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Opinions of Sunday, 7 September 2003

Columnist: Aidoo, Prince Junior

Rawlings, Boakye Djan and others will face the Law of Ghana.

Fellow country, how efficient is the “Rule of Law “ in Ghana?.
Is Ghana?s Constitution a controversial Constitution for the cat?.

This is the question the uprising youth movement will be asking the nation when they take over the administration of Ghana to ensure the real “Rule of Law” and make it a better place to live in after 2008. We shall ensure that the average Ghanaian is given the due respect and protected for his or her contribution to the nations development efforts. There is no way this country will ever develop without protecting and ensuring its nationals that the countries Constitution was not writing for the cats. Past and present governments have failed their people for allowing our “Constitution and Legislation” to be amended anyhow to allow criminals to take the law in their own hands.

Fellow countrymen, I have talked about the creation of the so-called “Indemnity clause 34 sec.(2) signed in 1992 which says: “It is not lawful for any court or tribunal to entertain any action or take decision or make any order or grant any remedy or relief in any proceedings instituted against the Government of Ghana whether before or after the coming force of this Constitution or against any person or persons acting in concert or individual to assist or bring about the change in government which took place on February 24, 1996, January 13, 1992, June 4 1979 and December 31, 1981 in respect of any act or omission”. What a wonderful amendment.

If NPP government may not be tight-lipped and not happy about this for their own security after 2004, then why is that the NPP government, despite criticism, silence in redressing this “Clause”?. What is their motive?. Our uprising movement will put the records straight in 2008.

Fellow countrymen, this is exactly what is happening after a long debate between Rawlings and Boakye Djan each claiming to be a hero for causing “Treason”. Now just listen to what both has to say:

Rawlings says - I created him

Ex-President Jerry John Rawlings has finally spoken. He says Major (rtd.) Boakye Djan is not a hero of June 4 but rather a coward who proved to be dummy by running into hiding at his wife’s residence at Achimota School when the guns began smoking on that fateful day.

“Look, the man is useless, I created him and gave him political life by naming him into the Council. He is simply a coward. He is claiming to be a hero now because his name was the first I mentioned in the radio announcement. On that day, everything was hot, I was only mentioning the names of people I knew and because he was a friend his name readily came to mind. I had to call the names of all the soldiers both senior and junior. I remember as I was mentioning the names, somebody was also writing more on a piece of paper,” he said.

“Boakye was wasting time and he lost all his friends as a result of his cowardice. The fir! st time we wanted to move he said ‘No! No! No! you should wait.’ The second time he said we should allow him to move from the Directorate of Public Relations (DPR) to the Military Intelligence (MI).

“When he got there he said we should wait for him to move into a unit so that he can have combat troops so he again applied to move from MI to 5BN and still he could not do anything,” he said. The ex-President continued that, “Here I am, Boakye Djan is at 5BN. He said we should wait when he is on duty at Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC). There we waited again, days, weeks no action. So I asked that we should move; then he said he didn’t have ammunition. He wanted everything to wait for him.”

“Ask Boakye Djan, he can’t tell you anything he did. He ran away through the bush. He knows he is going to be exposed so he says his chief operative of the June 4 was Lt. Agyeman Bio. He uses Bio’s name because he is dead,” Rawlings said.

The ex-President charged that if Major Boakye Djan is the hero of June 4, as he is trumpeting, why was he not the chairman?.

BOAKYE DJAN?s version

June 4 uprising

“Boakye Djan said: June 4, as I have always maintained was necessary but unavoidable. And after I have been involved in creating it or initiating it as you put it we made a firm commitment to the people of Ghana to clean our house. In order words to initiate a justice system that would account for all the misdeeds that we set out to correct: organize fair and open elections, hand over within a time schedule that we thought was appropriate at the time and on a manner that we thought would maintain democracy, as we knew it now”.

The law on the executions.

When we took over the issue was to hold all those generals who had taken power in destroying existing constitutionally elected governments. Secondly, creating a defacto if you like illegal regimes thereafter. Thirdly, and taking part in managing that particular defacto government. But above all to profit illegally from that and indeed this is a litmus test of our regime and when we did that, we then had to go for the substantive law that would help us to cover this area [execution].

Because we had no precedence we had to consult widely and I can mention names: Col. Agbeko of Legal Services Directorate was asked to come in and assist us. He did well.

I consulted the Advocate General of the Armed Forces the late Justice Mills Odoi, late Justice A.N Amissah and a number of them were consulted and we were advised that the way to go about it was to use the then existing line of authorities or legislature to cover our actions. The initial line of action our attention was drawn to was the 1960 criminal code in which it was absolutely and clearly stated that if you ever took part in overthrowing a constitutionally elected government you have c! ommitted high treason, a criminal offense. We had no difficulty in accepting that as our parameter for defining capital punishment which could affect anybody else.

Lt. Gen. Afrifa

It is the legal prescription which drew the line that anybody who had actually since 1966 taken part in destroying an existing constitution, creating a defacto illegal government, managing that government and profiting illegally from it automatically became a target for execution.

Collective decision

It didn't require Rawlings or me or anybody to do that. And as a matter of fact when we were appointed as a council, people who were appointed also to implement that decision took no responsibility for it. They were carrying out orders. So if there is anything wrong with that decision and its implementation, it rests squarely with the collective body of AFRC.

Let the blood flow

Now once we were confronted with that, technically, apart from the irrational exuberance cry "let the blood flow", people throwing papers around with names, (in one particular case two hundred and forty seven names that were thrown as us including civilians, policemen, politician, and soldiers) I said no, that is not the way to go about it, but technically after our attention had been drawn to that definition then you find out that anybody who had actually taken part in an illegal regime in the process that I have defined could technically have been executed. Again our att! ention was drawn to an existing Armed Forces Regulation which is called the Superior Order Rule which incidentally was used to convert NRC into SMC in 1975.

If something happens and it comes from the superior authority, that superior authority takes responsibility for it. It doesn't matter who is down the line and who took part in implementing it. So we used that to draw a line that in that case only members of NLC 1966-1969, NRC1972-1975, SMC 1975-1978 and SMCII 1978-1979 who occupied both legislative and executive authority in these councils had the ultimate responsibilities and authority for the four processes that I have described.

Therefore, in our books the key ! words were automatic capital punishment. Then the question arose as to what do you do with subordinate officers, commissioners of states, those who went into parastatals as executives and all that? You can't reverse that but having said that sometimes I ask myself why is it that of the eight generals whose sanctioned executions by the Council of AFRC, his has excited so much irrational, I would like to say, interest. I can understand, but then let me put the records straight as much as I can. It is linked up with the issue of sanctioned executions of the generals under AFRC.

The Armed Forces Act

The Armed Forces Act also makes it clear that there are two types of substantive punishments; a capital punishment and custodial punishment. So we said that any other officers in uniform who occupy any subordinate position in that hierarchy was caught in automatic custodial sentence.

It was those in the Armed Forces who actually took the machinery of the Armed Forces into politics and invited these people to assist them so they could not be caught in this [definition]. So our punishment targeted only members of the Armed Forces . We took the NLC - Ankrah, Kotoka, Ocran and Afrifa, were the only four officers who served in the NLC. So only these officers were c! aught in the ring of automatic capital punishment. We didn't need to prove their crime because they served in those positions. The execution was a collective sanction of AFRC and not an individual sanction. Is an individual allowed to say that I wasn't part of it? Otherwise no institution can move in this world. Now Afrifa, for whatever reason, was the only one available to be tried and executed alongside the generals who had committed the same four offenses.

Remember when they took over and they were asked when would they hand over they asked, "Hand over to whom?" If for some reasons the current administration has no intention for contesting that issue, that is their choice as a political party. But I can guarantee you that situation would not survive beyond this administration because it's unfair for somebody or a group of people to hold other people to account under a law, go and break the same law, profit from it and be given all the state protocol, walk around and not even ! return the compliment and allow the one who is doing them the favor the peace of mind to concentrate, device and follow policies that would in the end benefit all of us. I don't think that situation is acceptable.

The question I ask then is, if, and God forbid, I don't contemplate it, if that situation were to happen today and they continue to uphold the example of Afrifa what defense is available for them to reverse that situation? And I appeal humbly to them that if we have to protect our baby democracy and the constitution under it, and deal with any outstanding case that has similar connotations, we would have to accept it however painful it is. Nobody is allowed to look beyond that and find out who did it because then the question is who was responsible for the execution of Amedome, Utuka and Acheampong etc.? There w! as no other reason as far as I am concerned which went into the sanctified execution of the eight generals other than being caught by the law that existed then and exists today.

“Rawlings to come back and do exactly what we held others accountable for. And therefore we would do what ever we could at the appropriate time to hold him to account like we have done to the other generals. There was a crime to commit armed forces resources to overthrow an elected constitutional government, manage it and profit from it illegally. These are outstanding cases to be handled and the only way now is to invoke that law outside the Commission. It's a shame that the remit did not include it in the NRC's work. But that is my position, that someday, somehow, as far as I am concerned Mr. Rawlings is an accomplice of criminals just like”.

End of Boakye Djan?s statement.



Fellow countrymen, you?ve all head what both had to say in admitting “Treason” charges. As a cover up, this lead to the creation of the so-called “Indemnity Clause” in our Constitution.

Boakye Djan had made us understand that “the Armed Forces Act also makes it clear that there are two types of substantive punishments; a capital punishment and custodial punishment for conspiracies. The message here is all those who took part in overthrowing an elected government or took part in any subversive act has committed treason according to our laid down Constitution. The question here is, what should be done to those perpetrators?

I therefore say with all confidence that, no matter how long it takes, these criminals including Rawlings should be left to face the “Rule of Law” by eliminating this criminal “ Indemnity Clause” from our Constitution. Our country is now in a bad shape after this cruel atrocities. Do we have to blame them alone?. We have to blame our selfish and wicked policy makers in our country. Yes the imperialist has succeeded in destabilizing our independence.

I hope President Kufuor, who please note that John Kufuor, in his capacity as the former Deputy Foreign Minister under Kofi Abrefa Busia is said to have drafted the memo for approval denying Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah?s entry into Ghana where he had wished to die. 2. Kufuor was also said to have as well supported the then PNDC that over threw an elected government and later left for unknown reasons, will have to prove to the nation one day that “No one is above the Law” if he is a Lawyer by profession, or has to tell the nation that the introduction of the “Indemnity Clause” by the criminals was justified because when it is retrieved, it will simply undermine his support for the coup mak! ers. They will then have to face the Law. If he fails, our movement will put the records straight and let them all face the “Rule of Law” if any “ Rule of Law” exists in Ghana.

“They can run but cannot hide”. Long live Ghana. God bless you.

Prince Aidoo (Evangelist)

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.