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Opinions of Thursday, 23 July 2020

Columnist: Rockson Adofo

Do Ghanaians have the Right to Self-Defence in Ghana's Statute Books?


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Following the diverse public reaction to the firing of warning gunshots by the Member of Parliament for Awutu Senya East who doubles as the Special Development Initiatives Minister, Mavis Hawa Koomson (Honourable), on Monday, 20 July 2020, I am obliged to act naive by putting out this publication titled, " Do Ghanaians have the Right to Self-Defence in Ghana's Statute Books?"

From what I have learnt from the Ghana internet news portal and Ghana radios, if they are nothing but the absolute truth, then her life came under threat. She was being approached by unknown persons on motorbikes whose faces could not be identified probably because of the facial masks or the balaclava helmets they were wearing.

Prior to coming into contact with the unknown persons as said, she had received, or been notified about, threatening messages to her life. In such a situation or an encounter, what should the person who has been forewarned about any possible imminent danger to his or her life do? Does he or she fold his or her arms around their chest while the threats are unfolding before them without reacting in any defensive way? Will your adrenalin not trigger a reflex action in you to respond immediately, in what is a self-defence?

"Self-defence is a countermeasure that involves defending the health and well-being of oneself from harm. The use of the right of self-defence as a legal justification for the use of force in times of danger is available in many jurisdictions" - Wikipedia.

Any normal person in her position, when faced with imminent danger to their life, must employ any means possible to defend themselves. You will be a fool to fail to defend yourself only to allow your surprise attackers to inflict injury or death on you while having the necessary defensive weapon in hand or at your disposal.

Those criticising Hawa Koomson have never been faced with danger to their lives and I hope it does never happen to them. If it does, they will understand her much better.

I hope by recounting my own bitter experience will throw more light on, or give people insight into, how dangerous it is to be threatened by unknown persons, and without knowing where, how and when they will strike. Once in London, one Kwaku Akorsah, a senior brother to the self-styled Kumawuhene Barima Sarfo Tweneboa Kodua, in private life as Dr Yaw Sarfo, left threatening voicemail on my phones. He said, "Rockson, stupid man like you, I know where you live, where and when you attend church and which church you attend. Some Asante boys in London and I are looking for you. We shall teach you a lesson for insulting Asantehene, President Mahama and Dr Yaw Sarfo…"

I took my mobile phone (cell phone) to the police, reported him and played the voicemail to them. I was issued a Crime Reference number after lodging an official complaint against him. Subsequently, I published the voice messages he had stupidly left on my phone. It was following the publication that a public reader got in touch with me to say that the voice is that of one Kwaku Akorsah, a Kumawu Ankaase royal and a senior brother to Dr Yaw Sarfo.

The police visited my home to check on my safety. They used to phone me up from time to time to ensure I was safe. When I reported the case to the police, they advised me to change all my phone numbers as the first precautionary step to take. I did as advised.

Again, I was once informed of an attempt to arrest me in a manner that I will term as kidnapping. A traditional overlord in Ghana according to my reliable source of information, had ordered the police, soldiers and a hit squad, all in plain clothes, to proceed to Kumawu to arrest me, take me before him to explain to him what he has done to me that I continually insult him. However, I had left Ghana two weeks earlier before his covert agents got to Kumawu. This was in year 2016 when I went to Ghana during the general election.

To cut a long story short, with Kwaku Akorsah who has since reporting him to the London police gone silent or vanished into the thin air, and a traditional overlord scheming to arrest me in a Rambo-style, do you think if I saw any suspicious or unknown person of dark colour, especially Ghanaian, threateningly approaching me in a secluded place, either in London or Ghana, I will not defend myself if I have the means to? Will you expect me to do nothing for them to harm, kidnap or kill me? I will be the biggest fool on earth to not employ any means possible to defend myself but to stay quiet only to be killed.

Now that I know someone is after my life for all stupid reasons, I will defend myself by firing a warning shot into the air if I had a gun and if the culprit is lucky. On the other hand, disable the person in anyway you feel fit. This is nothing to do with taking the laws into your hands but all about defending yourself to preserve your life.

Let all those criticising Hawa Koomson be faced with threats to their life to see how it really feels to be faced with imminent death at the hands of crooks.

Anyway, does Ghana have the law of self-defence and if yes, how and when does it apply?

In Ghana, many people have been kidnapped, murdered etc., without the assailants ever found. Therefore, you will be a fool not to defend yourself but to stay nonchalant for people like Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo to execute their diabolic fatal plan on you.

Hawa Koomson, fire more waring shots whenever your life is threatened by unknown motorbike riders wearing balaclava. Let the educated-illiterates and the well-protected talk their rubbish, who cares?

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