and violence before during and after elections,” Prof Nkansah added.
Buttressing the need for strengthening institutions, Mr Justice Amoako Asante, a Justice of the Appeals Court advocated for independent and assertive judicial services to bolster rule of law.
He indicated that Judges should not be subjected to pressure and influence but must be free to make impartial decisions based solely on facts and law.
“It is essential that judges were free to openly criticize decisions taken by the government which was in breach of the law and affected individual rights, decide on appropriate policies, laws, and services that benefited all,” he added.
On electoral disputes, Mr Asante blamed the phenomenon of vote buying, bribery, delay in election declaration, and a host of others as the root cause of unending disputes and violence during and after elections.
“Politicians can impoverish communities, pretend as though they care and still get them to be tools for destruction and violence during elections. But the youth must be empowered to avert such occurrences,” he added.
Source: Ghana News Agency