Liberian Former Justice Minister Benedict Sannoh, has charged supreme courts across the West African States to hold on, to the mandate of transparency, objectivity, and fairness in adjudicating electoral cases to prevent post-election crises in the region.

In his paper presentation on “Role of Judiciary in the Prevention and Management of Electoral Crisis” at the Delocalized meeting of the ECOWAS Parliament’s Joint Committees on Political Affairs, Peace, Security, and the African Peer Review Mechanism, Judicial Affairs and Human Rights, Social Affairs, Gender and Women Empowerment in Monrovia, Liberia.

Benedict noted that judges must stand out as an independent body by not allowing themselves to be used by politicians against the will of the people on election matters to promote peace and shun crises.

“The judiciary through the supreme court should ensure that the constitution mandate is upheld.

“The role of the supreme court in the adjudication of these cases should be to ensure that the opinions enhance, promote and entrench the respect, and protection of the will of the people.

“As expressed by their votes in the elections conducted consistent with the constitution, and we see a consistent trend in this direction.

“The Supreme Courts should be keen on the question of adherence to fundamental rights articulated in the constitution, especially on the question of no one being deprived of liberty, poverty, privilege or any other right.

“Except as an outcome of a hearing consistent with the provisions of the constitutions and by the due process of law.

“Political parties should play a more pro-active role in the use of the judiciary; monitor every statutory and administrative action taken by the elections commission, the legislature, or the institutions within the executive branch.

“Political parties should also collaborate in raising issues that require judicial determination, referendum, cleaning of the voters roll. Said, Benedict

In her contribution, Hon. Ladi Ayamba, a Ghanian Member of the Parliament laments the influence the executive had on the judiciary.

Stressing that this has often denied justice to the common man.

“When Judges are appointed by the executive, they can get them to say anything in their favor.

“I think this is something that we must look at changing in our various country’s constitutions.

“For me, I would recommend that judges should be voted for by the people,” Ayamba said.

Sannoh opined that the will and expectations of the people are already reflected in the constitution and calls for its implementation to address citizens’ concerns.

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