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Opinions of Monday, 27 June 2016

Columnist: Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh

Spirit of a Constitution

It must be a wonder of fate that I never made it into the legal profession. My life would have been a miserable fight for the spirit of the Constitution within the motherland political climate of no scruples.

For those cheating the state at the least opportunity are usually talking letter of the constitution. Even when wrongs are glaringly illegal, the thieves would scrounge for the seeming, not real, legality to justify the illegal against the spirit of the Constitution.

Our democracy is about separation; although not just of powers. The person is to be separated from the office or position. Yet congress has sought since time immemorial to fuse presidential candidate Akufo-Addo and the person Akufo-Addo.

They always attack the person Akufo-Addo to stop him moving from the position of presidential candidate to that of the office of president. They see not beyond the compatriot’s person because they have never had an answer for his ideas.

That is why they are finding it so difficult to separate their own president from his person. They are completely confused as to whether they should say he took a personal Ford expedition gift and passed it on to his office or his office accepted a Ford expedition as a gift. The spirit of the Constitution makes it a clear bribery case. I would even dare add that it is bribery in law.

I can easily establish that pocket-lawyering. I read with amusement tangential or peripheral matters a veiled apology of presidential misconduct mounted with the office being too large for one to misbehave inadvertently. There is nothing tempting or masked about the state paying duty on a car in the name of a vice-president or president, whichever the case may be. Once a name is written, it is a person; otherwise it is the office that is written.

Any vice-president or president conscious of the spirit of the Constitution, without hesitating distinguishing ‘as a human being or as president,’ would tell his ambassador to register a gifted Ford expedition in the name of the state. As soon as the telephone call comes, he should tell the ambassador that it is ‘inappropriate’ (in the spirit of the Constitution) to personalise a $100,000-dollar gift.

Congress likes to cite Kwame Nkrumah. For their attention, that is what Kwame Nkrumah did when he was gifted a yacht in 1956 as prime minister in waiting. He called it inappropriate and asked the donor to convert it into a fishing boat for the fishermen to use it to fish.

Sole sourcing and single sourcing are of the spirit of the law meant to grease the wheel of development. The thieves that we have administering the public purse have, so far, interpreted it as the letter of the law meant to enable their thieving. Isolation of sole from other sourcing is to identify spirit and letter of the law.

Sometimes, I regret knowing many in the congressfold. I grew up with some or became acquainted with others growing up: classmates, friends, relations, a luta comrades, teachers, father-my-teacher, professional links. Fathering or mothering or some other social complexes have turned them into such thieves. We all carry past baggage from our rearing, raising or upbringing. Congress thieves seem to have been reared and not brought up. If we all chose to be personal with them as they have been with Akufo-Addo, we could end up a motherland of the depressed from a media awash with shamed past lives. The vultures of scandal would feed fat as we all wallow in misery because iniquitous pasts are exposed. Congress should back off hankering at the Akufo-Addo person. They should read and listen to the spirit of the Constitution to help themselves positively by helping the motherland.

There must be a gift threshold for the president person. Everything else goes to the office. The animals in Nkrumah’s Flagstaff House Zoo were gifted to him. He did not eat them or establish a private zoo with them. Gifts that he was given went to his office. Whatever we couldn’t find after the coup against him we should ask he, whose name is carried by the motherland’s only international airport. For as long as they continue to destroy Kwame’s legacy I will not stop my protests.

Manasseh Azure, you are not perfect, not least with your journalism; just like we all aren’t. But you will stand out if you would aggressively pursue the raiders of the motherland treasury. Obviously, the corrupt in the motherland public office is largely so because the head is corrupt. When the leader is aggressively pursued for uprightness, the followers would mellow. Imagine an unravelled Mills-appointed Embraer Committee preliminary findings! It’s refreshing to see you practice investigative journalism and not some nebulous journalism endangering private investigator fusion.