The immediate past Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, has stated that any move by judges to commercialise justice and sell it to the highest bidder would amount to a miscarriage of justice and defeat of their position as representatives of God on earth.
Delivering a sermon at a special church service for the opening of the 58th Legal Year in Accra last Saturday, Most Rev. Prof. Asante said the recent Anas exposé, which showed some judges allegedly taking bribes to pervert justice, had dented the image of the Judiciary.
That exposé, he said, went counter to God’s instruction to judges in Israel and the world, in general, to be impartial in the delivery of justice.
“You cannot commercialise justice; justice cannot be for sale and justice cannot be for the highest bidder,” he stressed.
The church service, held at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Accra, had the theme: “Deepening Public Trust and Confidence in Justice Delivery”.
The Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood, some justices of the Supreme Court, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, and some traditional leaders were among the congregation.
Most Rev. Prof. Asante, who is also the Chairman of the National Peace Council (NPC), said the time had come for judges to be introspective and commit themselves to salvaging their reputation.
He reminded them that as they judged others, they would also be judged by God.
“They have to do sober reflection to examine their own life as whether they represent God,” he admonished.
Most Rev. Prof. Asante said corruption had permeated all sections of society, and, therefore, urged all to “bow our heads and do serious reflection and see whether we have represented our Lord.”
Tiger Eye PI of Anas captured some judges allegedly taking bribes to change the course of justice, but some of the lawyers have raised legal issues with the issue.
Most Rev. Prof. Asante urged judges captured in the Anas tape to stop clinging to technicalities.
“We can run away from corruption through the technicalities”, he said, adding that they could not escape the eyes of God and the people.
Rather, he urged the judges to repent and pray to God for forgiveness if they had twisted justice and also pray to God to empower them to administer impartial justice to the people.
Judges should also promise to deliver God’s justice but not their own, and also pray for the power to be honest and just in all their dealings, he further advised.
Most Rev. Prof. Asante said all hope was not lost in the Judiciary since the majority of judges had stood their ground in the defence of justice.
He prayed to God to reform, cleanse and salvage the image of the Judicial Service to glorify His name.
Most Rev. Prof. Asante said all believers were supposed to demonstrate compassion, kindness, humility and patience and do things to the glory of God.
Regrettably, he noted, some Christians only professed Christianity but they did not exhibit Christian traits.