Feature Article of Saturday, 26 May 2012
Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
The decision by the Mills-Mahama-led government of the so-called National Democratic Congress (NDC) to nullify the professionally sound ruling of the Supreme Court of Ghana, by summarily preventing the legitimate property of Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey from being transferred to the latter, leaves Parliament, and the Supreme Court itself, with no other alternative but to promptly table a motion for the impeachment and removal of President John Evans Atta-Mills, together with whoever else may be his accomplice(s) to this flagrant and abject violation of the 1992 Fourth-Republican Constitution of Ghana (See “President Mills Could Be Impeached Over ‘Jake’s Bungalow’ Ayikoi Otoo” (MyJoyOnline.com/Ghanaweb.com 5/25/12).
As I observed in a column several days ago (See “Congrats, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey!” Modernghana.com 5/23/12), the decision by the proverbial Court-Of-Last-Resort to dismiss the government’s suit seeking to de-legitimize Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey’s legitimately acquired real-estate property, ought to bring a definitive closure to the matter. I also observed then that any extra-judicial attempt on the part of the Atta-Mills government, as well as any individual parties to the suit, to unduly interfere with the verdict of the Supreme Court, will be tantamount to unnecessary and criminal harassment of the respondent.
It is significant to observe, at least in passing, that in moving to summarily nullify the decision of the Supreme Court, the Mills-led government of the so-called National Democratic Congress (NDC) has set the nation on a dangerous course of anomie and/or anarchy and a possible civil strife. And on the preceding score must promptly be recalled the fact that in delivering its verdict, the Supreme Court obliquely hinted at the fact that there preexisted an unsavory precedent regarding the sale of government property to individual citizens, and even politicians, which the court found to be clearly inappropriate but felt that it was not mandated to rule on the same. At least not in the context and manner in which the Mills administration brought its suit against Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey (See “Jake’s Bungalow Acquisition Saga – Supreme Court Dismisses Case” Modernghana.com/Daily Graphic 5/22/12).
If, indeed, such precedent as the Supreme Court adumbrated on preexists Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey’s acquisition of the State property at No. 2 Mungo Street, in the Ridge Residential Area of Accra, then such clearly selective attempt by the Mills government to brazenly and summarily prevent the National Chairman of the main opposition New Patriotic Party from enjoying the same privilege as his fellow citizens amounts to an egregious breach of the civil rights of Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey.
On a relevant, albeit decidedly discrete note, Ghanaians ought to be reminded of the fact of key players of the National Democratic Congress having an unenviable track-record of systematic judicial antagonism, which on June 30, 1982, eerily culminated in the brutal and dastardly assassination of three Ghanaian High Court judges by the Rawlings-led Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC). In the latter instance, even as this writer has extensively pointed out in previous columns and other writings, the government literally got away with murder.
But that the brutal Mafia-style assassination also had an unmistakable edge of ethnic cleansing to it, was what made the issue even more disturbing. It is also equally significant to point out that many a key operative of the P/NDC political machine, to this day, prefers to conveniently and unconscionably brush and shrug off that most barbaric episode in postcolonial Ghanaian history as simply being a “minor revolutionary collateral.”
In any case, as former Attorney-General and counsel for the target of this at once flagrant and criminal act of judicial nullification and usurpation, Mr. Ayikoi Otoo, observed in the wake of the preceding, President John Evans Atta-Mills effectively delegitimize and/or proscribed his own electoral mandate the moment he decided to so unwisely ride roughshod over the Supreme Court ruling in the Obetsebi-Lamptey Bungalow case.
In other words, constitutionally speaking, Ghana presently has no President and/or a legitimately constituted government, which immediately and effectively renders the country ripe for a temporary military intervention, in the interest of public trust and national security.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of “Sounds of Sirens: Essays in African Politics and Culture” (iUniverse.com, 2004). E-mail: [email protected]