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Opinions of Thursday, 24 September 2015

Columnist: Mohammed, Inusah

I weep for Ghana, our motherland

Scandalized is an understatement
Petrified, best describes my mental statement.
Calcified I am for the day’s movement
That a Church mouse like me can procure judgment
From our law courts with a pittance, is no merriment
Judgment is auctioned to the evil diligent
In high-octane levels in the injustice market.
God save this nation of ours.
Cause we are helpless, absolutely despondent

It was Benjamin Franklin who said “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are”. And if you think that is permeating enough then take this one from Ernesto Che Guevara. He is quoted to have said
“I tremble with indignation at any injustice.”

Why should he tremble with indignation when he is unaffected, when he has no case with the injustice meted out? Why should he tremble with indignation when he should be eating beans and bacons because he does not know the people embroiled in the issue that brought them to the law courts in the first place?
As if by divine providence, Martin Luther King Jnr provided an answer to that. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Great minds they say “think in tandem”.

During the first viewing of the highly anticipated Anas exposé on judicial corruption, I was more interested in the public reaction to it than the viewing.
A nation is doomed if its citizenry view corruption as normal as they see a cow on Eidul Adha day. In some parts of the world, massive citizen protest marches are staged to show vehemence against the slightest case of corruption.
There are Heads of State who got nearly impeached for a reason as ‘simple’ as speaking a lie.

“There was nothing extraordinary in the video.” This was the comment made by a respectable politician of the land. Another man told a gathering as it was moving out in the local parlance “This one is nothing. All of you have your various forms of corrupt practices.” Another supposedly level-headed guy I met stated that this is an exercise in fruition and that nothing will be done about it. If I had any feeling that corruption has come to stay with us in this country, then it was confirmed today. Corruption as a matter of fact has been institutionalized in the country.
The body language of the sea of crowed that thronged the International Conference center to view the Epic of Injustice as Anas puts it confirms it all. It was normal. People were happy, jeering as if they were catching Latif Abu-Bakr’s Divorce or Suicide or Uncle Ebo Whyte’s Bananas and Groundnuts.

This explains why the whole country was quiet when Justice Dery sued Anas. No one came out to support the patriotic journalist with vehemence. We all sat aloof waiting for the showing to be cancelled. All gratitude is to Allah for sustaining the little justice that we still have. We seem not to know the gravity of the case before us this time.
That the last resort for a citizen whether poor or rich to gain justice is now a semi-permeable membrane is not a laughing matter. That the people supposed to uphold justice and fairness are grabbing bribes on all fours is absolutely no drama.

Of all the remedies suggested in the fight against corruption, I unflinchingly support what our incorruptible first President stated. Kwame Nkrumah stated “the most effective way to fight corruption is to build a strong public opinion against it.”
If you build a strong public opinion against it, Judges will not be seen negotiating bribes, haggling over prices like a yam in the Nima market. If you build a strong public opinion against it , justice could not be sold for as low as 250 Ghana Cedis. In the community I live, I have seen people who spent more than 250 Ghana and more just for lunch yet a judge took that to free a person standing trial for fraud. That is how cheap and inexpensive a priceless and invaluable virtue as justice is being sold.

I weep for Ghana, our motherland!

That a judge could order someone to change a sheep brought to him as a bribe to a goat because he likes goat meat shows how low our judiciary has sunk.
That a court official views money “as a treasure of fools” and will love to taste the redness of a lady’s vagina to thwart justice indicates the level at which corruption has reached in the country.
I weep for Ghana, our motherland!

That a judge could take 500 Ghana cedis as bribe to free a murderer is very cancerous to the fiber and fabric of our consciousness as a nation.
That the people who make us swear with the Qur’ans and Bibles before we speak before them throw the sanctity of these Holy books to the dogs does not augur well for the land.
That a Judge could swear, rant and rage that her Christian values eschew bribe taking yet kowtow to the temptation to take it shows how highly religious yet ungodly we are as Ghanaians.

I felt sad and still feel sad as a Ghanaian. I am unhappy. I have never suffered from any judicial injustice. However, the world is a cycle, moving round and round. I may find myself in the court tomorrow as everyone is a potential litigant.
Do I know what is in stock for me with this weak and attenuated judiciary?

Anas Aremeyaw Anas paints the picture well for us:

"A festering sore, raw to the core, inciting drums of war

They pose majestically with proud dimples
Leading others to swear by their Qurans and Bibles
To uphold the truth and moral principles
But soon do they themselves lose all scruples
And to the law and scriptures become false disciples
Shamelessly defying common decency
They trade their nobility for miserable currency
Strip the judiciary of its sanctity and potency
Also its ability to firmly anchor our democracy
Thus plunging the nation into needless emergency
Before the eyes of God, this is no fallacy
Neither an idle prophecy
Nor a case of journalistic fantasy
Facts they are, documented in strict accuracy
Narrated in the coming series with honest poignancy
Without any hint of tongue-in-cheek diplomacy”

Inusah Mohammed

NB: The writer is a Youth-Activist and a Student of Knowledge