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Opinions of Friday, 29 April 2016

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Is the Chief Justice discrediting herself?

From recently unfolding developments, one can conclusively declare with absolute certainty that the Chief Justice, Mrs Theodora Georgina Wood, is consciously or unconsciously obliterating all her good achievements/works before she proceeds on retirement. Her much touted fight against judicial corruption; sacking some judges following the daring work done by ace investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas seems to have been negated by her inept handling of two court cases relating to the ongoing Kumawu chieftaincy dispute.


If she is not aware of what is going on, and how curious persons, both laymen and legally-minded, perceive her, I shall not hesitate to convey it to her knowledge. By her actions, inactions, omissions or commissions, she has made nonsense of the good, but risk work done by Anas Aremeyaw Anas in exposing judicial corruption in Ghana; the bane of Ghana’s socio-politico-economic emancipation.


For the attention of the Chief Justice and the reading public, I stand to be corrected if I have erred by the underlying analyses in pointing out the shortcomings of the Chief Justice to her.


I know that anyone involved in a court case can petition the Chief Justice but under any of the following two conditions.


a. When a judge has pronounced a guilty verdict against you, or dismissed your case whereas in the face of the teeming available credible evidence and facts submitted to the court, you rather should have emerged victorious. This may in your opinion go to conclude that the judge has been biased, unprofessional or corrupt.
b. When you have a case pending before the court and from the attitudes and pronouncements of the judge as observed in the course of the proceedings, he is being biased towards you, you can petition the Chief Justice.


However, the Registrar of the National House of Chiefs (Kumasi) has petitioned the Chief Justice on some unknown grounds and shockingly, his petition has somehow been accepted; or on the other hand the presiding judge has been notified by the office of the Chief Justice about the receipt of such a petition hence putting the judge in limbo until further directions from the Chief Justice.


Some people from Kumawu applied to the Registrar to be given a certified true form copy of the form(s) filled in by Dr Yaw Sarfo consequent upon which he was gazetted as “Kumawuhene” Barima Sarfo Tweneboa Kodua.


When the registrar failed to comply with the applicants’ request, they sought the assistance of the court. They applied to the court to issue a writ of mandamus to oblige the registrar to provide them with the document because it is a public document. Nonetheless, the registrar notified the Regional High Court – Mampong that the judge has no jurisdiction over the case but the Regional High Court – Kumasi has.


Little did the registrar know that by Ghana’s 1992 Constitution, there is only one High Court in Ghana hence addressing all branch High Courts in Ghana, both inter and intra regional as “Regional High Court” of say Kumasi, Obuasi, Mampong, Accra Central, Tema, Hoehoe, Ho, Cape Coast etc. This goes to tell that these courts have the same powers to hear cases of the same magnitude and nature as permitted under the 1992 Ghana Constitution.


I am not going to discuss the militating factors of “inter” and “intra” regional that can oftentimes be cited when arguing that a High Court in a particular area of Ghana can, or cannot, hear a particular case that is within the jurisdiction of the High Court. This can be another topic for lengthy discussion.


When on an adjourned date the Mampong High Court judge announced that he is able to hear the case and that he would, thereby fixing a new date for the hearing, the registrar quickly petitioned the Chief Justice, Mrs Theodora Georgina Wood, to stop the judge from continuing with the proceedings.


The Office of the Chief Justice notified the Mampong High Court judge about the petition. Subsequently, the proceedings have been adjourned sine die.


I am really against this judicial tactfulness to delaying the hearing of court cases. This weapon is most often employed by the likely guilty parties in court cases to buy time.


If the Chief Justice has received this petition which I hope her office has, and is allowing it to do the very mischievous work as intended by the registrar, then to me, the Chief Justice is being corrupt. She has therefore made absolute nonsense the good job done by Anas Aremeyaw Anas, and made meaningless the sacking of the judges caught on recorded video accepting bribes of all sorts (money, goats, yams, cats, dogs, cassava etc.) to twist justice in favour of the highest, but surely, the guilty bidder.


Again, the Regional High Court – Mampong, about a few months ago, determined a case in favour of the four purported destooled Kumawu sub-chiefs (Nana Akwamuhene, Nana Akyempemhene, Nana Nsumankwaahene and Nana Aduanahene). The alleged Kumawuhene Barima Sarfo Tweneboa Kodua (Dr Yaw Sarfo) had purportedly destooled them on the orders of Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.


Dr Yaw Sarfo said in a letter of which a true form copy has been published on modernghana.com on 1st January 2015 under the title, “Kumawuhene” Sends a Manipulative Letter to Police Commander Kofi Boakye - Read it.” that he has destooled the mentioned sub-chiefs at the behest of Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II for failing to honour his swearing-in ceremony as the Kumawuhene-elect.


The judge found his decision to be contrary to not only Asante but also, and especially, Kumawu conventions on enstoolment and destoolment of chiefs, and the Ghana Constitution. He subsequently ruled in their favour saying they have not been destooled and must therefore go and practice their respective traditional duties as Kumawu sub-chiefs.


When they were alleged to have been destooled, Dr Yaw Sarfo, the alleged Kumawuhene Barima Sarfo Tweneboa Kodua enthroned another person from Kumawu-Wonoo as his new Kumawu Akwamuhene.


When the supposed destooled Akwamuhene Nana Kwasi Bafo II, was declared by court as the de facto Kumawu Akwamuhene, he later applied to the Regional High Court – Mampong, to compel the one allegedly installed by Dr Yaw Sarfo to return the stool properties and regalia he had removed from the Stool house while Nana Bafo II remained allegedly destooled.


When he returned to the court on the date fixed for the hearing, the court told him the case has been referred to the Regional High Court, Kumasi. This has happened because of a letter received from the Chief Justice or from her office.


What does the Chief Justice want to tell Ghanaians and the world? Is there any difference between the Regional High Court, Mampong and the Regional High Court, Kumasi? Is the Chief Justice disrespecting the laws and the Constitution of Ghana? Is the Chief Justice undermining the Regional High Court, Mampong? Has the Chief Justice taken sides in the ongoing Kumawu chieftaincy dispute?


The Chief Justice owes me answers to the above posed questions.


When that anonymous Ghanaian caller leaving threatening messages on my phone is eventually arrested by the British police, a lot will be revealed to the shame of the Chief Justice and the Ghana judiciary for allowing Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to abuse the laws of the land with impunity. That phone caller who may be from Kumawu calls me from an unregistered Lycamobile SIM card phone number (0044) 07459022242.


Is the Chief Justice aware of Asantehene alleging on video posted on YouTube that he is above the laws of Ghana and that no court can reverse his decisions taken no matter how preposterous they may be? Is the Chief Justice not directly aiding Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to justify his claims as may appear in the video? Watch the video via the following link.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyOnlURv7Ys


Does the Chief Justice know that all the Court judges in Kumasi are scared of Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II hence are ready to bend justice in his favour all of the time despite available credible evidence to the contrary?


I hope the Chief Justice will not seek to, or allow anyone in her office to seek to, undermine her good name and good works by the mentioned irresponsible interferences with court proceedings.


People may not understand where I am coming from but I want to let everyone understand the following; the moving force behind my determination to ensure that justice prevails in all situations if I am capable of playing a decisive role. “Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph”, said the late Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia.


Finally, let me define the following words as they may have been used in this letter.

MANDAMUS is an official order from a court of law stating that a person or organization must do a particular thing.
SINE DIE is without fixing a day for future action or meeting
CORRUPT is dishonestly using your position or power to get an advantage, especially for money


Rockson Adofo