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Opinions of Sunday, 9 November 2014

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Bribery is Not a Crime. Is It?

In modern day Ghana, where corruption has become near-institutional by the perception of the John Mahama/Arthur-Amissah NDC-led government, bribery is not a crime. According as understood by the supposedly Asante Overlord, a. k. a King Solomon, who but unfortunately, is without a one per cent of the wisdom and intelligence of the biblical King Solomon, bribery is not a crime.

This is made too obvious during his most laughable final arbitration of, and pronouncement of judgment on, the Kumawu Stool dispute that had been pending in his Asanteman Council since 2007. On 24 February 2014, Kumawuhemaa shamelessly, and as per a likely collusive pre-arrangement with Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and his cabal of powerful Asanteman chiefs, declared before the Council and an audience of about one thousand people that she had given out bribes to the Kumawu kingmakers. This is evident on a video recorded tape now made available to the public on YouTube under the heading, “Asantehene involves in corruption”. Will you please, my noble reader, spare a second of your precious time to review the video on YouTube to ascertain the truth of my assertion?

Despite Kumawuhemaa, once a girlfriend of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, boldly proclaiming to have parted with 150 Million Old Cedis to Kumawu Kontrihene; 100 Million Old Cedis to Kumawu Akwamuhene; 100 Million Old Cedis to Kumawu Nifahene who doubles as the chief of Kumawu-Bodomase and 50 Million Old Cedis to Kumawu Gyasehene, with additional advance payment of 70 Million Old Cedis out of 500 Million Old Cedis charge to her by the mentioned sub-chiefs, Asantehene found no fault about it. He still pressured the kingmakers, assisted by all the clueless and irresponsible Asanteman chiefs gathered around, to accept Kumawuhemaa’s candidate, one Dr Yaw Sarfo as Kumawuhene. Dr Yaw Sarfo has since been sworn in as Kumawuhene. But do I accept and recognise him as such? No!

From my research work conducted on Stool Disputes as documented in the Warrington Notes - (Article 13 of the Warrington Notes on STOOL DISPUTES, “The offering and taking of bribes to influence an election by candidates, elders and young men was declared in 1941 to be illegal. If a candidate does so he loses his right to election on that occasion (only); and if a stool holder does so it is a ground for destoolment. The nomination, installation or election of a person not entitled to the stool is also a ground for destooling the person who does any of these acts”); Dr K. A. Busia’s book on, “THE POSITION OF CHIEF IN THE MODERN POLITICAL SYSTEM OF ASHANTI” on pages 210 to 212 on - “1938. Item 5. The offering and accepting bribes in connexion with election and destoolment of Chiefs; ACTS OF GHANA: Criminal Code, 1960 (Act 29) – THE CRIMINAL CODE (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2003 (ACT 646) under Sections 239 to 247; and the 1992 Constitution, bribery, corruption and extortion are punishable offences.

Kumawuhemaa induced the kingmakers by offering them bribes. By so doing, she had clearly infringed the applicable laws in place, both traditional and statutory and hence, must suffer the consequential punishment. Why should Asantehene, a self-proclaimed human being to have developed a tough skin in the exercise of his public duties, and so, does not give a hoot about whatever anyone says about him, be exempt from the consequences of the laws when breached?

Why should the Ghanaian courts bend the laws to favour this rogue calling himself Asantehene who openly asserts to have powers to do whatever he likes in Ghana, with impunity? Where does he derive theses powers from? Does he derive them from John Mahama, the Chief Justice and, or, the NDC party?

He has again forced his equally crooks serving on Asanteman as Amanhene to swear in Dr Yaw Sarfo at Manhyia Palace as Kumawuhene in spite of the non-fulfilment of the traditional enstoolment processes as occurred in Kumawu. Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, like all his Asantehene predecessors have not the mandate to choose for, or impose on, Kumawu, who their Omanhene is. He is doing it because of the Kumawu Afram Plains stool lands he has nefariously sold to some Norwegian business tycoon which sale, can only be sanctioned by a Kumawuhene hence finding a soft touch in Dr Yaw Sarfo. Is he not also after a 50% of Kumawuman funds sitting in the Bank of Ghana?

The right to force anyone on Kumawu as their paramount chief has not been bestowed upon Asantehene by any known or unknown law. My extensive research has not unearthed any such regulation, be they conventional or statutory. He should get this clearly in his mind.

I have been compelled to put this publication out following a news story I have just read on Ghanaweb under their Regional News of Friday, 7 November 2014 titled, “IGP rewards police chief for rejecting bribe”. If bribery was legal, would the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan, reward the two police officers who refused it when offered to them? If it is unlawful hence its refusal by both police officers. Why should Asantehene and Asanteman Council (accomplices by their supportive roles) and Kumawuhemaa and Dr Yaw Sarfo (perpetrators of the crime), get away with committing acts of bribery as evidenced on the video tape with impunity? Is it not a case reminiscent of “Animal Farm” story by George Orwell, where two legs are bad but four legs are good? Later, the four legs were performing criminally worse than the two legs that had been deposed.

Please Ghanaweb, the story is too tantalizing, and will better explain the point I am trying to convey to the attention of my readers if you will permit its entire reproduction as done below.

“The New Juaben Municipal Police Commander, Superintendent Richardson Kumekor and his station officer, Inspector Ebenezer Sakyi, have been rewarded by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan, for their exemplary conduct, integrity, outstanding performance and above all, rejecting Ghc 1,500.00 bribe from a wee suspect.

The commander and the station officer both received gold medals with the citation: “'The Ghana Police Service: Medal of Appreciation and Valour.” The short, but colourful event took place last week at the forecourt of the National Police Headquarters, Accra.

The Police Commander was among 41 selected police officers who were honoured by the IGP during the ceremony.

The awardees were selected personnel from the National Headquarters, Eastern, Volta, Greater Accra and Central regions. While the team leaders received medals, their supporting members received certificates of superlative performance.

It would be recalled that the DAILY HERITAGE recently carried a report that the New Juaben municipal police commander, Supt. Kumeko on October 23, this year, rejected a Ghc1,500.00 bribe from a 27-yr-old mechanic, Kwabena Nyameke, who was arrested for possessing marijuana, popularly known as 'wee' in the New Juaben municipality.

The municipal commander flatly rejected the mouth-watering offer and ordered that the suspect be prosecuted and has since been remanded into Police Custody.

The suspect, a native of Half-Assini in the Western region, travelled to Koforidua to buy 19 parcels of dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp to transport back to Half-Assini to sell to the public.

Reacting to the conduct of the police officers, the IGP stated that the efforts of the awardees led to the arrest and prosecution of suspected criminals in their respective jurisdictions even at the instance of being offered bribe ranging between Ghc1,500.00 and Ghc7,000.00.

He congratulated the beneficiaries for their refusal to allow themselves to be influenced by their superiors or offenders into accepting bribes, adding that such a visible display of exemplary acts of conduct of valour are worth rewarding.

The IGP stressed that, personnel who excel in various disciplines that raise the image of the police would be honoured to encourage others to exhibit professionalism in line of duty.

In an interview, Supt Kumekor said the award received has set a high standard for him and a morale booster to work harder on the wheels of the ethics and professional conduct of the institution in order to help fight crime.

He urged personnel in the service to collectively help raise the image of the police service with a word of caution to the public, especially, the influential personalities in society to desist from inducing personnel of the service or pleading in order to release offenders of the law. He said the law must be allowed to work since no one is above the law”.

Will the arrested mechanic be prosecuted for only the possession of the contraband weed (“wee”) or for the bribery or for both? If he is charged and tried for both, then the question I am asking is, is bribery a crime? If it is, why did Kumawuhemaa and Dr Yaw Sarfo with their accomplices get away with it to the extent of installing Dr Yaw Sarfo as Kumawuhene, a double slap in the face?

Did the Kumasi Human Rights Court judge, Justice Paul K. Richardson, do himself any honour and justice by not only refusing to play the video tape, but also, dismissed the case with order to Kumawuhemaa to proceed to install Dr Yaw Sarfo as Kumawuhene-elect without offering reasons? He should not be surprised to see his name and actions mentioned in my letters to certain persons and offices within and outside Ghana, querying the professionalism, honesty and dedication of Ghanaian judges to be of selfless dedication to duty and the course of justice. Why should they pronounce judgments that are clearly seen to border on absurdities and corruptibility and think they can get away with it all of the time?

The battle is not over until it’s over, you mark my words. I will stand to defend the poor and needy people of Kumawuman all of the time. Why should I sit back to allow my once a fellow Londoner (Kwaku Duah), and a fellow but unintelligent “Canadian burger” – Kumawuhemaa, to continually take the people of Kumawuman for fools?

I shall be in the Studio of Sources radio UK online from mid-November to mid-December 2014 to explain the actions of both Asantehene and Kumawuhemaa and the way forward, so please stay tuned in. Until then, you will hear this Kumawu chieftaincy issue discussed on Sources radio from time to time by DJ Sources himself.

I dedicate this publication to the citizens of Kumawuman and all Ghanaians desirous of seeing justice done in this Kumawu chieftaincy saga.

Rockson Adofo