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Opinions of Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

A Ghanaian High Court Judge Does William Atuguba

A Kumasi-based Human Rights High Court Judge has done Atuguba. He has repeated exactly what Supreme Court Justice William Atuguba did in his delivery of verdict on Election 2012 petition. As William Atuguba was clearly seen worldwide to have wronged the petitioners (Nana Akufo Addo & Co) in the case, delivering the most stupid and infamous verdict unworthy of any credible judge, let alone, a Supreme Court Justice, so has the High Court judge done.

William Atuguba has set the most dangerous precedent that will have far worse repercussions on the already corrupted Ghanaian legal system. In the face of most credible video recorded evidence on an occurrence of bribery that is frowned upon by the 1992 Constitution on which can is governed, with all the laws, both statutory and traditional cited, the judge behaved as though there were no laws in Ghana or he is so authoritative enough to do as he wants.

He simply walked into the court, with “Court rise” declared, sat down and within exactly five minutes, he had delivered the verdict and exited the courtroom. He simply said, “I will not play the recorded tape. I have dismissed the case. The queen can go and enthrone her candidate as Kumawuhene. Come back on Wednesday for the written verdict”. After this brief statement, he was off the courtroom.

Did this High Court judge not do same as Atuguba did? What a shame and how irresponsible and unprofessional Ghanaian judges have become? For how long are they going to get away with such obnoxious attitudes without Ghanaians rising up against them?

Our judges are a total disgrace and by their despicable attitudes, they do tarnish the reputation of the Blackman and the legal profession. Why at all do they give verdicts that make them appear silly in the eyes of their White compatriots who judge cases based on evidence provided and the applicable laws? What is so different with Ghanaians who are even said by their fellow Judge (Justice Charles Agbavor, Volta Regional Supervising High Court Judge) to accept bribes to twist justice?

Was the judge induced with money or a promise of some kind? Can he stand before his Maker God, and the gods or whatever he believes in to say that he delivered a fair judgment without accepting any bribe or being unduly influenced by the “powers that be?” May he live to battle with his guilty conscience for the rest of his days if he allowed himself to be influenced or pressured?

The difference between the Whiteman and the Blackman is this, the white judge will let the secret out of the bag and if possible resign whereas the Blackman will keep quiet, even accepts bribe and does as his superiors dictate to him. What then is the essence of being in the law profession if you are a judge and cannot tell the truth based on the law and the evidence?

For how long are Ghanaians, the “Fa Ma Nyame ne enye hwee” (leave it unto God and never mind) people going to put up with the ongoing miscarriages of justice in Ghana? It makes one even feel ashamed to be a Ghanaian.

I will discuss the role that Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has played in this corruption and what he stands to gain in a soon to be published article titled, “Asantehene Again”.

Please find below excerpts from ACTS OF GHANA: Criminal Code, 1960 (Act 29) – THE CRIMINAL CODE (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2003 (ACT 646)

Section 239—Corruption, etc. of and by Public officer, or Juror. (1) Every public officer or juror who commits corruption, or wilful oppression, or extortion, in respect duties of his office, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour. (2) (2) Whoever corrupts any person in respect of any duties as a public officer or juror shall be guilty misdemeanour. Section 240—Explanation as to Corruption by Public Officer, etc. A public officer, juror, or voter is guilty of corruption in respect of the duties of his office or vote, if he directly or indirectly agrees or offers to permit his conduct as such officer, juror, or voter to be influenced by the promise, or prospect of any valuable consideration to be received by him, or by any other person, from person whomsoever.

Section 241—Explanation as to Corruption of Public Officer, etc. A person is guilty of corrupting a public officer, juror, or voter in respect of the duties of his office respect of his vote, if he endeavours directly or indirectly to influence the conduct of such public officer, or voter in respect of the duties of his office or in respect of his vote, by the gift, promise, or prospect valuable consideration to be received by such public officer, juror, or voter, or by other person, from person whomsoever.

Section 242—Special Explanation as to Corruption of and by Public Officer, etc. It is immaterial, for the purposes of section 240 or 241, that the person respecting whose conduct endeavour, agreement, or offer therein mentioned is made is not yet at the time of the making of endeavour, agreement, or offer, such a public officer, juror, or voter, if the endeavour, agreement, or offer made in the expectation that he will or may become or act as such officer, juror, or voter.

Section 243—Corrupt Agreement for Lawful Consideration, etc. It is immaterial, for the purposes of section 240, 241 or 242, whether the act to be done by a person consideration or in pursuance of any such gift, promise, prospect, agreement or offer as therein mentioned be in any manner criminal or wrongful otherwise than by reason of the provisions of the said sections.

Section 244—Acceptance of Bribe by Public Officer, etc., After Doing Act. If, after a person has done any act as a public officer, juror, or voter, he secretly accepts, or agrees or secretly to accept for himself or for any other person, any valuable consideration on account of such act, shall be presumed, until the contrary is shown, to have been guilty corruption, within the meaning Chapter, in respect of that act before the doing thereof.

Section 245—Promise of bribe to Public Officer, etc. After act Done. If, after a public officer, juror, or voter has done any act as such officer, juror, or voter, any other person secretly agrees or offers to give to or procure for him or any other person any valuable consideration account of such act, the person so agreeing or offering shall be presumed, until the contrary is shown, have been guilty of having, before the doing of such act, corrupted such public officer, juror, or voter, respect of such act.

Section 246—Explanation as to Oppression. A public officer or juror is guilty of wilful oppression in respect of the duties of his office if he wilfully commits any excess or abuse of his authority, to the injury of the public or of any person.

Section 247—Explanation as to Extortion. A public officer is guilty of extortion, who, under colour of his office, demands or obtains from any person, whether for purposes or for himself or any other person any money or valuable consideration which knows that he is not lawfully authorised to demand or obtain, or at a time at which he knows that he lawfully authorised to demand obtain the same.

With all the above, the judge still felt no need to apply the laws but simply threw out the case for all stupid, but yet to be known, reasons. The evidence will be known in future as the queen secretly passed on copies of the tape to people. Here intention was to have them shown in public, then run to court to complain in which case the judge would throw out the case based on contempt of court by the complainants. She would have had the judge believe the complainants put them out in the public domain while the case is still pending in court. She is clever, isn’t she?

I dedicate this publication to all Kumawuman citizens furious at the corruption in perpetration by Asantehene, Asanteman Council of chiefs and the judges. Stay tuned for more info from Rockson, the Lone Ranger who does not suffer fools kindly.

Rockson Adofo