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Opinions of Thursday, 5 September 2013

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Foreign legal brains view on SC verdict

Foreign Legal Brains View on the Ghana Supreme Court Verdict

My White legal brains have all the following observations to make about the Atuguba's nine-judge panel's hurriedly pronounced judgment on Election 2012 petition. ? ?"The nine-judge panel appointed to adjudicate the election petition brought before the Supreme Court has not only tarnished their reputation but discredited the Ghana judiciary. Their decision has undermined the Ghana justice system. Their decision is absurd. One wonders how they can bring themselves to pronounce such a judgment, in the face of a mountain ofcredible evidence to the contrary. Anyway, that is Africa for you. The judges are a disgrace to the Legal profession worldwide. ? ?We understand that binding electoral rules were set out by the Electoral Commission in what was Constitutional Instrument 75 for the election. Were the petitioners' alleged and proven irregularities not in violation of the rules? In a game of say football, there are rules of the game which every party and player must abide by. You cannot be playing football?while applying the rules of say, cricket to the game. It will not work. You have to stringently apply the rules of the game you are playing but nothing else. If you fail to?do that, you will not achieve any success, the game will be flawed. This is exactly what your judges have done. They have failed in their duty?to dispense fair justice to their people. They are not knowledgeable enough to be judges of the Supreme Court but probably Magistrate Courts where their decisions could be appealed when found to have been way off the delivery of fair justice. We are really, as lawyers ourselves,?ashamed of their verdict delivered without a shred of statement as to why. Upon all the time they had on their hands, they could not have the full verdict statement ready to read to the audience and litigants in the courtroom but a meaningless summary of a verdict of dismissal.

? It had been established that the results of some polling stations were cancelled because of incidents of over-voting. In other stations, voters were turned away because the biometric verification machines could not pick their fingerprints from the database for identification when their fingers were scanned on the machine. All these were in line with the laid down rules for the election. Why then are the Supreme Court judges accepting results of polling stations where voters voted without bothering to have their fingers scanned on the machines for identification? Why are they accepting results of stations where the number of ballots cast found in the ballot box outnumbered the registered ballots issued? Are they going by that foolish classical definition of over-voting as said by Afari Gyan or the conventional definition as every party was made aware of before the voting day? Have the judges by their verdict not broken entirely the rules of the game?" ? ?The above is what my legal brains I often consult about issues of vital interest to me are saying. Am I not right as a layman to the law profession to heap insults on Atuguba and his bunch of "Ali Baba and his forty thieves" judges for failing to save Ghana from further or future election rigging and official corruption? When Gabby Otchere-Darko called them timid, they were complaining. I will rather call them thieves and rogues. They are unbefitting to be judges of the Supreme Court, the bastion of justice and authority. Their judgment was flawed, shameful and completely nonsensical. ? ?Justice Atuguba upon all his silly threatening utterances of, "We have power to deal drastically with whoever disobeys or insults the Supreme Court", finally came up with a flawed judgment that has opened the floodgate of insults to be heaped on the Court. ? ?Can he now summon people to appear before him, accuse them of contempt of court? Can he tell people I would have sent you to prison if you had not shown remorse or the other judges vouching for you as being a good person? I hope not, else, the accused will stand in front of him to give him that finger sign of "shove it up your arse". ? ? I, today, declare war on judicial injustice in Ghana. We need to fight the ongoing injustices giving credence to official corruption in Ghana. In the view of many Ghanaians, Atuguba and his colleagues have proved themselves unworthy of their positions as Supreme Court judges. Shame on them. May God Almighty judge them according to the measure of judgment they have measured unto the petitioners and all reasonable Ghanaians. May such a judgment come upon them as quick as a thunderbolt. Amen ? ? The fight for justice continues unabated.

? ? Rockson Adofo ? ?