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Opinions of Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Rawlings Deplores the Baseless Trial of his Accuser – Nana Darkwah

For how long should I continue to bemoan the outrageous behaviour amid incompetence as characteristically being displayed by one Charles A. Wilson without shame? I wonder where this mentioned guy had his schooling and training not only to become a barrister or a solicitor, but a Law Court judge. He is the Judge presiding over the "Nana Darkwah vs. The State" case. This case came about as a result of my own Kumawuman kinsman, stupidly or otherwise, going on air to allege that Former President Togbui Avaklasu J.J. Rawlings of notoriety set alight his own official residence. A fire is known to have gutted the residence of the Rawlingses on the very evening or night of this year's Valentine Day in February 2010. The next day when the entire nation was commiserating with the Rawlingses, Nana Darkwah's opinion was sought by a Top FM Radio station's presenter as to what could possibly be the cause of the fire. Nana Darkwah being a panellist on a live programme taking place in the studio of the mentioned radio station opined that Rawlings may have burned the house himself.

Nana Darkwah was within minutes of expressing his views as sought, got arrested by policemen on escort and orders by one Kofi Adams. Kofi Adams is a legally and intellectually challenged hooligan, a Rawlingses' fanatic who doubles as the official Spokesperson of Former President J.J. Rawlings. Briefly, I should say, Nana Darkwah was taken to the Accra Regional Police Headquarters, charged, arraigned before Justice Charles A. Wilson at the Accra Cocoa House Circuit Court and remanded to Nsawam Maximum/High Security Prisons in the outskirts of Accra for a week pending further investigations. He was charged with "Publishing false statement which can cause fear and harm to public" as under the Criminal Law Code Section 208? This is an affront to the intelligence of all well-meaning Ghanaians. This is a daylight robbery on our justice system. How can alleging that the Rawlingses inadvertently or deliberately set fire to their house relate to the charge as preferred against Nana Darkwah? How can that cause fear and harm to the public, the intelligent minds are querying? The charge as it stands now may only be of interest or relevance to those purposely engineered NDC depraved guys who take to the streets, beat their chests in expressive machismo similarly as does a frustrated chimp. Who cares if these fanatics of low lives are ready to go on the war path whenever their tin god Rawlings is mentioned in a bad taste? What makes Rawlings so special to the point of having a lopsided priority over the laws of the land? Is it because he is the self-declared strongman of Ghana to whom all must kowtow?

While others in the civilized societies in the world are building strong institutions to ensure their economy, social life, politics, grow from strength onto strength, Ghana for stupid reasons is churning out human monsters falsely believed as strongmen. Are these so produced monsters not going to end up devouring us, terrorizing us, or harming us as it currently seems to be the case? Anyway, let me get back to the main topic of discussion as I appear to be veering farther and farther away from the main topic into something of irrelevance to the absurdity of the current Ghanaian justice system as seen under the Mills' administration and exhibited by Justice Charles A. Wilson.

As said in my previous article, I once again tip my hat to, or take my hat off to Former President Togbui Avaklasu J.J. Rawlings who has not only washed his hands from having anything to do with the predicament of Nana Darkwah but also, pardoned him and gone further to ask for God's forgiveness of sins for Nana Darkwah. Rawlings upon hearing the accusation or allegation made against him by Nana Darkwah went on Peace FM radio to declare as follows; "Nana Darkwah is a young boy who does not know what he is saying so I have forgiven him his sins. I also pray that God does forgive him his sins". Rawlings has since the fire outbreak that gutted his house and the subsequent accusation neither attempted to pursue Nana Darkwah in any Criminal/Civil court nor desired to harm him in any way possible. What then does the State have to do with that most stupid charge brought against Nana Darkwah by the coward but most corrupt and pugnacious Kofi Adams with the unassertive but also corrupt policemen? The accusation was directed at Rawlings and Rawlings only, but no one else. In the scenario of Rawlings taking on Nana Darkwah, it could only be a civil but not a criminal case as preferred against Nana Darkwah. Rawlings would have had to choose between the options of obliging Nana Darkwah to apologise to him by way of retracting his supposed infamous allegation, or, by suing him for libel. He could never by any law under the Sun, the Moon and the Stars, have instituted a criminal charge against him as being childishly pursued by some unnamed incompetent prosecution team with an obvious comedian as a sitting Judge. "Haba", Ghanaians, what is happening under the Atta Mills' "slow and slow" but not "slow but sure" government?

This Judge who may be lacking the art of delivering justice has for five times adjourned the case on request by the prosecution team. The prosecution team often appears in court on scheduled dates for the hearing only to seek adjournments. They always come up with flimsiest excuses to seek the postponement of the hearing of the case. The second time the case was due in court; they asked to be granted enough time to prepare their docket. When the case was called after the postponement, they said they had still not finished assembling their evidence. When again the case was called after their requested deferment date, neither they nor the judge did come to court. Did the Judge have the least decency to notify the defence lawyers prior to the date indicating their intended absence from court? No. Why? Because he is not civilized and does also not know how to conduct fair prosecution and judgment of cases. The defence team always comes to court only to be fooled by the Judge and the prosecution team. The last time the case was called, on Thursday, 6th May 2010, the prosecutor asked of the court, "Could you please adjourn the case as I can't find the investigator?" The Judge did oblige as requested. This is where I have an issue with the seemingly incompetent and obnoxious Judge, Charles A. Wilson. This case has once again and for the fifth time been rescheduled for Thursday, 27th May 2010. My question to the judge is, "For how long is he going to keep adjourning the case based on the incessantly most stupid excuses as divulged here without granting a hearing, let alone a ruling?" As action speaks louder than words, every action so far taken by the prosecution team with the disgusting judge inclusive, points to the fact and the ultimate conclusion that Nana Darkwah has no case to answer. Nana Darkwah is neither answerable to the Rawlingses nor the State. I may not want to delve into why he is not answerable to Rawlings in order not to infringe on the aforementioned commendable gesture by Former President Rawlings. The prosecution team and the judge have no shred of evidence to successfully prosecute Nana Darkwah on the charge as brought against him. The Judge will do himself an immense favour by discharging the case than to continue to display his utter lack of competence in the internationally acclaimed reputable profession - law. He is a disgrace not only unto himself but to the Ghana Bar Association of which he is a member.

It does not take a competent lawyer to know that the judge is erring big time. You don't have to be a lawyer to know the law. I am not a lawyer, neither have I sought the advice of my son, a Masters degree holder in law and my daughter, a graduate in law on this issue but I know for sure that both the Judge and the prosecutor(s) are clueless. They are only trying to appease Rawlings who but has already declared his disinterest in the case. President Mills has come out to declare on air to the whole country that the arrest of Nana Darkwah for expressing his views about the fire is an obstruction to freedom of speech. He went further to say that the State has no dealing with the arrest and prosecution of Nana Darkwah. Why then are the Judge and a supposed State prosecution team foolishly pursuing Nana Darkwah in court? In whose interest and name is he on trial then? Is this second Charles A. Wilson not cunningly undermining President Mills' administration same as done by his brother or namesake Carl Wilson of infamy - seizing cars at the Team Harbour with bravado whilst that act was being condemned by all and sundry?

Justice Charles A. Wilson by his untoward attitude has set a trap for President Mills. In Ghana, the Judiciary arm of government is independent of the Executive branch. He wants President Mills to come hard on him so that the judiciary can accuse him of meddling with justice in Ghana. Was Busia not teased and blamed for tampering with justice in his infamous statement of "No court, no court?" This was when his Progress Party government was found guilty by the court in his "government vs. Sallah" case. The failure of Charles A. Wilson to bow out of this case now will make him an object of laughter in the eyes of seasoned lawyers. He will be ostracized by his peers for being dunce. The defence lawyers did appeal to him to quash the case at the last court appearance of which request he has accepted to consider on 27th May 2010. This is his chance to salvage his obvious dwindling and soiled reputation.

The Ghana Fire Service has concluded their investigations into the possible cause of the fire outbreak that consumed the Rawlingses' house. Their final report which many a Ghanaian view as inconclusive says, "We have not been able to establish the actual cause of the fire that set ablaze the residence of Former President Rawlings". They have though done a good job, the result is still not satisfactory to many a Ghanaian. I beg to differ. They have done what the current lawless situation in Ghana which is daily being orchestrated by the NDC "foot-soldier" fanatics permit them to. How can they dare question the Rawlingses as following: * How did the fire start? *Which area of your house do you reckon the fire started? * What were you doing when the fire started? * Were you fully asleep, half awake or fully awake when the fire started? * In which rooms were you when the fire started? * How did you escape and through which doors or rooms? * Which one of you (Mrs. Rawlings Nana Konadu Agyemang Prempeh or Yaa Asantewaa) first saw the fire outbreak? * Did you raise an alarm immediately or you waited for sometime when you saw the fire? * Did you wait to collect any valuables or you just hurtled outside upon seeing the fire? * Did you wait to fully dress up, or you ran out half naked or fully naked? * If you did wait to dress up how long did it take you? * How many pets do you or did you have? * Did any of the pets get trapped in the blaze and if so, did you release it, or attempted to release from their entrapment? * Did any of the pets get killed? * Did you suspect anyone setting fire to the house? * What could the person have used if you do suspect any? * Do you think electrical appliance did cause the fire? Did you have any known faulty electrical appliance? *Did you by inattention leave any food cooking on fire? Was there a power outage in your home or in your area on the day of the fire outbreak? If yes, did you leave any naked flame on - lit candle? Did the house experience any of the frequent Ghana "so dom" (incessant on and off power outages with the attendant power surges? Did you make any attempt to fight the fire when first sighted and if so how? Above are a few of possible numerous questions to ask the Rawlingses in a genuine event of establishing the cause of the fire that gutted their house.

It will take a competent team of forensic fire investigators to establish the possible cause of the fire. Basic questions which may look stupid in the eyes of the Rawlingses and their sympathisers will need to be obligatorily asked. But who in Ghana is able enough to ask the Rawlingses such questions without being accused of plotting to implicate them? Moreover, burnt or singed items from the scene are to be removed for analyses as a precondition for determining the likely cause of the fire. Failure to do as hereby recommend will render any report flawed or inconclusive.

Nearing 27th May 2010, I will produce in an article official procedure to follow in an event of fire outbreak. This will justify why the Rawlings will need to be asked questions basic questions without fear or favour.

In conclusion, Nana Darkwah has no case to answer. He has not in any way wronged Ghana and the people therein for a second (time-wise).He is therefore free and free forever. I will have a go at the defence lawyers if they fail to impress upon the Judge the obligation to free Nana Darkwah as there is no justification for his prosecution. He is simply being persecuted for his political affiliation but not what may seem as his stupid allegation. But can his be more stupid than those uttered by Rawlings himself? The answer is left in the court of your gumption, battle with it my dear reader.

Rockson Adofo