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General News of Friday, 2 June 2017


Justice loopholes aid criminals - Consultant

The shortcomings of the justice system in Ghana and some other countries aid criminals to escape the law, making the public lose confidence in it, thereby resorting to despicable actions like mob action, the Executive Director of Ascendant and Company Limited, Olufela Adeyemi, has said.

The security sector reforms consultant who operates in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, and Ghana, among others, observed in the wake of the lynching of Army Captain Maxwell A. Mahama that mob action was widespread across the African continent.

The military officer was lynched by irate youth of Denkyira Obuasi in the Central Region on suspicion that he was an armed robber after a group of people he asked for direction from spotted a gun on him.

Fourteen suspects are being held in police custody in relation to the case as investigations continue.

Mrs Adeyemi told Dr Etse Sikanku on Class FM’s World Affairs that a lot of efforts were being made to make justice systems effective, however “instant justice is not an option because instant judgement is likely to be a wrong decision when you are talking about things like crime”.

However, “people are discouraged because they feel if I submit this guy to law enforcement he will get off due to lots of stuff that help criminals to get away”.

She explained that due to the requirement to prove criminal intent beyond all reasonable doubt, “there is always a possibility that a loophole will get a criminal freed”.

She indicated that various countries are faced with “blood thirst which in some countries is as a result of recent or past wars and in some just a culture of impunity”.

Mrs Adeyemi noted that in Nigeria, lynching happens “essentially every day”.

“I don’t mean any disrespect but when it happens to someone ‘big’ or famous, it becomes news” but no outbursts when it is an ordinary person but “everyday people are getting lynched, people are getting killed, beaten up and getting injured because some feel ‘I have been aggrieved and instead of seeking the rule of law he rather uses his might”.

She said serious education was needed to help people understand the need for rule of law to be applied instead of instant justice.

“For her, a life lost wrongly is very expensive, not just the life of a Colonel or Army officer but any life including a pepper seller’s on the street or a two year-old’s for anyone to be killed that way,” she emphasised.