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Opinions of Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Columnist: Daily Guide Network

Editorial: Rule of law phobia

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When government appointees express openly why they fear a Nana Akufo-Addo presidency, they offer a lot for pondering: more so when the apprehension is hinged upon such officers breaching the laws underpinning the management of the state kitty.

The financial management of the resources of every civilized state to ensure propriety is enshrined in their laws, Ghana not being an exception.

In some situations such as Ghana worryingly finds herself today, these statutes have been deliberately allowed to become morbid by non-application.

The chief government lawyer, who has turned the state's attention from the glaring anomalies, is doing so to achieve a particular outcome of protecting defaulting appointees from the fangs of the law.

One of the challenges staring us as a nation is about how the rule of law is being threatened by that of man: the arbitrariness being exhibited by the state and accompanying selectiveness in the prosecution of defaulters when they belong to the ruling party or are government appointees have thwarted socio-economic development of the nation.

Both former Transport Minister Dzifa Attivor and the Eastern Regional Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Bismarck Tawiah Boateng and others who share silently a similar phobia, say when Nana Akufo-Addo becomes president they would go to jail.

Put alternatively, their apprehension is not about Nana Akufo-Addo wielding executive power, but more to do with, as it were, the application of the rule of law, regardless of whose ox is gored.

We are at our wits' end as to why a person would conclude that he or she would head for prison when there is a change of government.

The reason should not be too difficult to determine, given the rate at which the state kitty has been ransacked under the tenure of the current crop of politicians.

We thought we all believed in the rule of law and that our country is ruled by law and not by men.

Unless those who express a phobia for Nana Akufo-Addo do not have confidence in the judicial system, they should not fear the courts would jail them.

The judiciary, in spite of its frailties, remains our dependable bastion of democracy and cannot without basis throw politicians into jail.

We do not think that things have gotten so bad that a President Nana Akufo-Addo – a lawyer of no small stature – would seek to interfere in the administration of justice. Not only will he fail on that score, he would lose the integrity he has earned over the decades.

We doubt he would tread that inappropriate path for the sake of cheap politics.

Those harbouring such phobia know too well what they have done against this country and would continue to have insomnia about what awaits them when they are referred to the judiciary.

The statute of limitation, it is said, does not cover crime and so those who have committed grave criminal breaches against the state should hold themselves in readiness for the day of reckoning.

Is the establishment of an office of an independent prosecutor not enough cause for celebration?

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