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Opinions of Friday, 12 July 2013

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Atubiga Typifies NDC Mindset

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

I still don't, fundamentally,believe that the Atuguba-presided Supreme Court panel hearing the Akufo-Addo/New Patriotic Party (NPP) petition ought to make the summary rounding up of citizens and political activists who make uncomplimentary remarks about either the authority and integrity of the Supreme Court, or the manner in which the Atuguba Court, in particular, has conducted itself, so far, and the sanctioning of these so-called contemnors integral to the Court's primary terms of reference.

Nonetheless, I am in quite a remarkable sense a bit appreciative of the impact which the Court's decision to summonse Mr. Stephen Atubiga, a member of the so-called NDC Communication Team, appears to be having on these moral reprobates and rascals hell-bent on fomenting political instability and downright anomie in a bid to hanging onto undemocratically acquired power, and thus effectively halting the progress of the country's otherwise salutary, albeit fledgling, Fourth Republican democratic culture.

In the main, Mr. Atubiga, who recently completed a 3-day custodial sentence imposed on him by Justice Atuguba and his eight panel associates, is alleged to have stated on a radio program that "it would be absurd for anyone to think that after the official declaration of the results [of the 2012 election] and the swearing in of President Mahama, the [Supreme] Court can overturn the verdict of the Electoral Commission" (See "Atubiga On His Knees; Says He Was Irresponsible" 6/27/13).

Now this is a classical statement of contempt; it is also strikingly in synch with the general attitude and temperament of the major players of the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress. We have seen and heard Dr. Kwabena Adjei, the National Chairman of the NDC publicly threaten to physically liquidate sitting members of the Supreme Court of Ghana who did not agree with and ruled, or handed down verdicts, not in consonance with the ideological proclivities of the NDC. Dr. Adjei made his snide and contemptuous comments about the Wood Court in his infamous "There are many ways of killing a cat" anti-judicial tirade.

On another occasion, Mr. Atubiga was reported to have said that any Supreme Court ruling in favor of an Akufo-Addo presidency would definitely plunge Ghana into a state of war, because under no circumstances would the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress be prevailed upon to hand over power by the Supreme Court.

And then just a couple of weeks ago, an NDC hack resident here, in New York City, wrote and published a cleverly coded article impugning the credibility and integrity of the Supreme Court by referring to the latter's "Dark Chambers," and also how, somehow, the presidential candidate of the main opposition New Patriotic Party was poised to appropriating the "Dark Chambers" of the Supreme Court to get himself illegally named President of Ghana.

What we clearly see here is the fact that most members and key operatives of the National Democratic Congress have absolutely no respect for the rule of law and order, and particularly have insignificantly little to absolutely no respect, whatsover, for the Supreme Court. And they have good reason to celebrate - after all, did not Messrs. Rawlings and Tsikata summarily order the execution of three Accra High Court judges on June 30, 1982 and get away with the same?

To be certain, I have from time to time heard impenitent NDC supporters and sympathizers, including a Tsikata nephew who was once friends with my wife, confidently, gaily and self-righteously declare that "Those judges deserved to die; they were too corrupt." My logical riposte has been: "If they were so corrupt, then why didn't you put them on trial and convict them on the strength of your forensic evidence? And then even sentence them to death by firing squad?"

You see, what I am pointedly driving at here is that the Asante-led National Peace Council had absolutely no business to have prevailed on Mr.Atubiga to retract what was clearly the unabashed conviction of the founding fathers of the so-called National Democratic Congress. Rather, Mr. Atubiga ought to have been handed the longest custodial sentence for criminal contempt of the Supreme Court, to serve as a signal deterrent to his unconscionable paymasters.

I mean, how in Heaven's name could the Court have handed Mr. Atubiga the laughable custodial sentencing of three days? The man is clinically bereft of a conscience, just like Messrs. Dramani Mahama, Ghana's papal equivalent of a judicial contemnor; Tsatsu Tsikata, who imperiously thinks that he served a more painful and undeserved Nsawam prison term than Dr. J. B. Danquah; and, of course, the morbidly self-righteous Chairman Jerry John Rawlings, among a legion of others.

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
July 4, 2013