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Don’t use social media to attack judges – Appeals Court Judge

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An Appeals Court judge, Justice Henry Kwofie, has urged Ghanaians to desist from using their social media platforms to criticise and attack judges in the country.

Justice Kwofie, who is also the president of the Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana (AMJG) made this appeal during an interaction with the Judicial Press Corps on Wednesday.

The engagement with the Judicial Press Corps was organised to respond to recent bribery allegations involving a Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Clemence Jackson Honyenuga.

Some social media users are spreading rumours that Justice Honyenuga, a judge in the trial of former COCOBOD boss, Dr Stephen Opuni and two others, were given cars by President Akufo-Addo to influence them to sentence Dr Opuni.

Reacting to the matter, Justice Kwofie described the claims as false and malicious narratives designed to denigrate the image of the Supreme Court Judge.

“The AMJG finds this allegation against Justice Clemence Honyenuga and indeed the Judiciary as a whole as an attempt to create disaffection against the said judge and by extension the Judiciary in Ghana as a whole,” he added.

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Justice Kwofie also intimated that “The accusations are to the effect that Justice Honyenuga has been given two brand new vehicles, one SUV V8 and a Saloon Car by the President of the Republic through the Chief Justice with the sole purpose of getting Justice Honyenuga to jail two persons namely Dr Opuni and Seidu Agongo, who are accused persons in a case being tried by Justice Honyenuga as an additional High Court Judge”.

But according to Justice Kwofie, the vehicles under discussion were not used as baits to induce Justice Honyenuga as the comments on social media had suggested.

The AMJG President, therefore, explained that “all “Supreme Court Judges by their conditions of appointment since 2013 are entitled to two official vehicles; one SUV and a saloon car”.

Justice Kwofie further went on to say that, “All Court of Appeal Judges, on the other hand, are entitled to One Toyota Land Cruiser Prado vehicle whilst High Court Judges are entitled to One Toyota Fortuner vehicle as Official vehicles”.

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In concluding his explanations, the Appeals Court Judge emphasised that Justice Honyenuga was part of seven Supreme Court Judges who were appointed in December 2021, and due for official vehicles.

“Among these seven judges who were allocated the vehicles was Justice Honyenuga appointed to the Supreme Court by His Excellency the President on May 22, 2020.

“It is these vehicles allocated to Justice Honyenuga as Duty Post vehicles which is the source of the accusation that he has been given one SUV and a Saloon Car for the purpose of influencing him to jail accused persons standing trial before him” he added.

Justice Kwofie, therefore, urged the general public to dismiss the claims on social media and called on all social media users to refrain from using their platforms to impugn the integrity of judges.

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