Memorial Service Held For Murdered High Court Judges

The Judiciary and Ghana Bar Association (GBA) on Thursday June 30, held the 29th anniversary remembrance service for the three murdered High Court judges at the Accra Ridge Church. They were Mr Justice Fred Poku Sarkodie, Mr Justice Kwadwo Agyei Agyapong and Mrs Justice Cecilia Koranteng-Addow. The three were murdered on June 30, 1982. They were believed to have died in line of their duty to the nation, to their countrymen and to the rule of law. Also murdered was Major Sam Acquah, a Retired Army Officer. Delivering the sermon, Most Reverend Dr. Justice Ofei Akrofi, Bishop of Anglican Diocese of Accra, charged members of the Bar and bench to learn from the three martyrs so that they could be counted for true justice and be prepared to pay a price for what they stand for. According to the Archbishop, the three judges were martyrs, who died for what they stood for. "As we hold a remembrance service of the three judges, may the conscience of the murderers prick them and repent from their deeds," he said. Most Rev. Akrofi, who was the Guest Preacher, noted that repentance was not only feeling guilty and saying sorry but referred to amendment of life, saying after 29 years of this event, murderers of the three judges sincerely confess and make the requisite amendments. "Those who killed the judges thought they were silencing the judges with death. Their blood was rather crying out over the shameless and horrifying acts," he added. Most Rev. Akrofi, who is also Archbishop of Church of the Province of West Africa, observed that the killers of the judges did the act to show their power but rather ended losing it. "Power is like an egg. If you hold it tightly or too carelessly it breaks. A good name is always better than riches," he stressed. He urged members of the bar and bench to let memories of the three martyrs to guide them in their lives as they performed their duties. Most Rev. Akrofi commended the GBA for not allowing the nation to forget its history, which act as a guide to all. He condemned a section of the public, who were issuing threats to the Chief Justice, and urged them to desist from those acts as Ghana appalled that. Mr. Frank W.K. Beecham, President of GBA, noted that the yearly celebration of the day was to enable them to commit themselves to the rule of law in the country. He said the Association had received reports of incidents that had the potential of subverting the rule of law. According to him, intolerance and extremism seemed to be affecting inter and intra political activities, citing the Presidency, chieftaincy institutions and judicial officers as those mostly affected. "We must love our country more than we disagree with each other," he added. Mr Beecham admonished the citizenry to respect, uphold and defend the constitution as well as its institutions. The scripture readings for the occasion were done by the Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina T. Wood, while Mrs Ama Gaise of Attorney General's Department read on behalf of Mr Martin Amidu, Minister of Justice and Attorney General and Mr Paul Adu-Gyamfi, Former President of GBA. In attendance were Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Former Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Supreme Court Judges, retired Supreme Court judges, Members of Parliament and relatives of the murdered judges. Wreaths were later laid at the forecourt of the Supreme Court.