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Opinions of Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Columnist: Antwi, William

Demystifying Nana Akuffo Addo’s Corrupting Influence

Demystifying Nana Akuffo Addo’s Corrupting Influence On Drug Enforcement!!!!!!

Now that the brouhaha over the famous or infamous Presidential award list has found a comfortable or uncomfortable resting place in our hearts, let’s get down to the serious business of rescuing our nation from the morass it has deeply fallen into. In-as-much as we want to be inspired by the relative peace prevailing in our dear country, we cannot be blind to the unfortunate fact that critical state institutions like the Presidency, our Parliament, the Judiciary, SFO, CHRAJ, the Police etc have fallen on terribly bad times to the point that those who have been entrusted by the people to man them are consistently undermining same. This explains in simple, plain terms why the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections represent a battle to save the soul of our democracy. We can effectively and aggressively prosecute this laudable goal if we ask and demand answers from our insensitive leaders in their capacity as public servants - as our way of rewarding the democratic values of probity, accountability, transparency and sunshine.

Undoubtedly, our dear country is receiving bad press over its handling of drug cases and the drug menace. In fact, our country's commitment and resolve in dealing effectively with the drug menace is tragically non-existent. We are all living witnesses to how a whole shipload of cocaine and heroine vanished before the very naked eyes of our law enforcement agencies. To add insults to injury, even when drug arrests are made and exhibits impounded and put in the custody of the Police, they get stolen or "mysteriously" get "missing"! How can we so soon forget the scandalous arrest and conviction of one of our own parliamentarians - Eric Amoateng of NPP - in New York for trafficking in illicit drugs? Amoateng’s spectacular arrest defines, in an ominous sense, the depth of drug trafficking in the country and the danger it poses to our democracy. If Eric Amoateng, a drug baron, could get himself elected into our legislative body on the ticket of the ruling party, can we imagine the depth of influence of drug money in other essential institutions of state? The recent shooting death in Kumasi of an informant by drug pushers should sound the alarm bells that it is high time we dealt ruthlessly with drug traffickers! Anybody concerned about the stability of our already fragile democracy should take these dangerous developments exceptionally serious! Do we have to wait till these dangerous drug barons start equipping themselves with sophisticated weapons and equipments before dealing ruthlessly with them or what? Truly, truly, can our ill-equipped and corrupt Police force and judiciary come to our rescue? This is where the integrity, judgment and fortitude of our presidential candidates in dealing with these drug traffickers and their demeaning and vicious trade come into full play.

In fact, of all the presidential candidates the one who is most distressed and troubled by accusation(s)- credible or otherwise - of illicit drug dealings is Nana Akuffo Addo. And without appearing to be partisan, I think he has contributed immensely in shattering any credibility he has in dealing with this serious national threat. We say this for very good reasons:


We all know that Nana Akuffo Addo was the first attorney general under this regime. And as Attorney General he occupied a unique position in the administration of criminal and civil justice in our country. Although, he is a politician through and through and the president’s mount piece in all legal matters, his office was not a self-serving one. He was the face of law enforcement and personified justice. In fact, he was justice’s messenger - the very antithesis of anything that might corrupt the execution of his duties. Therefore, as an individual who should have a squeaky-clean image in executing the duties of his office, he should be able to defend without fear any decision he took while discharging the trappings of that honorable office.

In recognition of the above and in line with our deep concern for eradicating the drug menace, we find it especially distressing that Nana Akuffo Addo is hiding behind his surrogates in fighting accusations of favoratism, nepotism, blind partisan politics and sheer incompetence in discharging his duties as our then Attorney General. And here I am talking about:

1. The non-prosecution of the drug case involving the arrest in February 2002 of Abena Oforiwaa, Comfort Akua Amankwah and Amma Nyarkoah, chairperson, organizer and treasurer, respectively, of the Dzorwulu branch of his New Patriotic Party. Why should this scandalous case simply vanish from the judicial radar?Looked at from another angle, can any sane Ghanaian convince the world whether Eric Amoateng would have been investigated and prosecuted had he been arrested in Ghana? We don’t want to believe that the administration of criminal justice has been turned into a partisan political weapon where one is either prosecuted or not depending on his connection to the citadel of power. Standing up for justice doesn’t mean setting your political friends free for the most serious of crimes while pursuing your perceived or real political enemies! It is really chilling that a whole ex-attorney general and ex-foreign minister and one who is now aspiring to be our president couldn’t prosecute such a case nor is he prepared or willing to offer any public explanation for his conduct in this matter. Can we trust such an individual with such awesome state power as reposed in the Presidency? Unless of course, there was nothing to the arrest of those three NPP ladies!

2. Why was the prosecution of Frank Benneh stopped while Nana Akuffo Addo was our Attorney General - a criminal prosecution mounted by the NDC government as a result of his alleged involvement in dealing in illegal drugs while serving the nation abroad?


3. Were the narcotics-tainted assets of his brother-in-law, Mr Raymond Amankwah, - the same Raymond Amankwah now incarcerated abroad for allegedly dealing in illicit drugs - actually deconfiscated while Nana Akuffo Addo was our attorney general?


Isn't it mind boggling that Nana Akuffo Addo,so ever animated to lecture us in public on every conceivable issue including his sexual potency, is simply scared to address the above-mentioned issues? In other words, why is Nana Akuffo Addo studiously dodging these issues which speak to the central theme in this election, namely, the integrity, fortitude and judgment of our presidential candidates? Isn't it really chilling that a whole ex-attorney general and one who is now aspiring to be our president couldn’t investigate and prosecute the Dworwulu ladies nor is he prepared or willing to offer any public explanation? What does Nana Akuffo Addo has against the public's right to know? Can we trust such an individual with such awesome state power as reposed in the Presidency? Unless of course, there was nothing to the arrest of those three NPP ladies!

What is really fueling the adrenaline of patriotic and forwarding looking Ghanaians who want closure to these grave matters is the arrogance and disdain with which Nana Akuffo Addo is addressing their concerns, namely, his mystifying silence in treating these issues. Nana Akuffo Addo is deluding himself into thinking that he can ride these serious issues out without any deliberate and honest explanation(s). Will any responsible campaign allow such devastating accusation(s) to go unanswered and thus gratuitously offer its political opponents a field day? The simplistic and naive argument that Nana Akuffo Addo is not supposed to answer such well-placed issues is not only contemptuous, it is shameful! In fact, any resourceful and credible campaign would robustly respond to such "never-going-anywhere" accusations with a factual rebuttal! What has Nana Akuffo Addo to hide if he discharged the duties of that high office of Attorney Generalship with candor, honor and integrity? What is so herculean about telling the public that those accusations are not true? Why is Nana Akuffo Addo risking more questions by keeping mute over these grave accusations? What is so difficult telling the world that those three NPP ladies were never arrested and, if even they were arrested, what was considered illegal drug was actuallly cassava or corn flour? After all that assertion in not new in our kind of politics! Or is his deafening silence his awkward way of admitting the charges?

Let’s admit it: We are all fallible human beings and can admit without fanfare some private indiscretions like smoking or inhaling wee. However, it is a different ball game if as attorney general you selectively investigate and prosecute cases or take decisions based on political affiliation, gender, kinship, religion, creed, or tribe. What makes these cases serious is that these decisions were all taken not long after the NPP came into power. In deed, the selective manner by which this government has prosecuted criminal cases has clearly exposed its invidious and insidious political agenda - a bogus political agenda that disgracefully seeks to profit only themselves and their political friends and cronies. It is really damaging to the integrity of the administration of criminal justice in our country when a whole attorney general refuses to prosecute obvious cases of criminality and has the impudence not to offer any explanation for his actions. Specifically, how was Nana Akuffo Addo going to put the fear of God in these greedy, vicious criminals with such ridiculous and absurd decisions? For example, it can irresistibly be inferred that by refusing or failing to prosecute the three Dworwulu ladies of the NPP, these drug barons, who are no fools, started patting each other on the back that they not only have a colleague in law enforcement, they have their government in power! If not, how on this God's earth can any democratic-minded government fail or refuse to investigate and prosecute such an obvious case of criminality? In short, the non-prosecution of this serious case emboldened these drug barons and thereby created a comfortable environment for the drug trade! Hence the MV Benjamins!

In short, if Nana Akuffo Addo is not intimidated by any "dirty secrets" in these cases, he should show some real courage, fortitude, integrity and responsibility by fairly and honestly addressing the issues raised in the face of unrelenting and persistent demands by the public whose mandate he is praying for.

And yes! Nana Akuffo Addo can vindicate himself when he appears before the IEC forum which is already being bill as "NANA AKUFFO ADDO VRS THE NARCOTIC WORLD" How so unfortunate! But who causam?

We rest our case for now.


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