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If judges in Ghana will shut down the courts, here is why

Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana (AMJG) has threatened to embark on industrial action over non-payment of arrears and review of salaries of lower court judges and magistrates

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Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana (AMJG) has threatened to embark on industrial action over non-payment of arrears and review of salaries of lower court judges and magistrates.

The Association said although reviews of salaries of lower court judges had been constitutionally provided for by the 1992 Constitution, past and present governments had failed to implement the law.

Addressing the media in Accra last Friday, Justice Victor Ofoe, a Court of Appeal Judge, said a meeting would be convened on July 6 for a decision to be taken on the matter.

Even though, strike action, was not one of the considered options to have the concerns of members addressed, Justice Ofoe, who is the president of the Association said the matter was getting out of hand.

“The situation is frustrating, annoying, in fact, insulting. For how long can we continue to hold our members in check?” he asked.

For more than three years, he said the Association had prevented judges and magistrates of the lower courts from striking, but their concerns remained unresolved.

To calm down tempers, the Chief Justice, Ms. Sophia A.B.Akuffo met President Nana Akufo-Addo but nothing has changed.

“Should the CJ now be a trade unionist?And even after her meeting nothing appears to have changed. This is where our members think the “no strike no strike” should give way since all equations in executing the dictates of the constitution is being unbalanced.”

The Judge, observed that the bench was made up of more young men and women who cannot be financially deprived.

We should note that the bench is not made up of old men as it used to be sometime back, he explained, adding that “about 90 per cent are now young men and women, very boisterous and hot blooded, who cannot be easily convinced anymore with the reputation of the judiciary when they are being financially deprived.”

He appealed to the President to take immediate action in the matter and approve the salary review.

Politics

Burkina Faso expels 3 French diplomats over ‘subversive activities’

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According to a letter quoted by Reuters on Thursday, three French diplomats have been sent back to France by Burkina Faso’s military government for allegedly being involved in actions that are against the government.

The letter sent April 16 to the French embassy said that the three diplomats, two of whom were named as political advisers, were told they were not welcome in the country and had 48 hours to leave.

A request for comment was sent to the French foreign ministry, but they did not reply right away.

The West African country which is one of five countries in the subregion now run by a military has had a diplomatic rift with France, which used to colonize it. Since then, Ouagadougou has kicked out French troops, forced France to recall its minister, and shut down some French media.

In the last three years, there have been five coups in the area, with most serving relations with France. Recently, the World Bank warned that the most recent coup in Niger could make things more difficult for food markets in Nigeria and other West African countries.

According to someone who was there and knew what was going on but asked not to be named, the officials were kicked out because they met with people from civil society.

Rights groups around the world have said that Burkina Faso’s junta is violating people’s right to free speech and intimidating critics while it tries to handle a security crisis caused by rebels with ties to Iran and Al-Qaeda.

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Politics

Nigeria: Senate President wants police rid of bad officers 

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Nigeria’s Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, has asked the police to get rid of bad officers. He also promised that the National Assembly would work with and back the police to make Nigeria safer.

Akpabio said this at the first Nigeria Police Awards and Commendations Ceremony, which took place in Abuja on Monday night. The Senate President commended the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, and the rest of the Nigeria Police leadership for putting together the event. He also told them to use it to celebrate the force’s accomplishments and reaffirm their promise to work together to make Nigeria safer.

He stated,  “I commend the Police for this maiden effort in organising this awards ceremony. It is a testament to IGP Egbetokun’s commitment to giving honour to whom it is due.

“By recognising the gallant, selfless and patriotic contributions of individual officers, we not only motivate them for higher performance but also reinforce the new policing agenda of the Force.

“This agenda focuses on internal ethical regeneration, restoration of professional standards and the enhancement of the anti-corruption drive.

“However, let us not ignore the challenges faced by the police in Nigeria. The ever-evolving landscape of crime and the increasing sophistication of criminal gangs pose significant obstacles. “

“Moreso, as we honour the good officers, let us weed out the bad ones because a chain is as strong as its weakest link. We must address these issues and work together to find solutions, he emphasised.

In front of Vice President Kashim Shettima and other important people, Akpabio said, “As the leader of the National Assembly, I pledge our full cooperation and support for better cops in Nigeria.”

“We recognise the importance of a well-equipped and motivated police force in ensuring the security and well-being of our citizens.

“We will continue to work tirelessly to provide the necessary legislative framework and resources to enable the police to carry out their duties effectively.”

Statista data shows that most Nigerians did not trust the cops at all in 2020. In cities, where six out of ten people who answered the survey said they didn’t believe the police, this lack of trust was higher. Also, 19% of the people interviewed in Nigeria’s cities and 26.8% of those interviewed in the country’s rural areas said they merely trusted the police.

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