Feature Article of Sunday, 1 January 2012
Columnist: Anyan, Frederick
Growing up in a country of my birth, I was taught innumerable times, the functions of the arms of government. The Executive, Legislature and Judiciary I was taught are the Three Traditional Arms of Government. The Judiciary, which is the topic of concern here, is mandated to interpret the Constitution and the Laws of the land by exercising absolute and ultimate jurisdiction over all matters, both civil and criminal.
By formal and most importantly informal education, I was brought up not to kowtow to contemptible persons who shall hound and intimidate my opinion. I say this to send a strong signal to persons who sent mails to my inbox; thinking that will in anyway browbeat my attempts at constructive expositions on socio-political issues in Ghana. One is “Kofi Thompson” of firstname.lastname@example.org I am reliably informed Kofi Thompson has blogged extensively to castigate and destructively criticise the New Patriotic Party. However, he sent me electronic mails to condemn my voice on the maiden brief I did on “Mr Woyome finally admits in a NEW TWIST”. You do not have to be told why. Read from here: http://www.modernghana.com/news/368336/1/mr-woyome-finally-admits-in-a-new-twist.html I hold nothing against him, because he eventually sent another mail to apologise for his presumptuousness, as any honourable person will do.
On this present exposé about the Judiciary and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government, I shall advance, first, for the benefit of the public, by quoting from the Constitution of Ghana, Article 125, clause:
“(3) The judicial power of Ghana shall be vested in the Judiciary, accordingly, neither the President nor Parliament nor any organ or agency of the President or Parliament shall have or be given final judicial power”
“(5) The Judiciary shall have jurisdiction in all matters civil and criminal, including matters relating to this Constitution, and such other jurisdiction as Parliament may, by law, confer on it”
The incumbent government of Ghana in its unfounded and unguided dispensation of administrative powers has customarily contravened the aforementioned. Perhaps, this ostentatious display of disregard for the supreme laws of the land is because the founder of the NDC –Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings who according to Kwaku Baako, is a grand architect of perpetuating political fraud in the history of Ghana was the man in power at the time the constitution was sworn in on the 8th day of May, 1992, so to say, though hypothetically metaphorical.
To recount the relationship between the government currently holding office and the Judiciary, not long ago, the chairman of NDC, Dr. Kwabena Adjei, exhibited what some have described as gross contempt against the judiciary when he categorically stated in an interview on Citi FM that the NDC led government would not hesitate to “cleanse” the Judiciary. Notable among the people who called for the apprehension of Dr. Adjei is Prof. Mike Ocquaye. The “there are many ways in killing a cat,” ring leader later reportedly titled himself Nana Okumkra or Togbega Dadi Wula I and last, whimsical, right?
As if that was not enough a satisfaction to the spurious administration of the present government, this same administration has for the first time in the history of Ghana as claimed by the New Patriotic Party, if not untrue and substantiated, caused the biggest financial loss to the country. A loss which many have argued resulted from the negligence of the office of the Attorney General, and as argued by others as a conspiracy between the beneficiary and the NDC led government, read: http://edition.myjoyonline.com/pages/news/201112/78975.php
What many have adduced to the loss, and apparently undeniable, is the present government’s defiance against a ruling by a competent court of judicature to pay the beneficiary GH¢ 17, 000, 000, 00 and stay execution until a further determination of the case, but in defiance of the ruling proceeded to dole out a whooping old GH¢24, 166, 00 multiplied by the total number of people in Ghana (24 million people), thus, about old GH¢ 580, 000, 000, 000, 00. Read: http://media.myjoyonline.com/docs/201112/scan0004.pdf
In yet another customary contravention and a seemingly appetite for defiance against the Judiciary, the NDC government has again repeated what perhaps it considers “divide and rule” which I can only term “defy and rule”. The NDC government and the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) were restrained by a court ruling, and to scrape what Kweku Kwarteng of Development Data referred to as “illegal top-ups” in the petroleum market prices in Ghana. Read from here http://business.peacefmonline.com/news/201112/86400.php This machination was thought to be illegitimate hence the court action against the NPA and government. Reportedly, the High Court of Ghana passed judgement which confirmed that the ex-pump fuel price since 2009 was/is illegal and therefore should be abolished. But the government’s unending voracity wouldn’t let it be, hence the increment in petroleum prices on Thursday, 29th December, 2011. This was supposed to be a season of merry making which was prematurely shattered to a season of gloomy merry.
What I find perturbing is the repercussions of what the NDC government is teaching the majority of Ghanaians both old and young who know for a fact that the Judiciary is autonomous and has the final say and authority in all matters. The PNDC, NDC government since time immemorial has modelled a palpable repugnant relationship between the Judiciary and itself which I can only hope and pray it is aborted sooner than later.
I shall conclude by posing my humble questions, which style, some people find provocative, although it is thoughtfully incisive prima facie to wit of the intelligent mind.
• Should this “rife antics” of what I call “defy and rule” approach of the NDC continue to have a life?
• Is the NDC government alien to and unaware of the provisions of article 125 in the constitution of Ghana?
• Could it be an inherent attribute of the NDC led by a professor of law (which was borne out of the PNDC) to fuel and condone such adversarial relationship with the judiciary?
In my humble opinion, I call on all civil societies and agencies to resist the NDC’s “defy and rule” and cleanse it even before FONKAR does so!