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Opinions of Saturday, 24 February 2007

Columnist: Kwamena, Ato

A Cult Called NDC: The Case of Dan Abodakpi

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Friend, you and I know that there are 3 arms of government in any democratic country: the Executive, Judiciary, and the Legislature. All three branches are co-equals and independent. The Executive therefore cannot dictate to the Legislature and tell Parliament what they should or should not to do.

Otherwise, the Legislature becomes a rubber-stamp parliament; the sort we had in 1992 and 1996. The Executive cannot dictate to the Judiciary in any true democracy, otherwise the freedom and rights of the citizens would be in serious jeopardy as we experienced in all the dictatorships we have had. Of all the three arms of government it is only the Judiciary that is not political. Members of the Judiciary do not get to the position they are in because of their membership or lack thereof, in a political party. The Judiciary is supposed to be impartial. It is supposed to live above the mud-throwing and cacophony of politics with its attendant politricking. As soon as the Judiciary becomes active in party politics or is stained in politics it becomes partial, it begins to interpret laws in an unjust way. This is dangerous. This if allowed would spell doom for any democracy, including ours. Members of the Judiciary are supposed to be impartial intellectuals with a high sense of integrity who strictly interpret the laws and apply them the way they are supposed to be applied. It is therefore disheartening to see how the NDC MPs are jumping over each other to denigrate a co-equal branch of government – the Judiciary – because its decision did not please Kumbour, or Doe Adjaho. Ridiculous indeed!

So far, our Judiciary has proved to be independent. One could argue that under an Executive that has always strived to deepen and expand our democracy, and has not sought to manipulate the Judiciary but has rather submitted itself to the rule of law, it has made it easier for the Judiciary to assert its independence. So when the Attorney-General, the officer of our land who alone has the constitutional rights to defend our country in a court of law or to prosecute criminals, thought that there was enough evidence – prima facie - to prosecute and obtain a conviction of the accused persons (Ms Sherry Ayittey and Emmanuel Agbodo, et al) in the Ghana Rubber Estate Ltd (GREL) divestiture case, he followed all the laid down judiciary processes to obtain a hearing in a court of law. After going through all the evidence presented by both the defendant and the prosecutor, our independent Judge disagreed with the Attorney-General and dismissed the case against the accused persons. The Attorney-General and the government respected the jurisprudence of the judge and did not seek to employ any extra-judiciary methods to incarcerate the accused. Today Ms. Sherry Ayittey and Emmanuel Agbodo are free citizens. They are beneficiaries of the independence of our Judiciary. There have been many other instances where our courts have proved their total independence.

Friends, democracy is beautiful if all parties agree to play by the rule. But when one party or group of people tries to play the game of democracy according to its own rules then it becomes very ugly. This is at the heart of problems that have caused the democratic practice in certain countries to turn sour. In Ghana we have a group of people who believe in the rule of law so long as it doesn’t apply to them. So long as anyone found guilty of infringing our laws by the Judiciary is not a member of their group, they are ‘cool’ with it. It is ‘cool’ if the convict is not a member of the NDC. But let that guilty person be one of their own, and they are prepared to hold this country to ransom because our Judiciary has dared convict one of their own. In their minds, they are above the laws of our land.

The case of Dan Abodapki (NDC MP for Keta) is an interesting one. Here is a man who together with the late Victor Serlomey transferred $400,000 dollars of our money to one of their friends in Texas, USA called Dr. Fred Owusu-Boadu. Apparently, they had signed a contract with Dr. Boadu on behalf of Ghana without any permission – without going through the necessary procedures of seeking approval from cabinet. It was this same Dr. Boadu who Victor Serlomey had transferred over $1million dollars to in another phony contract deal which was also not authorized. It will interest readers, that Victor Serlomey’s children lived in the custody of Dr. Boadu and were schooling in the US. Talk about nepotism and the contempt with which they managed OUR money! They dipped their filthy hands into OUR money with impunity and used it as they pleased. Because during those days, nobody knew what went on. Everything was secretive. The terms “Good governance and TRANSPARENCY” were not yet in our lingua franca. So they did as they pleased until kokromoti power (the power of the thumb) kicked them out of office when they least expected it and the books were examined. No one would have known this deal had they remained in power. It would have been swept under the carpet like previous deals. So after 4 years of court arguments between the prosecution and the defense, the court has come out with a Judgment. Unfortunately, one of the accused passed away from complications of an ailment suffered as a result of his own lifestyle – gross obesity and chain-smoking habit. Serlomey did not live to taste the fruits of justice. How sad! So Abodakpi is on his own; sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment.

Now listen carefully, friend. The NDC has not had a problem with how this Judge conducted the case in court for the past 4 years. They have not had a single problem with his impartiality in providing opportunities to both the defendant and the prosecution to present their evidence and make their case. They have been ok with him. But they cannot understand why he found Abodakpi guilty. How could he do that! One of the reasons they give for their shock and dismay at the Judge’s behavior is that that $400,000 which Abodakpi had transferred to Dr. Boadu’s account at ECOBANK was quickly frozen by the Kufuor Administration. And in that frozen account still sat the money or at least some of it. Therefore, the government should have forgotten about the case when it got its money. In other words, it was like they told our government “forgettaabout it! You got your money back, leave him alone! What’s your problem, now?” Now friend, imagine if we were to apply this NDC logic to our armed robbers. As soon as we retrieve everything that Attaa Ayi stole from his victims we set him free and tell him “you ok, go in peace”. Applying this NDC logic would only make kleptomaniacs and potential kleptomaniacs who dip or would dip their hands in OUR money respond: “make my day!” What thief in the world would not be happy if all they had to pay back from their thievery is to lose that which they had stolen and still have their freedom?

Then they also cite the 10 years sentence as too harsh. They impute that the government has manipulated the Judge. This accusation no intelligent Ghanaian believes, so we need not waste our time on it. But is the 10 years sentence too harsh? Now read this! “A circuit court in Kumasi has sentenced Joseph Bukari, a 30-year-old shop assistant to 10 years imprisonment in hard labour for stealing 30 million cedis belonging to his employer Kofi Nyantakyi. – Feb. 8, 2007 Joy Online . Oooh now you see? You see the sort of politics they play in this country. That sort of politics that divide the country into “we” and “them”. Joseph Bukari is not important; he does not belong to the NDC cult, so it’s ok for him to serve 10 years imprisonment for stealing a fraction of the money Dan Abodakpi stole. Wow! What justice! This is the sort of justice that their god, Rawlings, has always been claiming to fight for! When Bukari was sentenced, NDC parliament did not walk out in protest. Rawlings did not order his men to walk out of Parliament. Why? Because Bukari is a “non-entity”! But how dare that Judge touch one of his (Rawlings’) cult members! How dare him! In other words, to the NDC cult, there are supposed to be two laws in Ghana. One that applies to ordinary thieves/folks like Joseph Bukari and another that applies to extra-ordinary thieves/folks like Dan Abodakpi. If Bukari’s thievery of 30 million cedis from a private citizen could cause him to be incarcerated for 10 years, then by sheer logic and fairness, Dan Abodakpi’s thievery of $400,000 which amounts to about 3.6 billion cedis should have cost him at least 1200 years imprisonment! So he and his cult people should be glad that that judge was lenient and only pronounced 10 years for him. And they should cut it out and give us some peace of mind.

The funny thing is that Dan Abodakpi has not yet exhausted the Judiciary process. He still has the chance to resort to the Appeal Process, by appealing his case at a higher court. Yet that is irrelevant to the NDC cult. As soon as the sentence was pronounced the NDC’s Functional Executive Committee ORDERED their MPs “not to participate in the work of Parliament commencing today (Tuesday) in solidarity with our imprisoned colleague, Dan Abodakpi for obvious miscarriage of justice," Dr Kwabena Adjei, Chairman of the NDC said.” – Feb 6th 2007 GNA . It’s obvious that Kwabena Adjei was acting on behalf of their god, for only a fool would think that that anorexic Kwabena Adjei could order anyone around without the blessing of their Godfather or that Kwabena Adjei could by his own accord decide to not order the NDC MPs if the Godfather had decided so. That order came from Rawlings. Now this is a party that has a checkered history. A party whose history is rich in torture and gross human rights abuses, but who recently has been working overtime to assume a garb humility; a party that now appears to be trying to put on a lamb’s wool to cover their ‘wolfy’ nature. They are in fact lions in sheep’s skin. But this display by them shows that even after 6 years in opposition they have not learnt ‘jack’! They are still who they were…bullies! Remember ROPAB? “Ghana will burn” if they don’t have their way…remember that? But in every democracy, especially such as ours, MPs are answerable to no one but their Constituencies. Not even the President has the power to order MPs from his party around. And I tell you what, if Mr. Kufuor ever tried to order his NPP MPs around, that would spell doom for him politically as they would revolt. Because the NPP is a party that was born out of a tradition of democratic principles. They abhor one-man control. Their MPs are answerable to only their Constituencies. But that’s not the case with the NDC. Their MPs do not represent their constituencies but the party. So the wishes of the party come first, then their constituencies’.

Now if you look at the speed with which these NDC MPs responded to Jerry’s order for them to meet him immediately and his decision for them to boycott parliament, why should you be surprised that Fiifi Mills is nothing but a poodle and subject to Rawlings’ whims and caprices. Mind you, all of these NDC MPs are grown ups. They are not kids. They are matured people with their own wives/husbands and children. They are responsible people. But as soon as their god, Jerry, speaks, the Kumbour’s, Ayariga’s, Doe Adjaho’s are rendered impotent. They are all “Yessa, massa!” when with their god. But when they leave his presence and come to Parliament or to the radio stations, then you hear all their noises and braggadocio talk. Outside Rawlings’ presence they talk like men. You should see them in Rawlings’ presence. For sure, you would not recognize them by their voices, as they assume a totally different pitch and tone before their god. Let them talk their braggadocio talk or express their personal opinions before Jerry, and they’d smell pepper! The rapidity with which they succumbed to Jerry’s wishes, especially when you consider the fact that some of them, like Dr Kumbour, and Ayariga are very knowledgeable when it comes to Law, should tell every patriotic citizen that, a Mills Presidency would be nothing but Rawlings with Atta-Mills’ voice and face. That poodle, especially now that he’s sick, would respond to every wishes of Jerry Rawlings. Jerry would rule this country by proxy; by remote-control should Mills ever be allowed close to the Castle or the Flagstaff house which is now under construction. Just imagine what would happen to Mills should he resist when Rawlings tells him he wants him to restart the CDRs, the ACDRs, other torture organizations, and the 31st December Women’s Movement etc. Fiifi Mills would be toast should he give any hints of resistance! Even Rawlings’ wife, Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings would have her way to industrialize Ghana with gari-factories.

So for those who were beginning to be convinced that the NDC has indeed changed, ‘in your face!’ They have not. No, not one bit! The leopard cannot change its spots. It can pretend to, but it surely can’t. They can run from who they truly are, but they can’t hide. They are nothing but a cult. A cult that worships a human being; the man Jerry Rawlings. Like their Godfather, they are not democrats even though they call themselves Democratic Party. Trust me; they have no idea what they are talking about. They use that word “Democratic” loosely; the same way that the North Koreans use it in their official name – the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. All that we just witnessed, thanks to the Abodakpi case is a synopsis of how an NDC government would be. Atta-Mills still remains a poodle!

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