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Opinions of Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Concerned Ghanaian Wants to Know

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
Sept. 17, 2015

Some have called it a judicial earthquake. An apocalypse comes closest to it. To others, though, revelations that 34 judges and magistrates sold their consciences like medieval Roman Catholic indulgences come as hardly any surprise. It was just a matter of time, in Marleyian-Rastafarian parlance, before the bottom fell off the vat, water tank or barrel. The dear reader can pick his/her choice. What is rather outrageously fascinating is the fact that having willfully and unconscionably used their powerful offices to eviscerate the inviolable administration of justice, in return for handsome kickbacks, some of these judges are frantically attempting to strong-arm the condign meting of justice to them by using legal technicalities to get themselves off the hook, in conversely the same way that those who could not afford to pay the asking price by these men and women of the bench had to spend ages behind bars, for simply being guilty of acute impoverishment or economic privation.

I am here more concerned about the goat, sheep and chicken thieves who severally got sentenced to prison terms ranging from 5 to 15 years. It makes you wonder why these “Shylockian” judges could presume to muster the chutzpah to emplace an injunction seeking to prohibit Mr. Anas Aremeyaw Anas from broadcasting the video- and audiotaped evidence solidly backing up his allegation that the Ghanaian judiciary is thoroughly rotten to the core. For one regular reader of my columns, though, what is most worrisome is the fact that the legions of Ghanaians who got railroaded or literally destroyed by these judicial scam-artists may never have the chance to have these egregious wrongs corrected. And that reader goes by the name of Mr. Richmond Lartey. He recently wrote to yours truly from a place called Samreboi, in the Amenfi-West district or constituency of the Western Region of Ghana. He wants me to urgently address the crucial aspect of the judicial scandal which, had the same occurred in Japan, may well have resulted in mass suicides as the most honorable solution to the problem.

But, of course, in Ghana where even the chauffeurs of parliamentarians would have their names prefixed with “Honorable Mr. Valet,” it is rather ironic that genuinely honorable men and women are sorely lacking. You may not believe this, but there are more Ghanaian citizens willing to have the scheduled broadcasting of Mr. Anas’ videotaped sting operation shelved and be perpetually done with, so that we could all quickly return to business as usual, in mainstream American parlance, than not. Strangely, we have yet to hear these same friends of the corrupt judges and magistrates call for the review and immediate release of all prisoners who may have been criminally deep-sixed by the indicted judges. I agree with Samreboi’s Mr. Lartey that it is these real victims of gross judicial travesty upon whom the spotlight of media attention ought to be focused. Such determination, of course, has to be made by Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood. And so far, the focus of her punitive crosshairs seem to be squarely and intensely trained on her associates and minions of the Ghana Judicial Service.

We must, however, hasten to add, for the sake of balance and fair play, that Mrs. Wood has promised to swiftly and severely parcel out justice to those of her colleagues forensically sustainably found to have fallen afoul of the law. It goes without saying that times like these call for deliberate haste, an oxymoronic use of language. And yet, it is the time-tested best practice and method for achieving the most ideal results, if there were any such possibility in the inescapably fallible realm of the human, in these hopelessly decadent Ghanaian times.