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Opinions of Thursday, 7 December 2017

Columnist: Nana Yaw Osei, Minnesota, USA

John Mahama cannot sabotage corruption fight, says Martin Amidu

Let me nonchalantly and respectfully tell patriot Martin Amidu that accusing former President John Dramani Mahama (JDM) and his party men of working against corruption fight does not only embarrass the incumbent government but also demonstrate a display of spurious pantomime.

I have a great deal of endearment for attorney Martin Amidu for his sense of patriotism and honesty.

It is my fervent wish that the State will recognize and reward him one day to correct the clarion cliché that ‘Ghana is not worth dying for’.

However, the underneath news item attributed to him is a far cry from fair analysis.

“Former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Martin A.B. Amidu, has accused former President John Dramani Mahama of undermining efforts by the Akufo-Addo administration in fighting corruption in the country” (Source: GHANAWEB.COM, Wednesday, December 6, 2017). I think this is very unfair to ex-president Mahama. I am curious to ascertain if rule of law could thrive on assumptions.

Popping the hood open about alleged corrupt practices could either be easy or impossible depending on the intuition and commitment of a given leader.

Aristotle in his ethics opined that human as territorial and natural beings must fashion a way to live in this practical and unpredictable world.

In democratic sense, laws, governance and institutions are among the practical ways of living together in this world.

Erstwhile President JDM was axed from office through a democratic process of election last December because he probably failed to provide the people of Ghana the benefits of good governance. JDM is no more in office and as such the conversation on corruption fight must not focus on him.

If JDM can remotely controlled state institutions and a whole government machinery to the extent of obstructing efforts to fight corruption, as Mr. Martin Amidu wants us to believe, then it tells us about the salient weakness and ineffectiveness of President Akufo-Addo led New Patriotic Party (NPP) government! Dragging JDM into the current government’s inability to deal with the alleged past corrupt public officers dents the image of the NPP government.

John Mahama has done virtually nothing to frustrate the fight against corruption.

Honorable Martin Amidu, such mistaken convictions were part of the reasons why God of Israel commissioned Prophet Ezekiel in the Bible.

Israelites had blamed their ancestors for going into captivity in Babylon although many prophets had foretold them the implications of their apostasy.

When the southern state (Judah) was taken into captivity in Babylon finally around 587 BC, they began to miss their native land.

“How can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a foreign land?” (Psalm 137:4). They began to condemn their forefathers for their repugnant conditions in Babylon.

“The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge” (Ezekiel 18:2).

The Israelites could not be faulted for their convictions because “The LORD thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation…” (Deuteronomy 5:9) could motivate such perceptions.

Through prophet Ezekiel, we are told God is interested in individual responsibility rather than collective responsibility.

The soul that will sin shall die (Ezekiel 18:4). God is thus, telling us to stop blaming others for our misfortunes. The sinning souls that must perish now legally include those involved in the diversion of pre-mixed fuel and corruption allegation on national best farmer award. The new government must be solely responsible for corruption fight challenges.

Blaming Mahama and his appointees for the corruption fight challenge is neither here nor there. Sir, I beg to differ on this! Ghana is operating accusatorial judicial system wherein the impartial court acting as a referee can give verdict based on concrete evidence.

Unlike the inquisitorial judicial system in which the court or part of the court is actively involved in investigation of a case.

The court is a court of justices according to law. Justice in Ghana is attained by evidence. ( Ernest Kofi Abotsi, November 7, 2015). Corruption fight cannot be won by the court of public opinion. The judgment debt was paid to Mr. Woyome based on legal procedures. No president can retrieve it without following the law.

You know better than I do on the matters of the law sir!

Lawyer Amidu was given the permission to interrogate Mr. Wayome by the Supreme Court of Ghana, but he voluntarily withdrew from cross-examining Mr. Wayome because he (Amidu) trusted the new government’s commitment to retrieve the money.

“According to Mr. Amidu he brought the suit when he thought that previous government and the AG at that time had no intention to retrieve Wayome’s money. Continuing the matter was needless as the new AG had expressed interest to retrieve the money” (Source: Ghana News Agency, Wednesday, February 8, 2017). Is it not contradictory to turn around and accuse JDM and his NDC moles, as you put it of frustrating the fight against corruption?

What happened to your trust for the current government relative to retrieving the Judgment debt paid to Mr. Wayome?

Politically and historically, payment of judgment debt has never been a big sacred-cow. Judgment debts were paid either duly of fraudulently in the past. Judgment debts emanate from wrongful termination of contracts.

Judgment debt is part of legal outcomes. Nevertheless, create, loot and share nature of some judgment debts must be a source of consternation to everyone especially looking at their rippling effects on the economy.

I think the passage of the special prosecutor act is a good step by Akufo-Addo’s government. It needs to be complemented by the right to information bill (RTI).

It is unfair to drag Mahama into the picture of corruption fight. Let us give the current administration some time to tackle corruption. God Bless Our Homeland Ghana!

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