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Opinions of Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Columnist: Appiah, Papa

KKD – Spitting in The Face of A Victim

I was determined not to say a word about the KKD issue. A man had been accused of a crime and it was important we allowed the law to take its course. And yet, days after the incident, CCTV pictures in the hands of the police were available everywhere on the Internet. I knew the poor girl was in trouble. In a society where girls are harassed, sometimes insulted for something as benign as wearing short skirts, a girl who kisses a man on a corridor and then subsequently accuses him of rape, would stand alone against a cruel world, where money and status rule all.

And yet, a girl may decide what kind of affection she chooses to show a man. A girl may decide to hug a man or even kiss him in a public place where she knows she is safe. She may be asking for love but not necessarily for sex. What she is definitely not asking for though, is a quickie in a public toilet.

Evening went and morning came, and as has become the norm in Ghana for people with means who are arrested, and who tend to find a hospital bed more comfortable than a prison one, KKD was admitted to hospital and then subsequently released on bail. Then followed the rather naïve, perhaps stupid public relation gimmick of asking Ghanaians to pray for him. I simply laughed. Ghanaians love to pray. But their list of prayer topics is a rather long one - dumsor, hunger, poverty, cholera, unstable economy etc. I would hazard to guess, that a fifty year old who has sex with little children in toilets would be the last on their minds.

And then there was the ill-timed, rather lame public apology to the girl and I began to despair, wondering what was actually going on. This is a girl KKD had implied was a liar. This is a girl who had had a private “consensual” activity with KKD and chosen to report him to the police. If we were to believe KKD, then this probably was a girl who had to be arrested for wasting police time. Why on earth would he find it necessary to issue a public apology to her, if not simply to once again, court public sympathy?

Evening went and morning came, and in the midst of all the pantomime, came the rather patronizing, if not insulting admonishment from KKD’s lawyer Mr Forson, for Ghanaians to be circumspect in their criticism of his client as “this could happen to anyone.” Mr Forson, the next time I dress like a fifty-year old caricature to attract little girls into toilets and have sex with them, I will bow to your superior wisdom. Till then, Mr Forson, could you please hold your horses!

The silence of the Women’s ministry where Naa Oye Lithur usually talks a good game was deafening. I do not know this for sure, and I stand corrected, but I doubt whether the victim received any support at all. Not surprisingly therefore, she finally, out of desperation, wrote to the court refusing to cooperate in any further action against KKD.

And that to me was the saddest part of this whole saga. A naive little girl is star stuck and follows a much older man around, takes pictures with him and even allows herself to be dragged into a kiss on the corridor. But she had her personal limits, as all decent girls do and the last she was expecting was to be attacked in a toilet for “consensual” sex. She is so traumatized, that she walks straight to a doctor to be examined and reports the case to the police.

She had not stopped to consider, in her traumatized state, that in Ghana, there was nothing like anonymity of the victim. Or if there is, like corruption and everything else, there is nobody to enforce the law. She could never have imagined, that her pictures and CCTV images would soon be everywhere. She had had no time to consider societal pressures and the determination of her attacker to prove her a liar and bring her to shame. When it all became too much for her, she withdrew, preferring to deal with her personal trauma alone.

The Attorney General’s department, even at the best of times, is a collection of second-rate lawyers who lack the motivation or are simply incapable of successfully prosecuting anybody. To have thought that such a group of individuals, without a victim’s testimony, were going to successfully prosecute KKD was the biggest joke of out times. Judges have summoned victims in the past, but they have always been criticized for doubling the suffering of a victim who has chosen to deal with her trauma in her own way.

And so KKD walks away a free man, which is all well and good. The law has been allowed to take its course. But what I was not expecting, was to see the fifty year old, who dresses like a caricature to attract little girls into toilets to have sex, who then shamelessly exploits his contacts and his media experience to bring untold pressure on the victim, then inviting TV cameras to a church to see him dance for joy, thus spitting in the face of everyone.

What about the victim he apologised to? What has happened to her? How is she feeling? What has become of her life? I do not know. What I do know is that if she were my daughter, I would this very minute be pursuing KKD to split his head open. And if by the grace of God, he recovered from his coma, I would visit him and split his bloody head again!

Papa Appiah