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Opinions of Friday, 25 June 2021

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

‘More ways of killing a cat’: Has the ZU-ZA tradition ever shown deference to the Bench?

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Some of us witnessed the revoltingly ugly events of the 1970’s and 1990’s, and therefore aren’t the least surprised to hear that some lawyers allegedly affiliated to the Umbrella fraternity are ignobly ‘scandalising’ the Justices of the apex court over the 2020 election petition.

What is more disturbing, though, is the weird stance being taken by the opposition NDC operatives ever since the Chief Justice rightly and prudently submitted a petition to the General Legal Council over the alleged violations of the legal profession’s code of conduct by some law luminaries.

Some of us, as a matter of fact, are struggling to comprehend as to how and why the NDC as a party would find it somewhat convenient to call press conferences with the view to forcing the hand of the Chief Justice over a lawful petition to the General Legal Council.

In as much as I do not want to grub deeply into the case under discussion, it is pertinent to emphasise that the alleged trespasser has an inherent right to the presumption of innocence.

Suffice it to stress that on this occasion, it is the job of the General Legal Council to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, or to establish a prima facie case, and not a job for the suspect to prove his innocence.

That being said, it is a fine opportunity for the alleged trespasser to have a date with the General Legal Council and present his case with a view of exonerating himself from wrongdoing.

The overarching question then is: why are the NDC operatives all over the place nagging, shrieking and casting insinuation and aspersions on the eminent Supreme Court Justices?

The fact of the matter is that the NDC loyalists are fond of abusing and threatening judges.

If you would recall, sometime in August 2010, the then NDC Chairman, Dr Kwabena Adjei of blessed memory, in a press conference relating to Mills administration unsuccessful court cases, frighteningly proclaimed: ‘there are many ways of killing a cat’.

Apparently, the NDC loyalists called press conference and ventilated their arousing disgust over the judges for allegedly failing to arrive at a fair verdict, and hence threatened to take the law into their own hands.

As it was expected, the threat was not taken lightly by discerning Ghanaians as the NDC tradition has a terrible history of harming judges for carrying out their mandated duties.

It is well documented that on 30th June 1982, three eminent High Court Judges and a prominent Army Officer were barbarically murdered by some mindless stooges of PNDC for carrying out their constitutionally mandated duties.

“June 30th 1982 continues to remain a dark spot in the nation’s political history and a nightmare for all judges in the country, after the three High Court Judges namely, Mr. Justice Fred Poku Sarkodie, Mrs. Justice Cecilia Koranteng- Addow and Mr. Justice Kwadwo Agyei Agyapong as well as a retired army officer, Major Sam Acquah, were callously murdered under strange circumstances at the Bundase Military Range in the Accra Plains, after being abducted on the night by some unidentified assailants (”

Apparently, investigations revealed that all the three Judges were sitting on review cases brought by citizens disgusted over the treatment meted out to them by the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council, which the military junta formed after June 4, led by Flt. Lt. Rawlings.

It was, however, reported that the Judges ordered the release of persons who had been unlawfully sentenced to long terms of imprisonment during the despotic rule of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC).

The Army Officer, Major Sam Acquah, was the head of administration who signed dismissal letters for some GIHOC workers, including one of the murder suspects, Joachim Amartey Kwei, whose services were terminated for invading and destroying property at the Parliament House.

Unfortunately, the PNDC fatuous apologists savagely murdered the three eminent High Court Judges and the Army Officer because their judgement did not go in their favour.

The Special Investigation Board (SIB) thus concluded that the abduction and murder was a diabolical plot orchestrated by, and with the connivance of the members of the Provisional National Defence Council.

K. Badu, UK.