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Opinions of Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Columnist: Amoo-Asante, Charles Kwaku

Abodapkpi Is A Criminal Who Deserves No Pardon!!

Do you believe that NDC minus violence is NPP? Do you believe that some NDC and NPP leadership are joined at the hips when it comes to corrupt criminal activities such as white collar crime, fraudulent practices and bribery and corruption? Is there a kind of ‘espirit de corp’ when it comes to criminal activities by the so-called “honorables”?

Is there really a difference in most of the leadership in parliament when it comes to seeing the interests of Ghanaians as opposed to seeking the interests of corrupt criminal elements who are MPs? Are those MPs a bunch of self-serving modern day highway robbers who believe they are untouchable? Do the current MPs believe they are above the law? Do the MPs believe there is only one branch of government in Ghana and that the whole concept of separation of powers is a joke which can only be found in western books or discussed theoretically in class rooms? Do the MPs believe that judges and the courts are there only to protect the interests of crooked MPs and their cronies?

These are valid questions that many Ghanaians of sound mind are asking the so-called majority leader of Parliament Mr. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu and Mr. Ken Agyapong. These men seem to have lost it when it comes to the rule of law. Perhaps, one needs to sink the statements that “Ghana is a country of laws not men” and “No one is above the law, and no one is beneath the law” into the heads of these men. Thus, statements implying that the criminal Abodakpi ought to be set free or given a pardon are making a mockery of the criminal justice system, undermining the rule of law and creating a one-step-forward-ten steps-backwards. Such noises and nonsense must be rejected with contempt!

It is important to understand some basic tenets of honorable living. A man must be honest before he is generous. A man must be just before he is a philanthropist. A man who is a thief works for only one person; himself! Thus, no matter how efficient, how capable, how generous, how friendly, a thief is a thief and must be dealt with as such. Anyone therefore feebly attempting to explain away a reason for consideration should bury that thought!

It is sad and regrettable that an MP let alone the Majority Chief Whip to state that “Some have even ventured an appeal to the President to grant him a Presidential pardon should all the due processes find him guilty” This means Mr. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu believes that some criminals do not deserve to be jailed because they are above the law. Mr. Mensah Bonsu should be removed as the sitting MP and as the Majority Chief Whip by the mere statement he has made because it means he does not understand his role as a legislator and does not understand the laws of Ghana. He is a dangerous man to be in his position since he does not elevate the rule of law but interferes and obstructs the rule of law. I am inclined to think that statements made by him are a kind of trial balloon. If so it was punctured and faulty at the get go!

The use of resources of the state to prosecute criminals is not a mere exercise. It is part of the concept and practice of the rule of law. Thus, asking for a pardon after the due process in a case where the defendant has been given a fair trial is preposterous. It sends a message to the judges that they do not matter. It says crime pays. It says, everyone should go ahead and steal. It says Ghana is a banana or plantain republic; a kind of jungle where the fattest cat gets away with murder and highway robbery. A presidential pardon will send the following message:

• There are untouchables in Ghana.

• There is no rule of law in Ghana

• Some are above the law

• Crime pays

• The MPs are in a business of “You scratch my back, I scratch your back”

• MPs are lords and not servants

• The current administration is made of timorous souls who lack substance, courage, and convictions

Anyone following the criminal activities of Abodakpi will notice that there have been allegations of a pattern of rampant criminal activities leveled against him. This man was and is a thief and a criminal who took office in the Ministry of Trade and conducted a full scale criminal enterprise wearing a business political suit during the corrupt regime of Rawlings. A few examples will suffice:

• Abodakpi and Serlomey colluded in a 2.7 billion cedis ($400,000) fake contract(NCS August 21, 2001)

• NDC, Abodakpi, Rawlings in $500,000 kickback scandal (Statesman of February 15, 2007)

• $240,000 was given to Abodakpi’s daughter as school fees (Statesman of February 19, 2007)

• Abodakpi is alleged to owe taxes on 100 million cedis received from Iranian-Ghanaian businessman (Daily Guide)

Is this the man Mr. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu calls “a distinguish member of tremendous experience, knowledge and wisdom”? Some experience, some knowledge, some wisdom! Is this the man some MPs want to be pardoned? I don’t think so.! This is because his crimes are high crimes which affect many, including those living in poverty, those dying in road accidents because of corruption and those who cannot get water or electricity because criminal enterprises like these rob them of their basic resources. Abodakpi ought to serve his full sentence and if he is found guilty in any other crime, his sentences should be compounded and made to live the rest of his life in jail Abodakpi was found guilty in a proper court of law. He was given a free and fair trial. His trial was not a political trial. It was not a kind of NDC kangaroo court. He had due process. He must face the music. He did crime and he must pay!

If a pardon is given it will imply to many that except violence, there is no difference between NPP and NDC. It will imply that the some NPP and NDC leadership are joined at the hip in criminal activities. It will also imply that there is “you scratch my back, I scratch your back mentality among NPP and NDC leadership. Additionally, it will imply that the MPs of all parties are self-seeking rent seekers who are where they are to steal from the Ghanaian population. Further, it will imply that the MPs are highway robbers, who think they are untouchable and above the laws of Ghana, and have contempt for the rule of law and are not law abiding. Furthermore, it will imply the MPs believe that the courts are there to protect their interests and not the interests of all Ghanaians. Finally, it will imply that there is no rule of law in Ghana. It is for these reasons that the judgment of Justice Farkye, my hero, should stand!

ABODAKPI IS A THIEF, A HIGHWAY ROBBER AND A CRIMINAL WHO WAS ONCE A TRADE MINISTER AND AN MP OF KETA. WHO DESERVES TO SERVE HIS FULL 10 YEAR SENTENCE!!!

Charles Kwaku Amoo-Asante
Washington, DC


Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.