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Opinions of Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Columnist: Amenyo, Andrew

RE: Is lawyer Okudjeto deaf and blind?

For some time now Mr Sam Okudjeto, a highly respected Ewe and lawyer has not been living up to expectation as a statesman; he has allowed his sense of judgement to be shrouded in politics. I do not support tribalism but it is worth noting that Mr Sam Okudjeto deserted the Ewes several times when they needed him most. It is most unfortunate that he has surrendered his head to Nana Akufo Addo.
The direction of Ghana’s democracy is very disturbing. The conduct of some individuals, who ought to have known better, leaves much to be desired. One of such personalities is Mr Sam Okudjeto who is a tutor at the Ghana Law School and also regarded as a “legal luminary”. Mr Sam Okudjeto, a highly respected Ewe and a native of Adidome in the Central Tongu District of the Volta Region, has now become Nana Akufo Addo's sibling and NPP's night soil carrier. Why am I saying this?
Down the memory lane, Mr Sam Okudjeto competed with the late Dr Joe Geker (who later became Togbega Kwao Anipati IV of Mepe) for the parliamentary candidature of Mr William Ofori Atta’s (Paa Willie) United National Convention (UNC) and won in 1979. UNC was formed by the breakaway Akyem group that separated from the Victor Owusu led Popular Front Party (PFP), the Ashanti stalk of the Danquah-Dombo-Busia tradition, as a result of acrimonial leadership struggle. Unfortunately, the then North Tongu parliamentary seat was snatched from him by lawyer Dowokpor of People’s National Party (PNP) fame led by the late Dr Hilla Liman.
In a quick defence of the judiciary,the celebrated lawyer Sam Okudjeto verbally attacked Dr Kwabena Adjei (the NDC Chairman) insulting his physique over his “there are several ways of killing a cat” idiomatic expression when Government lost the Ya Na case in court. Mr Sam Okudjeto showed his highest level of insensitivity to the plight of Ewes and Gas when he went completely silent over Kennedy Adjapong’s genocidal call on the Asantes to kill the Ewes and Gas in the Ashanti Region. Lawyer Sam Okudjeto deserted the constituents he wanted to represent in parliament at the time they needed him most.
Mr Sam Okudjeto also went dumb when Nana Akufo Addo, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey and Anthony Karbo made the infamous statements inciting violence.
Again Mr Sam Okudjeto was quick to jump to the defence of Nana Akufo Addo and the other election petitioners in a case in which one does not need to be a lawyer or a genius to know that the petitioners are fighting a losing battle. The question I have been asking is this: If self-acclaimed constitutional lawyer Sam Okudjeto and “legal luminary” Nana Akufo Addo were justices of the Supreme Court sitting on this baseless case, will they pass judgement in favour of the petitioners? Of course, all well-meaning members and supporters of NPP have distanced themselves from the disgraceful case which is only meant to create political tension in the country out of nothing. The most worrying and weird aspect is the inability of the disgruntled young members of the Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMVCA) to make good use of their education to discern the truth and the reality of Nana Akufo Addo’s bloated ego which has precipitated into his difficulty to come to terms with his defeat. To the young members of LMVCA and lawyer Sam Okudjeto I say God has very good reasons for giving everybody a different head and the associated sensory organs to make individuals out the human race. The purpose of individuality must be respected and served religiously to the letter. It is senseless for anybody to challenge in court the election results which were publicly counted and certified by all except one election officials and in other cases just because the associated figures (not the valid votes) were erroneously recorded.
The response of Mr Sam Okudjeto to Justice Kpegah’s writ challenging the professional status of Nana Akufo Addo as a lawyer was most unintelligent and ridiculous coming from a former president of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) and a member the General Legal Council. Mr Sam Okudjeto let down the whole nation by failing to tell Ghanaians and the world the processes involved in registration to practise as a lawyer and how Nana Akufo Addo fit into the processes. Once again, he allowed his sense of judgement to be clouded by politics. He has not yet seen the light which is shining for the GBA and the Christian Council of Ghana.
I expect Mr Sam Okudjeto and Nana Akufo Addo to be more nationalistic than to allow their judgements to be shrouded in politics to serve their parochial interest and by so doing hold the whole nation at ransom. Mr Sam Okudjeto’s behaviour so far has not only made him deaf and blind but also dishonest. He should begin to think of his legacy. My fear is that if the so called distinguished Ghanaian lawyers continue to behave this way, a time will come when Ghana will have to import lawyers.
Andrew Amenyo