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Opinions of Monday, 17 August 2015

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Asantehene Brags About Being Above the Law

While scrolling through YouTube for latest postings, I came across one that instantly aroused my curiosity and anger. It was published on 12 August 2015 and titled, "Otumfuo...Is any One Man Bigger than Ghana Judicial System?" From the accompanying publisher's information, one can conclude that his ranting and raving about being bigger than the laws of the land was directed at some Kumawu sub-chiefs. As short as the posting is (only 15 to 16 seconds of video recording), it carries an awful lot of, or a weighty, information, to anyone with a thinking mind.

Of all that I know, and in principle, "the law is no respecter of persons". Am I right? If indeed it is, how do we understand, or do take, Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II's bold assertions as made in the video? He said with authority, and in a raised voice, "No court in Ghana can reverse my decisions, or else, I wouldn't be Asantehene"

I can personally draw two conclusions if my views were sought.
1. If he makes decisions that affect the public in any way, and such decisions are within his remit, and are fair and just, as shall be permitted or defined by convention, statutes or the constitution, then yes, no court in Ghana can reverse any such judicious decisions or declarations of verdict made by our Majesty the King of the Ashantis.

2. If he takes decisions that impact the public, and where such decisions are determined to be extrajudicial or especially prejudicial, any higher court in Ghana or Judicial Committee formed, has the absolute power to review or revoke any such absurd decisions that may have been taken by Asantehene.

Ghana in the 21st Century is not living in absolute monarchy as prevailed in the Ashanti States in then Gold Coast before the capture and deportation of Asantehene Otumfuo Agyemang Prempeh I, in 1896. Ghana is now a democracy where laws and regulations exist and the fundamental human rights upheld. There can possibly be obvious abuses in the dispensation of justice in Ghana, however, it should not be to that extend or magnitude as bragged about by the alleged Overlord of Asanteman.

Let me define the terms "Absolute Monarchy" and "Democracy" so any layman may better understand how wrong I find Asantehene's boastful vanity.

"Absolute Monarchy" is a monarchy that is not limited or restrained by laws or a constitution.

"Democracy" is a government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

How can Asantehene make such irresponsible utterances as captured on video, when indeed Ghana is a democratic State, even though we have judges that are not fair with their rulings hence many a Ghanaian believing that in Ghana, justice is sold to the highest bidder.

Knowledge, but not money, is power. The more knowledgeable you are, the better placed you are to silence a boasting person by calling his/her bluff.

Asantehene is only above the law in his own parochial mindedness. If he dares play with fire, fire will consume him alive! I am not being rude to "Asante Nana", but that is a fact. Anyone who plays with fire gets burnt by fire.

I hope now that he is in London, his friends and doting sub-chiefs will take the opportunity to advise him to live within the confinements of the regulations and Ashanti conventions. He cannot play God or be a dictator in a democratic country.

If the Ghana Supreme Court could not reverse his alleged interventions that guaranteed his later to be "Yen ntie Obiaa" buddy ascension to the presidency, it does not mean he can have his way in all cases all the time.

Finally, be it known to Asantehene that respect is earned but not commanded. It is not worthy of him to take preposterous decisions same believing that he can get away with them because he is the Almighty Asantehene. He should realise that there is an end to everything and again, it takes the tiny crab to kill the giant elephant. Is the possible? Yes it is. How? I shall either tell you later, or will advise you to contact your elders for the answer.

How would you normally react to the behaviour of Asantehene as seen in the video? Is it not repulsive? Just log on to YouTube and key in "Is there any one man bigger" and the video pops up.

Rockson Adofo