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Opinions of Friday, 31 July 2015

Columnist: Richard Sarpong

A sinking economy and the madman assassin

Opinion Opinion

Last Sunday would have been another doom for Ghana if the president had been in his church. But whatever happens indeed happens for its good reasons. The absence of Mr John Mahama from his church turned up being the most luckiest day of his entire life and for that matter, the whole country.

Ghana would be mourning by now....thanks to the bird that whispered into the president's ears to forgo church service on that faithful Sunday. Perhaps, a lesson to the regular church goers?

To Mr Charles Antwi, the church is a good place to get your mission accomplished when you feel the heat of a sinking economy and the accompanied hardships. But to me, the best place is the Polling centre. What about you?

Anyway, that is one of the several reasons why we are not the same as human beings.
Let's all thank God for the life of the president.

Since last Sunday, I have really thought of the whole issue of Charles Antwi's perceived beef with the president. Shouldn't the president take a moment and make meaning of this?

Yes, because it will do him more good than him allowing his boys to play propaganda with this complex issue.

The heat is on...if a madman is feeling the impacts of the sinking economy, what about us, the mentally healthy citizens?

Yes, brother Antwi is mentally inaccurate and I was said it even before her mother came out to speak on the same issue.

From day one, the actions of Antwi was seemingly inappropriate of a right thinker and a human being.

Why would an assassin go to the president's church to kill him the day after the president has taken an official break and a trip out the country?

However, the man spoke some good sense in court and that is perculiar to any other mad mind. That, "I'm tired of the continuous hardships in the country". Isn't it obvious the madman magically was right at that moment?
Let's leave that to Ghanaians to decide next year in the polls.

Mr president, may I seek your indulgence to ask one question bothering me? And it goes, "do you think your policies and interventions pertaining to finding lasting solutions to some of our national problems such as the dumsor is the right things to do?"

I certainly find it very difficult to buy into your interventions. They are poor enough to solve the problems we have.

Let's take the dumsor for example, your excellency, we have been plunged into this canker for over three years now. We always hear from day one that, "government is putting in swift measures to cure it" but always we are draining more into the dumsor. It's becoming worst as each day passes.

I must admit, I appreciate your quest to find a long-term solution to the dumsor but it isn't the right thing now.

Mr president, have you asked yourself why if a patient is transferred from a smaller hospital to a big one, inside the ambulance there are emergency medical team?

They are there to tackle certain short-term happenings that may worsen the current state of the patient. They do so to catch the menace it the current state.

So, I think as a leader, some short-term measures to save Ghanaians the dumsor canker which has bedeviled the country is very reasonable. Before your proposed long-term solutions which the earliest of them will effect in 2017 comes, Mr president, so many industries and businesses would be colapsed and we may still jump into another mess after the dumsor is over. Isn't it obvious?

Then, Ghana will have to find money again to rebuild industries and businesses all of which will come at comparatively higher expenses.

So, my president, short term solutions will even help us to undertake a thorough thinking and approach to solving the dumsor forever as you have been preaching all since.

The country is sinking deep and deep into agonies everyday amidst your so-called smart borrowing, high inflation and the sharp depreciation of the cedi, are all to some extent the handworks of power menace we have. You need 'thinkertives' and not 'talkertives'. Your appointees and aids are just worse. Again, they are doing you more harm than good. Your 'talkertive' ministers needs to be sat down for a better beginning. All is not lost yet.

My people, is Ghana not funny? The people we have entrusted powers because we think they know are sometimes interesting. So when did a circuit court become a 'fast-track court' in Ghana?

The judge of the court, I'm tempted to believe have personal issues with brother Antwi, if not, i can't agree with him. This judgment is only possible in a kumawood movie.

Justice Francis Obiri, your judgment has come under criticism because it is logically not fair to Mr Antwi.

He deserves better than your court treated him. Sir, I don't intend to challenge the authority vested in you by the constitution of this land but I'm, 'as a citizen entitled to my opinions after a court passes its verdict.

To my best of knowledge, it would have been fair and accurate if all avenues of investigations were exploited. Yes, with that, we could have witnessed a fair trial.
So I ask again, would we have witnessed such speedy verdict if Charles Antwi had intended killing my poor father in th village?

Certainly no! The police even wouldn't have searched for him at all.
Reports from the man's mother on the day of his sentencing, says her son was mentally ill. People in the community where he lived and worked for some time as a taxi driver, all confirmed that he was known to have been treated for mental illness, and they all told stories of his strange behaviour.
Later, we heard from Antwi's brother who confirmed Charles had been treated for mental illness.

Amazingly, he also said the BNI had investigated this and had gone to the Hospital where he was treated for evidence of his illness but none of these were mentioned in court because he wasn't represented by an attorney.

But what was Justice Obiri's cake in this whole issue?
I'm asking to find answers to my curiosity. On the charge sheet signed by the investigating officer, Inspector Abaalug-BaBaba, was in the ending sentence quoted as "It is therefore, our prayer that accused be remanded into BNI custody to assist further investigation".

This is exactly what the prosecution asked for when they turned up in court for the preliminary hearing. In spite of this, the accused, who was not represented by a lawyer, the judge ended up passing a sentence of ten years for illegal possession of a firearm.

Before I end, perhaps asking these questions will give me answers that will forever satisfy my endless curiosity.

1. Why did Justice Obiri not grant the investigators' request for more time to look into the matter?

2. Why did the judge not insist a psychiatric evaluation of the obviously inaccurate Antwi?

3. Why did he allow the mentally imbalanced accused to defend himself without a lawyer?

4. And why did he hand down a ten-year jail term for a crime which according to sentencing guidelines, should attract at worst, five years and a fine?
They are my personal questions and I need answers.

The human rights activists in our country has also been tamed for long. They must wake up because there is an obviously a clean job to be done on this matter.
Where is Nana Oye Lithur's womens',gender,children and social protection ministry?

Is she afraid to seek social justice for Charles? Or insane persons do not need social justice? In every state where the well being of the citizens are ideal to the state, Charles would have gotten a fair trial before the law.
Ghanaians deserves better than this.

Thank you.

The writer:
Richard Sarpong, an agriculturist and citizen of Ghana.