The Twelve Labour Unions, who are battling government in court over the payment of their tier two pension contributions are accusing the Presiding Judge, Justice Saeed Gyan, of bias hence calling for his removal.
They are convinced that presiding judge has demonstrated an inclination and preference for the plaintiff (state) in the matter.
In a letter to the Chief Justice, the unions contend that the judge pays more attention to the counsel for the plaintiff, thus the deputy Attorney General, Dr Dominic Ayine than the defendants.
One of the actions of the judge which according to them exposed his bias was during one of the sittings when the judge allowed the deputy AG to argue on an interlocutory injunction to restrain the defendants from embarking on their strike, which had been called off.
“When our counsel sought to reply to the same points that the deputy AG had raised orally in court, the learned judge fiercely prevented him from doing so. This led to arguments between the judge and our counsel, a situation which ultimately compelled our counsel to curtail his arguments. It was almost as if our interests did not matter, and the plaintiff, the AG, was entitled to proceed as she deemed fit. This, in our humble view, showed a personal preference on the part of Justice Saeed Gyan for the case of the plaintiff and/or her counsel. With the greatest respect, all parties who appear before the court must be assured of an equal and fair treatment by the presiding judge,” they stated.
They further, in their letter to the Chief Justice, accused the presiding judge of prejudging the case in one of its rulings.
“It is also interesting to note that even though from the pleadings filed by the respective parties, the question as to what the meaning of ‘employer’ in terms of Act 766 is, and who has the right to set up an occupational pension scheme, falls right at the heart of the dispute, the learned judge in an interlocutory ruling striking out the Bank of Ghana from the suit, seems to have prejudged that critical issue. Even though no evidence has been led on the issue and no legal arguments have been advanced on same, the judge in his ruling on the 16th day of February, 2015, stated that the government was the declared or presumed employer. Respectfully this is grave and serious,” they argued.
According to the unions, they find the statements made by the presiding judge to be detrimental to the service of justice in the matter.
“We would respectfully appreciate a transfer of the case to a court in which we can be assured of not only an expeditious determination of the case but real and true justice. We hereby apply for the suit mentioned above to be transferred to a different judge. We are prepared to bear all expenses connected therewith,” they concluded.
Twelve labour unions in 2014 embarked on a strike to demand the payment of their tier two pension contributions into their privately run accounts. They claim that government erred in lodging their tier two pension contributions at the Bank of Ghana instead of their private running schemes as stated by the new Pension Act.
But government rejected their accusations saying that there was a high risk involved with the running of a private pension by scheme by public sector workers.
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