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Opinions of Monday, 8 July 2013

Columnist: Akyeampong, Prince

It's Time To Crack The Whip On "Sir John" And Co.

The Supreme Court is not a soccer stadium where coaches and players alike have to endure ninety minutes of boos, catcalls and insults from fans as well as scathing and controversial post-game comments from pundits and the media. The petition hearing at the court presently is not a matter to be toyed with. In fact, the peaceful co-existence of Ghanaians, regardless of political affiliation hinges on the outcome of this petition - or better still, it hinges on how the credibility of the panel is perceived by Ghanaians.

In light of this, the Supreme Court has every right to ensure that when all is said and done, they don't become the laughing stock of the world. That can only happen if these judges are allowed to focus on nothing else but the job at hand without having to deal with daily accusations of being partial and selective in their decision-making. Why can't we all have patience and wait for the Supreme Court to come out with a final judgement that would be acceptable to all?

Having said this, I strongly believe that the NPP General Secretary "Sir John" has made one too many inflammatory comments - it's about time this man is cut down to size and made to respect the law. The Supreme Court cannot afford to gloss over his most recent comment which sought to chastise and rubbish the courts recent rulings regarding those who were found to be in contempt of court. He even had the temerity to "warn" Justice Atuguba to be careful.

This is not the first time "Sir John" has made inflammatory statements. He is on record as having called President Mahama a "thief." There is no way his most recent comment should be allowed to pass without a response from the Supreme Court. Justice Atuguba has made it crystal clear that the panel would not be intimidated by anybody. If indeed, this statement is anything to go by, then Kwadwo-Owusu Afriyie must be summoned to the court when it resumes sitting. The judges must note that failure to do so would be seen as a sign of weakness by Ghanaians and that would not be in their interest.

To those self-proclaimed "Law Professors" who shamelessly continue to quote from the American legal system and other sources abroad to support recalcitrant behaviour,. I say - how many times do you have to be told that thee is nothing like ABSOLUTE freedom of speech/expression? As a sovereign state, can't we deal with our own issues without having to focus on annoying references to U.S. and other foreign laws by "intellectuals" who are supposed to know better? It is time to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, like Bob Marley rightly said. I hope Professor Kwaku Asare and co.have taken note of this.

Once again, I would like to urge the Supreme Court to stay the course and deal with "Sir John" and his kind accordingly before it's too late. This guy needs a humbling experience and I am very sure he would not cherish the prospects of spending some time in prison. Well-meaning Ghanaians have the utmost confidence in YOUR LORDSHIPS. Please, don't disappoint us! God bless Mother Ghana!

Prince Akyeampong, e-mail: