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Opinions of Friday, 1 April 2011

Columnist: Sarpong, Justice

Gov’t to appeal Ya Na ruling. Is Pres. Mills A Joker?

Sarpong, Justice

"Government has decided to appeal against the ruling of an Accra High Court that acquitted and discharged fourteen persons on trial for conspiracy to murder the late Ya Na Yakubu Andani II on Tuesday, 29th March, 2011.

A statement signed by Deputy Minister for Information Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa stated that the decision is in line with government’s commitment to ensuring justice in the murder of the Ya Na and his elders."

The Andanis are being deceived again and they are going to fall for this . The government is appealing to what? That these defendants just find not guilty should be put on trial again or what? This is what is going to happen. The government is going to say the trial Judge, Justice Ayirebi erred in using the Wuaku commission findings in his ruling but that will be the most stupid thing this government should have ever done and will be a disgrace to Mills, a lawyer albeit a tax lawyer though.

It's just sad illiterate Rawlings propaganda about the Mills government having used the Wuaku commision investigation has found some idiotic listening ears. The fact of the matter is that, the government did not use Wuaku commission investigation but presented its own findings from its investigations. The government rather erred by not checking what its witnesses told the Wuaku commission before coaching them to tell lies.

This is what happened. The government camped its witnesses from villages in the northern region at plush hotels in Accra for more than one month feeding them chicken and jollof rice to elicit favorable response and coaching these witnesses how to testify in court. What the government of Atta Mills NDC did not factor in is that, most of their witnesses have given statements during the Wuaku commission investigation and their statements given during the Wuaku commission were different from what they told Justice Ayirebi's court. They perjured themselves in court for giving conflicting statements and that is what did the Prosecution case in. The government witnesses were overcoached to tell lies which were in conflict with their statements to their testimonials at the Wuaku commission.

Secondly, the government has a weak case against most of these defendants. You don't charge people for a crime of murder because they were taking pictures and dancing in merry mood because the Ya Na has been killed. It is morally reprehensible and pure stupidity to dance at somebody's grave but it is not a crime, much more a crime of murder. The government even arrested a 16 year old boy initially for the Ya Na's murder. Damn!!!, I know the Dagombas are warriors but I did not know that their six year olds can even capture and kill the Ya Na of all people in his backyard. This sixteen year old was six years old in 2001 when the Ya Na was killed, did the government investigators do this basic mathematics before it arrested that boy?

So you NDC clueless sycophants should realise that, it was rather Judge Ayirebi who used the Wuaku commission statements and extrapolated it with what the government witnesses told his court and threw the government case out.

The government can appeal but the appealate court will throw the government case out after the defendants lawyers lay bare the previous court ruling "autrefois acquit" (a peremptory plea), meaning the defendant has been acquitted from the same charges in a legitimate court" and putting them again on trial is against the theory of DOUBLE JEOPARDY. Mills NDC is deceiving the Andanis again trying to buy time and lying to them to get their votes in 2012.

Unless the government find a new set of defendants, these 14 or 15 individuals are free from prosecution for ever.

Even if the government find a new set of defendants, it has weakened its case because the lawyers for the new defendants will tell the new court that, the President is 'fishing' since it has put on trial some people before and lost.

Mr President, the only people rejoicing are the innocent acquitted people and people who stand for justice. It is really childish to remind us somebody killed Ya Na because we know definitely somebody killed Ya Na but we should not railroad innocent people to prison to satiisfy your political manisfesto when you promised the Andani Gate that you will find the culprits and send them to prison. Mr President, don't promise something that you have no power over Let all of us as citizens strip the political clothes from this case and find justice for the bereaved family, Dagombas and Ghanaians as a whole and deepen our democracy because democracy without justice is as hollow as a dognouts.

When your Justice department coached the witnesses to testify differently than what they told the Wuaku commission thus making their testimonies suspicious, you don't expect the judge to close his eyes and send people to prison maybe for the rest of their lives by tainted evidence.

Is your Prosecutors afraid of Rawlings? That yahoo told the whole world that he has a tape of the people responsible for Ya Na's death, why didn't they call him to the stand to testify for the government? You have lawyers who behaved like they never graduated from law school. The only law courses I took in the university were Business Law one and two but I think I could have done better than the government lawyers.

The first thing they should have proved in court was that, the headless charred body was that of the Ya Na by proving to the court through forensics that, that body was Ya Na that was why in his ruling, the judge said he couldn't even tell if the charred body was Ya Na when more than thirty people were said to have been killed. To laymen like us without the benefit of how the law works, it might seem stupid for the Judge to have said that but that is how you prove a crime of murder by first identifying deceased. The courts operates on FACTS not on ASSUMPTIONS.President Mills should be anguished for promising the Dagombas something that was not in your control and politicising the Ya Na's murder.

Justice Sarpong

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