The Member of Parliament for Madina, Francis Xavier Sosu, has urged parliament to adopt a system where budgets for human rights state institutions are approved based on performance.
“I believe that Parliament must play a lead role in demanding for some human right compliance or at least demand for evidence of compliance of human standard in Ghana. Demand for human rights standards that Ghana is a treaty to internationally as part of its monitoring mechanism or as part of its oversight functions over the Executive.
“That means that we must begin to look at the human rights abuse approach even when approving a budget in Parliament. If we are able to do that and demand human rights reports, for example, the annual human rights report from CHRAJ, can we look locally at how they are doing well or not with human rights before the CHRAJ budget is approved by Parliament,” the Madina MP told Starr News in an interview.
He continued “We are looking at how the Police are doing when it comes to the human rights record. How is the judiciary doing well with its human rights records? If we are able to make this internal demand of the system, I am sure we will be able to improve on our record in subsequent years.”
Mr. Sosu who is also the Ranking Member on Committee for Constitutional and Legal Affairs in Parliament advised the judiciary to accept the US findings on corruption and work towards correcting the wrongs.
“For some of us who have been at the forefront trying to fight for the rights of people and trying to demand accountability from the various Institutions of State, we believe that this report is rather a vindication of that position. But more importantly, it is also a clarion call on all of us who believe in the independence of State Institutions as a guarantee of our democratic process to make more demands on the various institutions,” he added.
A US State Department report has said some Ghanaian judges took bribes to render cases in favour of the bribe payer.
According to the report, some judges also deliberately lose dockets or delay cases after they have been induced.
“While the constitution and law provide for an independent judiciary, the judiciary was subject to unlawful influence and corruption.
“Judicial officials reportedly accepted bribes to expedite or postpone cases, ‘lose’ records, or issue favourable rulings for the payer of the bribe”, the report said.
It further noted: “A judicial complaints unit within the Ministry of Justice headed by a retired Supreme Court justice addressed complaints from the public, such as unfair treatment by a court or judge, unlawful arrest or detention, missing trial dockets, delayed trials, and rendering of judgments, and bribery of judges.”
The report which gives account of human rights issues in Ghana with a focus on 2021, noted even though government of Ghana generally respects the judgements from the court, judges come under “unlawful influence and corruption”.