President Akufo-Addo defends the rule of law as cornerstone of liberty

President Akufo-Addo defends the rule of law as cornerstone of liberty

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

At the commissioning of the Law House today, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo delivered a compelling speech highlighting the fundamental importance of the rule of law as the best protection of individual liberty. In his address, he articulated a clear and unwavering commitment to due process and the principles of natural justice, even in the face of criticism.

Reflecting on recent accusations from former President John Mahama, who labeled him a “clearing agent” for allegedly shielding corrupt officials, President Akufo-Addo firmly stated, “I will not set aside due process and the rules of natural justice on the altar of the fight against corruption, no matter how much opprobrium this incurs for me.” His words underscored a dedication to uphold the law above political expediency.

To illustrate his point, the President shared a poignant story from Ghana’s history, passed down to him by his father, Edward Akufo-Addo, a former Chief Justice. The tale centered on Tawia Adamafio, who, in 1961, played a crucial role in establishing a Special Criminal Court intended to expedite trials for national and political offences under President Kwame Nkrumah’s administration. This court was seen as a tool to swiftly address threats to national security and consolidate power.

Ironically, in 1963, Adamafio found himself one of the first defendants before this very court, accused of treason in connection with the Kulungungu bomb attack aimed at President Nkrumah. Despite the court’s composition of judges appointed by Nkrumah, which seemed to doom Adamafio’s fate, the judges meticulously examined the evidence and found Adamafio and his co-accused innocent.

Following his release after the 1966 coup that ended the 1st Republic, Adamafio visited Edward Akufo-Addo to express his gratitude. He acknowledged that his life had been saved by the court’s adherence to the rule of law. Edward Akufo-Addo, as recalled by President Akufo-Addo, refrained from mentioning Adamafio’s earlier insistence on the court dispensing justice, not law. This episode, the President emphasized, exemplifies how the rule of law stands as the best protection of individual liberty, regardless of the political climate.

In concluding his speech, President Akufo-Addo reinforced the idea that the rule of law is a steadfast guardian of freedom. “The rule of law is the best protection of individual liberty in good times and in bad times,” he declared, highlighting its enduring relevance and necessity.

The President’s remarks serve as a powerful reminder of the critical role that law and justice play in safeguarding the rights and freedoms of individuals, ensuring that even in times of political turmoil, fairness and justice prevail.

Credit: Nhyiraba Anelka

General Latest News Politics