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Opinions of Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Columnist: Ayeboafo, Yaw Awuah Boadu

Anarchies, Rule of Law and State Institutions

“Any person who will attempt to misuse this opportunity to serve this country will be shot out-right.......Those who have been honest would have nothing to fear........However those whose hands are soiled will face the full rigors of the law”, J.J (June, 6 1979).

In reflection from the above quote, I found it puzzling and irrelevant the constant agitation of NDC MPs when they thronged into the streets with their placards and red bands when due judicial process results in the conviction of their errant members. I am inclined to believe that these legislators are anarchies and dictators who believe in the rule of men, where perceived wrong doers or persons who attempt to misuse opportunities to serve a nation ought to be ‘shot out-right’ as against the tenets of the rule of law, where perceived wrong doers were presumed to be innocent until due judicial process had proven beyond reasonable doubt the contrary. Indeed, when you have elected members of parliament (the 2nd arm of government) showing blatant disregard to the judiciary (the 3rd arm of government), which implements and interprets the legislations made by it in the process of adjudication in our law courts, then one is at a loss the rational and intentions of the NDC MPs, since their action is a shot in the foot of parliament.

The incessant or constant undermining of State institutions had become part and parcel of the NDC’s agenda. It is about time our NDC elected members of parliament behaved responsibly, seriously and understand the nature of the institutional framework that governs nation building. These MPs I supposed know better, however they are clouded by the institutional legacy they presided over some couple of years ago and had become victims of their history. After all, ‘institutions change gradually’, North (1990) and ‘history has persistent effect’, La Porta et al. (1999).

The NDC would blame the judicially, why not? Because, Ghana’s history is replete or stuffed with a lot of judicial interference, prejudicial comments, human rights abuses-castle detention champ, instant justice, sentence and execution without trial, and the infamous ‘kangaroo courts’ during the P(NDC) governments. The NDC is crying wolf as it is being hunted by its own past conduct in government. I encourage every Ghanaian, especially the NDC MPs to be comfortable under the current dispensation irrespective of its challenges since “those who have been honest would have nothing to fear........However those whose hands are soiled will face the full rigors of the law”, J.J (June, 6 1979), and “After all, this is the land of freedom and Justice”, JAK (February, 8. 2008), State of the Nation Address. It is refreshing that people who misuse the opportunity to serve this nation are not even jailed ‘out-right’, not to talk of being ‘shot out-right’ but rather after open, fair, comprehensive and exhaustive trial in competent courts of jurisdiction to put a defense.

Hitherto, the likes of P.V, Adjei Marfo, E.T Mensah, Agbodo, Obed, General Mosquito, Bagbin, J.J, and Nana Konadu, just to mention but a few, would have been incarcerated into jail or shot for their membership of the P(NDC) and the allegations of corruption leveled against them. The lives of convicts and ex-convicts like Dan Abodakpi, Ibrahim Adams, Kwame Peprah, and the late Victor Sorlemy, would have been lost by tying them to the stakes without even trial.

I am of the opinion that, Ghana at 50 years is making giant steps into her development irrespective of the enormous challenges. The major challenge is the development of independent, effective and efficient institutions that would run the state framework devoid of individual, group or political party manipulation and interference. It is imperative that individuals and public office holders would not allow their selfish and partisan interest to over ride their responsibility to the State, through their membership of its institutions which drive the State’s machinery. The undermining of the judiciary by the NDC MPs ought to be treated seriously before the historical lack of confidence in that institution became entrenched. We should appreciate that over the last couple of years Ghanaians are gradually building confidence in our institutions as the executive arm of government is prudently and consciously loosening its invisible hand on the operations of other institutions of state and any action to the contrary by no less a group like NDC MPs is repugnant, disgusting, irresponsible and must be condemned with no uncertain terms. For instance, the upholding of the findings by the CHRAJ in recent times by the government are monumental and we should all be jealous or desirous in promoting and encouraging the confidence and sanctity of our institutions which guide our collective moral values and principles.

Yaw A. Boadu Ayeboafo
Swedish School of Economics

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