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Opinions of Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Columnist: Arcmann-Ackummey, Chris

Betty Mould Iddrisu Is No Trojan Horse

I have read with trepidation the above –captioned article on the Google dated 25th February 2010 and felt the immediate need to react. Obviously, the agenda of the writer, though she appears to be a lover of the NDC is somehow misty. However, it can easily be discerned that her aim is to paint the Attorney General in the worse possible light as being responsible for certain commissions and omissions on the judicial terrain and further cause her disaffection, and finally through that, have her removed from her present position.

As an NDC activist, I believe we have reached a point in our political dispensation when we must post such articles cautiously. For all we know, the writer could be an NPP activist out to create confusion within the NDC. Even granted that the writer is an NDC sympathizer, it is obvious from her assumptions, criticisms, inferences and conclusions that she does not seem to have a grasp on facts and variables on which her write up has been based.

The ultimate objective of the writer ought not be one that is to create confusion within the NDC as a means to achieving her own interest or agenda. There are others like her who through write- ups, want to sustain the belief that the NDC is a failed party which cannot prosecute successfully on its campaign promises. This is an ignominious position for one to take.

One would have expected any well informed writer, on the issue of prosecution to be aware of the dynamics in play subsequent to the coming into power of the NDC government. For the writer to have shown lack of these dynamics is unpardonable more so, if she claims she is an NDC member.

I wish to draw the attention of the writer to the fact that for the eight year rule of the NPP, they pursued a strategic agenda in making sure that the NDC never came to power. This agenda consisted of employing as many of their own people as they can everywhere especially in the office of the Attorney General’s Department.

In like manner, they promoted judges, sympathetic to their cause to various echelons of the judicial ladder. Although the NDC finds itself in power today, it has to work willy-nilly with such people. In such situation, one need not be advised to tread cautiously so as to avoid being embarrassed or branded as treating unfairly people in government employ. It would definitely take some time to smoke the NPP elements out or at best to convert them before the commencement of any prosecution. This is the true position

I want to apprise the writer that, cases in court are won on incontrovertible facts and evidence. One does not rush to court without proper investigations and planning of one’s case. To hasten slowly and win one’s case is better than a sloppy presentation of one’s case in court before judges most of whom are unsympathetic to the NDC. It would only lead to a further embarrassment of the NDC Government and the NDC itself as a party. FESTINA LENTE, they say.

It is also important to point out that the Attorney General as government advisor on legal matters present her views based on the facts before her. Her advice to Government may or may not be accepted by Government. The seat of Government has a number of other legal luminaries also providing advice on legal matters. One is also minded to note that the Government takes decision in consideration of the political implications of such decisions. So that it would be naïve and wrong for anyone to conclude that for any legal matter the Government would necessarily follow the advice of the Attorney General at all times.

I also want to point out that the Attorney General, as personally known to some of us, is not a Machiavellian who would want to get the Vice-Presidential slot at all cost. It is unfair therefore to say that instead of concentrating on her work she is all out scheming to remove other aspirants to the position of Vice-President. She knows very well that qualifications and competence per se do not guarantee any one any position. It takes the divine intervention or blessings for such to happen. She is therefore not the type who would spend her precious energy maneuvering to get others out of her way. That would be the last thing that she would do. She is not the type to harbour any evil intention against Dr. Yankey. What happened to Dr. Yankey, are accidents that lie in the path of politicians. Unfortunate as it is, we must only pray that such happenings do not befall us.

Now, I think that it is high time we recognize the commitment of some people to the cause of the NDC and laud them instead of trying to disparage them. The Attorney General is one such person. She left her lucrative and high profile job with the Commonwealth Secretariat to come and serve her party. Very few patriots of the party would have done that. The writer knows other ‘well meaning’ NDC members who still keep their international jobs at the expense of the party and the State.

I am amazed that the writer also mentioned the relationship between Nana Addo and the Attorney General by reason of which she should not have been given the position of the Attorney General in the first place. The question I asked is, that do such considerations matter? Are we enemies to the extent that because we belong to different political persuasions we should not have anything to do with one another? Is the case that once we belong to different political parties we should break family or professional relationships or old relationships that date back to our school days? Are we not all Ghanaians? Is it the case that once we interact with people in another political group, it clouds our judgement and ability to work for the political party we belong to? I strongly disagree. As a lawyer and an NDC activist, I have knowledge of the on-goings of the Darkwa case referred, and would not fault her in anyway.

It is unfortunate that the writer could say categorically that the Attorney General ‘ clandestinely directed them (leading NPP Members) to go to a higher court and put pressure on the presidency to come out with that statement of surrender………….)It is the usual case of giving a dog a bad name so as to hung it. Obviously, the writer must, at all cost, marshal all evidence whether true or not to destroy the reputation and credibility of the Attorney in the eyes of unsuspecting readers. Ultimately, it is the case that the writer must achieve her objective of having the Attorney General removed. Indeed long before the re- shuffle of the Mills Administration there were people who out of sheer hatred for the Attorney were praying for her removal. They were disappointed that this did not happen. So they must pursue their diabolical agenda with renewed vigour and perversity. For them the end must be achieved whether the means is fair or not. So she is now being labeled a Trojan Horse with no facts to sustain this allegation or vituperation, which is directed against her person.

Indeed the Attorney General’s position is vindicated when the President in his address to the Nation in Parliament responded to his critics by saying he prefers to be slow but sure and showing positive results at the end of his four year mandate. This is in contrast to leaders in the immediate past who had been busy bodies with insignificant results to show.

A true observer of the judicial landscape, which is politically corrupted and unfriendly, will not stampede the Attorney General or the N.D.C party to destruction in his quest for prosecutions. Nobody is saying that crimes have not been committed or that the NPP officials have not occasioned financial losses to the State. All that we are advocating for is time to clean the politically corrupt judicial stable.

A true lover of the N.D.C will not forget so soon acts of omission or commission of the Chief Justice which is a pointer to the fact that she cannot be trusted to be neutral or that her loyalty is to the N.P.P Are we aware that it is alleged that she and not the Registrar of the various Courts assign cases to the Courts presently? Have Ghanaians not heard on air that the NPP have friendly judges on the Bench? Who in Ghana does not know that Her Lady Ship Georgina Wood by virtue of been a sister in law to Hon. Samuel Atta Akyea (an NPP MP) assisted the N.P.P to nearly derail the electoral process when she with reckless abandon composed a Court to sit on a Sunday of 28th December, 2008 on an electoral petition without notice to the other political parties especially the NDC which was far away in TAIN? Please let me say this frankly, that even if you appoint an Attorney General from the heavens in this present atmosphere, he will fail. Why are we being so cruel to Betty without accepting the real situation? That is cowardice.

Let me tell people like the writer of this article, that true patriots of NDC should not have any room for despondency. It is the collective strength of all of us that would keep us in power. Baseless criticisms, in the name of championing the interest of the party, would only weaken the party or provide fodder to the opposition elements. In the same vein writing ingratiating articles, in the immediate would bring some gain to people like the writer of this article, but in the long wrong the harm she would have caused would have been more profound to the party.

I want to advise that as committed members of the party, where we do not understand on-goings within the party, the best thing we can do is to seek information from the appropriate source within government rather than coming out with publications that are without any foundation and which rather do the party no good. For as we drive individual members of the party down we end up driving the very party we love down as well.

LAWYER CHRIS ARCMANN-ACKUMMEY P.O.BOX M.P 1513 ACCRA.