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Opinions of Friday, 24 May 2013

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Akufo-Addo Should Not Buy Out-Of-Sight Goods!

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

The caption of this article is not intended to unduly draw attention to the consanguinary nexus, however tenuous, between this writer and the leader of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Neither is it intended to be gratuitously alarmist, although knowing the wily ways of the key operatives of the "mis-ruling" so-called National Democratic Congress (NDC), I would rather scores were settled in a "revolutionary" and definitive manner forthwith.

What amuses me, sarcastically speaking, is to hear Mr. John Dramani Mahama, the man whose presidential legitimacy is being hotly contested in the Supreme Court of Ghana, tell the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II, that the epic decision by his arch-political opponent and, one almost has good reason to suspect, his arch-nemesis, to petition Mr. Mahama's political legitimacy in a court of law, "will strengthen, rather than put Ghana's democracy in danger" (See "Akufo-Addo's Court Fight Will Strengthen Ghana's Democracy - Mahama" Ghanaweb.com 5/17/13).

I wish that I could attest to the visceral sincerity of the man who uttered the quoted preceding phrase, but I cannot. For, since his fraudulent declaration as the decisive winner of Election 2012, Mr. Mahama has spent a remarkable amount of time either obliquely impugning the rationale behind the Akufo-Addo/NPP petition, or simply light-heartedly taunting the latter by annoyingly suggesting that the patent electoral fraud that catapulted him into the august seat of governance, was also the finest of its kind in the one temporal score existence of Ghana's Fourth Republic.

What is quite clear is the fact that Mr. Mahama uttered the words attributed to him in the presence of Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II, primarily in order to seem to be maturely conciliatory towards the entire petition process that has been widely observed to be taking an apocalyptic toll on his leadership skills, that is charitably assuming that, in fact, the former Gonja-West Member of Ghana's Parliament has any remarkable political skills.

More to the point: the quote attributed to Mr. Mahama is a mischievously deft strategic ploy clearly orchestrated with the familiar input and imprint of his public relations lieutenants and/or consultants. I also find it very difficult to believe in the sincerity of the man who, rather belatedly, observed the Akufo-Addo petition to be laudably geared towards the development and growth of Ghanaian democracy, because both the Rawlings-minted Provisional National Defense Council and the so-called National Democratic Congress (P/NDC) have systematically and deliberately caused an epic retardation in the quality and development of the country's judicial system for three decades, and in ways that have made some of us avid students of postcolonial Ghanaian political culture have second thoughts regarding whether, indeed, in deciding to have the Akufo-Addo/NPP petition televised, Ghana's judicial system is not being sadly subjected to the kind of ridicule routinely meted the African personality through much of the nineteenth century and before.

I personally have my own misgivings about the quality of judicial conduct of the Atuguba-presided Supreme Court that is hearing the 2012 election grievance. I have my own reservations because the presiding judge has virtually been lying on his back like a woman in labor, while Mr. Tsatsu "The Thief" Tsikata, counsel for the third respondent, or the ruling National Democratic Congress, rode roughshod over Justice Atuguba's colleagues and savagely abused his political opponents and the star-witness of the NPP and his counsel.

Naturally, this has prompted many viewers and spectators to complain about Justice Atuguba's apparently abject lack of control over proceedings, at the same time that a remarkable percentage of observers have also lauded Justice Rose Constance Owusu for boldly and rightoeusly putting Mr. Tsikata in his place. Likewise, Justice Atuguba's rather unseemly decision to vehemently altercate with Justice Owusu has not sat well with many viewers.

At any rate, the scandalously ill-advised decision of a section of the Supreme Court to quash Constitutional Instrument 74 (or CI-74 or is it CI-75?), the judicial protocol governing the ongoing NPP petition, has seriously undermined the integrity of the court by allowing a cognitive basket-case like Mr. Bernard Mornah, general-secretary of the politically marginal People's National Convention (PNC), to make a mockery of the caliber of the men and women entrusted with the managerial governance of the highest court of the land.

By the way, in which civilized nation in the world can a decision handed down by the Supreme Court be appealed? And to whom? Indeed, it is for this reason why Nana Akufo-Addo and his associates ought to look extremely carefully before leaping - no plunking down of the money of your judicial trust before the goods of justice have been satisfactorily delivered!

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*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
May 17, 2013
E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net
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