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Opinions of Saturday, 3 March 2012

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Count Me In, Mister Attorney-General!

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

I have just read Attorney-General Martin Amidu’s statement to the media on the raging Woyome Scandal, and cannot but unreservedly and staunchly back the forthrightly patriotic stance adopted by the recently dismissed Government’s Chief Lawyer (See “Martin Amidu Explodes: I’m Disappointed in State Legal Team in Woyome Case” Citifmonline.com 3/1/12). In the main, Mr. Amidu aptly and poignantly argues for a complete and thorough restitution of the public funds fraudulently and criminally stolen from the people of Ghana by the prime suspect, Mr. Alfred Agbesi “Gorgormi” Woyome.

But I would even go further by pleading with the prime movers of our judicial system to impose the stiffest of punitive damages on Mr. Woyome and each and every one of his criminal associates and accomplices. For, as clearly underscored in a previous commentary on the issue, what the prime criminal suspect did morally and materially (or practically) amounts to the brazen and blatant bankrupting of our economy, and thus the premeditated overthrow of the Government of Ghana, and the destruction of the country at large!

But that some key and prominent operatives of the Atta-Mills government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) evidently collaborated with the suspect in bilking the people, is all the more troubling. And, of course, what the foregoing means is that both our legal and judicial instruments must be relentlessly put to the service of bringing each and every one of these cardinal executive officers who is forensically proven to have actively participated in this grand scheme of defrauding the State of Ghana to the phantasmagorical tune of GH ¢ 51 million to book, and promptly so!

And on the preceding score must be vividly recalled the fact that in his press statement Mr. Amidu, finally and refreshingly, names names, as it were; and predictably, those names include Mr. Samuel Nerquaye-Tetteh, the Chief State Attorney presently in charge of the Woyome case, and Mr. Cecil Adadevoh, the Senior State Attorney, both of whom, according to the former Attorney-General, unsuccessfully attempted to prevail upon Mr. Amidu to order the payment of an additional GH ¢ 9 million in the form of a forensically provable nonexistent accumulated interest on the ill-gotten GH ¢ 51 million.

If, indeed, the foregoing assertion has validity, and there is absolutely no reason, thus far, to contradict the same, then it clearly appears to me that both Messrs. Nerquaye-Tetteh and Adadevoh ought to immediately and unreservedly recuse themselves from the prosecution side of the Woyome Scandal, tender their resignation to President John Evans Atta-Mills or have the latter promptly remove these two personalities-of-interest from their posts, and ask them to prepare to face the inexorable music and sound of justice. Anything short of the preceding would be tantamount to the kind of judicial travesty to which Mr. Amidu alluded in his press statement.

Indeed, about the only aspect of his argument on which I beg to mildly differ with the ex-Attorney-General, regards the utmost significance of time in both the preparation and prosecution of the Woyome Outrage. Clearly, Mr. Amidu appears to have Election 2012 in mind, especially regarding the critical question of how to both bring the prime suspect to book without irreparably aborting even the flimsiest of shots at an electoral victory, and also using the judicial process to score some vital, if not prime, political points. Fat chance, I say.

I, on the other hand, rather prefer to envisage the prosecution of the Woyome Scandal in terms of “deliberate haste.” In brief, what I mean by the latter phrase is simply that, indeed, while expeditiousness is central to judicial efficiency, thus Mr. Amidu’s all-too-apt allusion of “time” as “being of the essence,” nevertheless, the imperative need for qualitative judicial dispensation cannot be impugned.

In a general sense, however, Mr. Amidu seems to perfectly agree with me, thus his rather bold and prompt expression of chagrin with the present cast of prosecutors. The former Chief-Government-Lawyer is also dead-on accurate in characterizing the unconscionable “Trokosi Boys,” who operate such cancerous NDC scandal sheets as the Daily Post, as a bunch of “politically immature and ignorant” Amen-Corner Chorus in the dubious service of their executive paymasters.

Still, unlike Mr. Amidu, I firmly believe that the Woyome Scandal extends far beyond the mere refund of a criminally extorted judgment-debt payment. And as even the former A-G, himself, was quick to point out in his press statement, vis-à-vis the summary execution by firing squad, by Messrs. Rawlings and Boakye-Djan, of leaders like Messrs. Yaw Boakye, Utuka, Amedume and Felli, among others, the need for condign justice is what is unimpeachably at stake here. And Ghanaians, as a collective, have an obligation to both the fulfillment of our national conscience, as well as the protection of our youth and posterity from malignant social tumors as Mr. Woyome and his criminal associates.

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of “The New Scapegoats: Colored-on-Black Racism” (iUniverse.com, 2005). E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net. ###