General News of Thursday, 19 August 2010
Source: NPP-USA Public Relations Committee
On June 30th 1982 three judges of the superior courts of Ghana, one of them an expectant mother, were abducted from their homes at night by men in army uniform. They were later found murdered in cold blood. Their killers had shot them from behind, execution-style, and then set their lifeless bodies ablaze in an attempt to eliminate evidence of their murder. It was only thanks to an intervening rain which doused the fire that their bodies survived, half-burned, to be discovered several hours later by a passerby.
This dark episode in our nation’s recent history has not been forgotten. The killings of the three judges are forever etched in the memory and consciousness of all freedom-loving and patriotic Ghanaians. It is for this reason that the latest threats issued against the judiciary by the Chairman of the NDC must not be taken lightly. Indeed they are quite ominous and deserve the most forceful of condemnations from all Ghanaian patriots.
The NDC chairman, Dr. Kwabena Adjei, reacting to the spate of courtroom defeats suffered by the NDC's Attorney General in a litany of politically motivated prosecutions, has demanded that the President and the Chief Justice "clean up" the judiciary, else the party and its footsoldiers will take up that task themselves. Asked how he proposed to do that, Dr. Adjei replied that "there are many ways to kill a cat"!
This is dangerous and foolish from an irresponsible adult. Of course, dangerous and foolish talk is not new to the NDC. But that should not cause us to dismiss this latest vitriol from the NDC as just another loose talk, because, when it comes to the judiciary, the NDC has a nasty and blood-stained record and the capacity to repeat that record. We have not forgotten that it was the PNDC, the regime out of which the NDC was born, whose foot-soldiers were responsible for the abduction and execution of the judges in 1982. The NDC has never once apologized or shown remorse for those ghastly murders. In fact, when during the last decade, an opportunity was offered to the NDC, through the National Reconciliation Commission, to assure Ghanaians that it regretted its “past” and had changed its ways, the party arrogantly refused to say “We are sorry.”
This clearly is a party that has learned nothing and forgotten nothing. This time, however, we wish to make it very clear to the NDC that we stand ready to meet its fire with an inferno. The NDC must understand that the days of intimidating and murdering judges in cold blood with impunity are over!!! Patriotic Ghanaians will not be intimidated by the terroristic threats issued against the Ghanaian judiciary by the so-called Dr. Adjei. We will not sit idly by for the NDC to return Ghana to the "evil old days" when the mothers and fathers and sons and daughters of innocent citizens were persecuted and murdered with impunity.
The NDC and its leaders, including its so-called Attorney-General, apparently do not know that it is not the duty of judges to jail people at the command of the Attorney General or its prosecutors. The duty of the courts is to apply law impartially to the facts and evidence presented in court. If the NDC would like to understand why their politically motivated prosecutions are failing in court, they should find some competent lawyers to read and explain to them the judges' written judgments in these cases. To attempt crudely to intimidate judges to disregard the law and the evidence so as to turn the judiciary into a rubberstamp for the NDC , as the NDC chairman’s threats are intended to do, represents a grave threat to the established constitutional order and will not be allowed to stand.
This is not the first time since 2009 that the NDC has demonstrated its disdain for the rule of law and due process. And left to its devices this will not be the last time either. Since Ghanaian voters made the regrettable error of allowing the NDC back into power in 2009, the party has returned to its old and familiar script, unleashing its foot-soldiers and party agents on innocent citizens, forcibly seizing municipal toilets, snatching vehicles from their bona fide owners, attacking officials of the NHIS, even murdering its local political rivals. To date, not a single person has been charged or prosecuted by the so-called Attorney General for any of these palpably criminal acts. If this Attorney General is seeking some courtroom victories, may be prosecuting the lawless NDC footsoldiers would be a way to achieve those victories.
In many other common law countries, when the judiciary comes under unjustified attack it is the responsibility of the Attorney General to come to its defense and protect the judges from their attackers. Regrettably, this is a lesson our so-called Attorney General failed to learn during her undeserved tenure at the Commonwealth Office as head of its legal and constitutional affairs division. Now that she has been given the opportunity to practice at home what she was paid to preach to Commonwealth leaders, the so-called Attorney General has joined with the roguish Dr. Adjei and his ilk to threaten and undermine judicial independence in Ghana.
We wish to state again, for the record, that the days when a minority of evil-minded citizens thought they could lord it over the majority of patriotic Ghanaians by instilling fear into the general public and judges are over!! The NDC must be warned that its dirty tactics and intentions will not be allowed to become the order of the day in Ghana again. And we can only hope that Dr. Adjei’s use of the word “clean” is not a coded language for what this group of people are known for, which is unleash violence on Ghanaians.