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Opinions of Monday, 12 May 2008

Columnist: Antwi, William

Of Akuffo Addo, Nduom And Alhaji Issah Mobila's Ghoulish Murder!

- When Justice Is Outfoxed!

As we feverishly prepare ourselves to cast our votes in the make-or-break general election on December 7, 2008, the ghoulish murder of Alhaji Issah Mobila should be a permanent remainder that all is not well with us as a people determined to be ruled by laws and not men and their political parties. It would be a monumental mistake if we simply ignore this brutal murder.

It is worth recalling here that just after the December 7, 2004 presidential and parliamentary elections - precisely on December 17, 2004 - Alhaji Issah Mobila, the Northern Regional chairman of the Convention Peoples Party was brutally murdered while in military custody. After intense public pressure and the government's investigation, those who allegedly committed this senseless and heinous crime, namely Cpl. Yaw Appiah, Private Eric Madzaka and Private Seth Goka, were arraigned before our High Court. As at the time of filing this piece, they remain free on bail. Meanwhile, the victim's family continues to endure the searing pain of his gruesome murder!

In fact, our ruling government wants us to forget about that atrocious murder as if that human tragedy never occurred! That is truly depressing and frightening coming from a political camp that continues to serenade us with their so-called human rights and rule of law credentials. Some of us have always maintained that when it comes to pure rhetoric, no person or political party can undo Nana Akuffo Addo and his NPP! What they preach is always at cross-purpose(s) with what they practice. Where happened to this government’s sense of justice, truth and fair play in this mightily disturbing case? Ominously, is the non-prosecution a calculated political strategy devised to intimidate the opposition into submission in the upcoming general elections? It should be noted here that the successful prosecution of this case is the end point of serving justice not only to the accused persons (who are now living under a heavy cloud of suspicion and credible fear for their liberty) but society (that is still enduring the pain of Alhaji Mobila’s cruel murder).

Now that it has become scarily clear that this government is not in any hurry to prosecute this case, let’s ask ourselves these simple but penetrating questions:

1.Why should a government that has the constitutional responsibility of protecting each and every one of us heartlessly refuse to prosecute this case? In other words, why has the prosecution of this criminal matter hit the wall?

2. Why is the government shrinking and shirking from their sacred responsibility of enforcing the law no matter who is involved? How long should we wait on this government before it mounts a full and complete airing of the evidence in this national case?

3. Are they telling the world that although they didn’t have credible evidence to prosecute the accused persons yet they arraigned them before our High Court? A sham trial?

4. How can we, as a people, move ahead in prosecuting our democratic destiny in a most dignified manner if we have this gorilla of a case weighing heavily on our collective conscience?

We should all bow down our heads in deep shame for tolerating this government’s cruel inaction in this tragic case! We should just for one wee moment think of Alhaji Mobila as a brother, uncle, father or a close relative or a friend! That notwithstanding, Akuffo Addo and Dr. Nduom should bear our ire because as very prominent members of this deceitful government, they did nothing to bring justice to bear on this heinous crime. Can you please add civil society including the Ghana Bar Association to that infamous list?


Why did I single out Nana Akuffo Addo in this instant matter? First, he is the flag bearer of the ruling party, a member of our rubber-stamping parliament and, until, he was forced to resign, a fixture and prominent member of the executive branch of government whose duty it is to zealously prosecute this case. Second, he has gone to the extravagant length of casting himself as a defender of our human rights!

There is no doubt that the media, obviously controlled and dominated by the ruling government and its acolytes, is giving some presidential candidates particularly Nana Akuffo Addo an easy ride, but thankfully, democratic minded Ghanaians cannot be denied their fate with justice. They continue to ask all the probing and intelligent questions of the new, but, now besieged leader of the NPP. They have every right to call into question the man’s ability to lead a nation now ravaged by brutal acts of corruption, armed robbery, contract killing, incompetence, mismanagement, tribalism, chieftaincy disputes, deceit, lies, arrogance and above all selective justice. The party for which he now leads is the very ugly face of all that is bad with our fragile democracy. Honestly, it is so annoying to hear Nana Akuffo Addo talk about his respect for our criminal law system and protection of our fundamental human rights when Alhaji Mobila’s murder case is hanging around our necks like an albatross. The gruesome murder of Alhaji Issah Mobila defines the dark hypocrisy of Nana Akuffo and his party. Didn’t our parents tell us that there is whit of difference between rhetoric and action?

It is annoyingly clear that Akuffo Addo only sees us as human beings when he is jockeying for political power. Ironically, once he and his party obtained political power, they began seeing us nonentities not worthy of his time, energy and protection! Therein lies the tragedy of our mandate! If not, he should tell us what he has done so far in bringing some semblance of transparency and justice to the Mobila case! Or, did Nana Akuffo Addo think he was going to put this case to bed without any resolution? How can he profess to be fighting for the protection of our human rights when he cannot fight for true justice for Mobila?! For goodness sake, the man was murdered in a most brutal manner! Yes, talk can be really cheap! Very, very cheap!!!


Dr. Nduom’s nonchalant position in this national matter is the most astounding considering the fact that he is the undisputed leader of the CPP! Let the truth be told here even if heaven will fall: With all due respect to our brothers and sisters of the CPP fraternity, how can they entertain Dr. Nduom as their leader vis-a-vis the non-prosecution of Alhaji Mobila’s senseless murder? For heaven’s sake, the man was the chairman of the Northern Region branch of the party! As the undisputed leader of the CPP, isn’t it amazing that Dr. Nduom has not effectively, aggressively and vigorously used his high national profile to bring needed attention and pressure to bear on this most disturbing case? How on this God’s earth did he stay as a prominent member of a government that callously refused (and still refuses) to prosecute such a heartbreaking case of brutal murder of a member of his own party?

To Dr. Nduom we humbly ask: Should politics necessarily corrupt our pursuit of justice for every Ghanaian, dead or alive? It is mind boggling how Dr. Nduom is sacrificing pure principles of justice in pursuit of cheap, narrow and selfish political goals! Honestly, if Dr. Nduom cannot fight tooth and nail for justice for a member of his own party, how can he reasonably convince any of us that he has the legal and moral chutzpah to fight for the protection of the fundamental human rights of non-party members? Or, is this a classic case where the protection of our fundamental human rights is not part of his political menu? Or precisely still, is he seriously disabled from talking about this grave matter by his mere association with the NPP government? I just don’t get it! All said, I find it most disturbing that Dr. Nduom can live with himself? How does he sit around each day with his family members every day of the week without sharing a modicum of thought for the late Alhaji Mobila’s still-grieving family members? Is he such a remorseless and emotionless person? He is giving politics such a terrible name! Let Dr. Nduom prove us wrong!


It is a crying shame that bodies like the Ghana Bar Association, Catholic Secretariat, the Christian Council, etc. don't seem to care about this brutal murder of one of our own in military custody. If they have to err, shouldn’t they err on the side of democracy and justice? Why are they shockingly silent on this national matter? Where is their outrage? Is it because of Alhaji Mobila’s personality? Or, is it because of his political affiliation or the fact that he does not belong to a certain professional or social class or culture? Honest to God, isn’t this the time for these bodies and associations to rise up in defense of freedom, justice and truth? Are they going to abandon justice just when it needs them most?

In earnest, peace-loving Ghanaians are not asking for any kind of entitlement. This is just an honest call for justice to be done and done manifestly! This is not too much to ask! Or is it?

Let justice reign!

Down with selective justice!

We are all in this together!

Thank you.


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