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Opinions of Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Does Pres. Mahama know what he is talking about?

Opinion Opinion

It is a human system all right, so none of us have to expect our judicial process to be totally devoid of any fraudulent dealings. Nevertheless, it would be tantamount to playing a very dangerous game with the lives of Ghanaians for President John Dramani Mahama to assert that the country’s judicial system is pretty intact, in spite of the apocalyptic judicial travesty unearthed by renowned investigative journalist Mr. Anas Aremeyaw Anas.

All in all, some 34 judges and magistrates have been magnetically captured on audio- and videotape eagerly negotiating for kickbacks in order to skew their verdicts in favor of criminal suspects and other litigants, who would otherwise have been found either guilty or liable for the offences for which they had been duly charged and arraigned before these officially inducted and publicly sworn administrators of justice and / or the law.

You see, the administration of justice in our country, for the most part, is not dependent on the question of precisely what percentage of high court judges and magistrates were caught in the documentary mesh or investigative net of Mr. Anas and his collaborators of the Tiger-Eye PI network. The sampling is statistically significant enough to be scientifically or objectively appropriated in drawing credible conclusions about the unacceptably corrupt nature of the country’s judicial system.

And so, yes, the judicial system, as it institutionally stands, presently, is the only legitimate instrument of justice that we have. However, contrary to what President Mahama would have the rest of the world believe, the country’s judicial system is anything but intact. And it is very disheartening that as Chief State Minister, Mr. Mahama would presume to make light of this most serious canker.

You see, we have always known that the country’s judicial system was among the most corrupt on both the continent and around the globe, except that unlike Mr. Anas and his associates of Tiger-Eye PI, we neither had the skills nor resources to produce forensically sustainable evidence to back up our suspicions. And this is also the reason why I vehemently disagree with those who would have Mr. Anas unmasked as he appears in court to serve as prime witness to his epic and yeomanly exposé of perennial judicial scam-artistry.

I shall more expansively delve into this aspect of our subject in another column. For now, suffice it to observe that the personal security and safety of Mr. Anas is far more significant than the vanity of the judges whom he has admirably and heroically exposed for being the reprobate scam artists that they almost incontrovertibly appear to be.

We can also indulge the “Mahamian” luxury of affording the indicted judges the due legal process. But even more significantly, we also need to wonder why the likes of Justices Logoh and Dery have been desperately using legal technicalities to stall the condign administration of justice and fair play.

The abrupt suspension of the activities of the five-person investigation team established by Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood and the Judicial Council, on grounds of lawsuits filed by the indicted judges seeking to impugn the legality and authority of the players involved to sanction or discipline them, ought to give pause and cause to powerful and influential Ghanaians like Mr. Mahama to ponder the question of whether, indeed, our judicial system is as functionally sound, or intact, as the President would have the rest of the world believe.

In principle, I agree with Mr. Mahama that some of the snagged or indicted judges may not be guilty. But the reality of the desperate attempts by some of these indicted judges to stall the judicial process, ought to clearly and unmistakably inform Mr. Mahama that we are not dealing with people interested in justice and the rule of law here, as ironic as this may seem.

The President says our judicial system is intact; but Chief Justice Wood says that some judges have turned their courtrooms into business enterprises. Now, who is telling the truth here? Dear Reader, you be the judge. Your guess is as good as mine!