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Feature Article of Saturday, 22 December 2012

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi

Court Rules Prohibit Live Media Coverage Of Proceedings

By Kofi Thompson

Law courts in Ghana neither allow radio broadcasts nor the telecasting of their proceedings.

It is typical of some of those around Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, who feel that somehow societal rules and regulations don't apply to them, that the farcical demand is being made that proceedings of the New Patriotic Party's Supreme Court challenge of the Electoral Commissioner's declaration of the results of the December 7th 2012 presidential election, ought to be covered live by radio and television stations.

The way those too-clever-by-half individuals from whom the idea originates are couching their absurd demand, illustrates perfectly how they have turned the cloaking of self-serving self-interest with high-minded principle, into a fine art.

Naturally, the last thing that those who thought that Alice-in-wonderland type of promises could win them political power want, is for a return to normalcy in Ghana - after the presidential election they are disputing.

They are keenly aware that they risk becoming irrelevant, if Ghanaians return to everyday life again, after the election of a new president.

The strategy therefore is to make the Electoral Commissioner's declaration of the election of a new president appear to be illegitimate.

To that end, they must make sure that the arena in which what the Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Afari-Gyan, insists, and is adamant, are "false" claims - that the election in which millions of eagle-eyed Ghanaians (and who was more vigilant than the party of Kennedy Adjapong & Co., I ask?) watched polling station vote-counting (in all 26,000 polling centres) to ensure that no one stole the election - is heard, becomes the cynosure of the nation's eyes.

That will doubtless enable them maintain an atmosphere of continued uncertainty and tension in Ghana, and serve their purposes perfectly: give their "false" (the Electoral Commissioner's choice of word not mine) claims an aura of respectability and genuineness in the minds of ordinary people in Ghana.

The added bonus for them, is that if anyone who is a stickler for due process and the rule of law opposes the suggestion, on principle, the impression is immediately created that or he or she is afraid of the 'truth' that they want hidden from Ghanaians, from coming out into the open.

Well, they must not be given an opportunity to play to the gallery for their political benefit - and cause an upheaval in the process.

It will not happen - no matter how principled and high-minded they couch the language used to try and justify something that court rules in the Republic of Ghana expressly prohibit.

An exception cannot be made under any circumstances - if all are truly equal before the law. Court proceedings can neither be filmed nor recorded for broadcasting or telecasting in Ghana. Period.

An exception cannot be made, simply because those who think they are masters of the universe, believe it will serve the dubious ends they seek.

Tel: 027 745 3109.

Email: peakofi.thompson@gmail.com.

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