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Opinions of Thursday, 15 October 2015

Columnist: Owusu-Gyamfi, Clifford

Anas’ Video: My Reflection on The Judicial Scandal

Since the release of Anas’ video about judicial bribery and corruption, I’ve reserved to pass any comment. However, I’ve also observed with critical attention as indictment and struggle unfold around the scandal. In whichever way this case is going to end, the effort of some judicial cohorts to redeem the image of the judiciary of Ghana will proof fiasco. What has grasped many in awe is how the highest institution that seeks to maintain our freedom and justice came to be jeopardized by corruption?

Corruption in the Ghanaian bureaucracy is indefensible. In fact it has been institutionalized within its various sectors of practice. I’ll explain myself on this point. For example if the big boss happens to be away for six months, he will come back to claim his share of what was gained in his absence waiting and untouched. In some special sensitive offices such as the ministries and the auspices of the arms of government, the loots of corruption arrive as donations. So the problem of corruption rises from the bottom to the top. This accounts for the infrequency and slowness on the part of government to deal with corruption in Ghana. Everyone gets a share.

Well, it’s not enough to point fingers at others simply because they are offenders of the law. In fact, I feel pity for the judges who have been nabbed for judicial malpractices. They are just among the very unfortunate few who are entangled by the tiger’s pawn. A bunch of like criminals are walking freely with high shoulders. Still, it surprises people that such persons of intellectual skills, who address themselves “my learned brother or sister”, and with such a prestigious highly-profiled bureaucracy, could fall into the abyss of corruption. What went wrong and how does this inform each citizen of our beloved country?

Everything is about character (suban). Persons are welcomed in a society either by their moral values (integrity) or strength to work towards the growth of that society. In our various cultures in Ghana, we frown on certain character defects as threats to the building of a good society. Examples may include laziness, stealing, cheating, selfishness, wantonness (akohwie), and many others. These very ill traits have come to underline many of our highly governmental bureaucracies. As the proverb goes, “Wherever a man goes to dwell, his character goes with him”, so these appalling character traits can eat up a person until it ruins the whole life and wherever the person goes.

I do not, in any intentional malice, mean to make an attempt to delimit the totality of the integrity of these indicted judges. Some have been responsible to their family and served this nation faithfully within their expertise. It is just a bad nut (corruption) that has wrecked down everything good that they have worked for over the years. Their corrupt attitude must be condemned as a robbery of our national progress.

All of us stand before this case like a mirror. Is either we see our ugly corrupt character and make a U-turn, or we too, like them, face the same consequences of our actions one day. I’ll conclude with these quotes:

“Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel” (Proverbs 20: 17).

“A bribe is seen as a charm by the one who gives it; they think success will come at every turn” (Proverbs 17: 8)

“The wicked accept bribes in secret to pervert the course of justice.” (Proverbs 17: 23)

“The greatest want of the world is the want of men - men who will not be bought or sold; men who in their inmost souls are true and honest; men who do not fear to call sin by its right name; men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole; men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.”—Ellen G. White

Pastor Clifford Owusu-Gyamfi (MTh), Lausanne, Switzerland.