You are here: HomeNews2017 04 19Article 530097

Opinions of Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Columnist: Kofi Thompson

Ibrahim Mahama is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law

One hopes that President Akufo-Addo's government will do everything possible to maintain Ghana’s reputation as a democratic nation in which due process and the rule of law prevail.

For a number of reasons it is now hard to resist the temptation to conclude that powerful hardliners in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) are manipulating state institutions to persecute targeted individuals associated with the erstwhile Mahama administration. That is intolerable in a democracy.

And it does absolutely no good at all to the credentials of a government that says it is pro-business and seeks to make the private-sector the engine of growth by promoting an entrepreneurial culture in Ghana.

The persecution of one of Ghana's leading business leaders, Ibrahim Mahama, flies in the face of all those platitudes. What sane investor will venture into a nation that treats one of its leading indigenous usiness leaders in such cavalier fashion, I ask?

Whiles no one connected with the previous government, who has committed any crimes must be allowed to get away with it, the presumption in our democracy is that one is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Always.

If investigations are being carried out into the affairs of Engineers and Planners, why should its CEO, Ibrahim Mahama, be treated as a convicted criminal - and sections of the media deliberately used to give the false impression that he ripped-off Ghana by using his connections with those in power whiles his brother served as Ghana's president?

Ibrahim Mahama, like all Ghanaian citizens, is entitled to his good name, whiles investigations of alleged past wrongdoing on his part are carried out.

The question is: Why is the presumption of innocence whiles investigations go on into the allegations made against him not being observed?

We should not allow the obsessions of the Kennedy Agyapong with Ibrahim Mahama's business dealings to ruin Ghana's reputation as a safe and welcoming investment destination - particularly at a time when Ghana needs investment in its real economy to boost growth, create wealth and jobs galore.

President Akufo-Addo must personally ensure that the persecution of Ibrahim Mahama by those powerful and extremist NPP members busy manipulating the system in their quest to destroy him ceases forthwith.

Above all, the more responsible sections of the Ghanaian media need to point out when reporting on such issues that the presumption must always be that Ibrahim Mahama is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Every decent and fair-minded Ghanaian must express his or her abhorrence and strong disapproval whenever Kennedy Agyapong's scurrilous allegations against Ibrahim Mahama are made and given wide coverage by Ghana's mercenary, rented-media that specialise in yellow journalism.

If he is guilty of any crimes against Ghana, in time, Ibrahim Mahama will pay for those crimes. No question. And that is fair enough.

However, whiles investigations go on, the persecution of Ibrahim Mahama by Kennedy Agyapong through the manipulation of state institutions and via the rented-media crowd must be condemned by all fair-minded Ghanaians.

This is a civilised nation of laws - not a banana republic run for profit by powerful individuals manipulating its system for their own selfish ends. In our democracy Ibrahim Mahama is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law - like all Ghanaian citizens: and thus entitled to his good name and dignity in the interim. After all, he may actually be innocent - despite Kennedy Agyapong's outrageous allegations against him

By: Kofi Thompson