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Opinions of Saturday, 4 August 2007

Columnist: Obeng-Aduasare, Yaw

Re: Thief! Thief! Thief! Who is first to cast his stone?

The good people of Ghana are peaceful and law abiding citizens and they reject the insurgence of Land Guards phenomena and the prevailing Mob Justice ascendency going on in the country. Innocent people can easily become victims to such barbaric injustice and we must find the solution to such menace.

Professor Obeng Mensah in his article, entitled, ' Thief! Thief!! Thief!! Who is first to cast his stone?' which appeared on Ghanaweb on July 29, 2007, points out that Mob Justice is in the ascendency in the country. He writes, " Today in the Ghanaian society, it is not unusual for some members of the public to cast stones at suspected criminals upon their arrest ." We thank the eminent Professor for his observation.

However, Professor Obeng Mensah should not stop at his mere observation of the phenomena as a member of the Think-Tank of Ghana Judicial System. He should probe further and pose the following questions, 1). why Mob Justice is in ascendency?, 2). why some peaceful people are now taking the laws of the country in their own hands?, and 3). what are the causes of such barbaric Mob Justice?. The scholarly engagement of answering the above questions will help him find the panacea to nip the proliferation of Mob Justice in the bud.

It is unfortunate that some people who are placed in responsible positions in Ghana to oversee the Administration of Justice in the country are either consciously or subconsciously refusing to see the correlation between the Lack of Swift Administration of Justice in our court system vis-a-vis the Insurgence of Land Guards menace as well as the Barbaric Mob Justice.

Why is the Learned, Professor refusing to accept the fact that there are at most thousands of economic cases that have never been heard for almost ten years in the court system in Ghana? The Good People of Ghana continue to suffer from human degradation and powerlessness when they are constantly told, your case is postponed, come back next month ( date given) and most of the time without a tangible reason. The suffering of gross human degradation and powerlessness have gone on for ten years for thousands of Ghanaians at the hands of the court system that pay lip-service to Rule of Law, Human Rights, Justice, and the Rules of Democratic Principles.

How is it difficult for Professor Obeng Mensah, a member of the Think-Tank of the Jurisprudence in Ghana to make an empirical connection to the Lack of Swift Administration of Justice in regard to land Guards menace as well as the Barbaric instant Mob Justice?

The exponents of Open-Society who are proponents of Authentic Rule of Law, Human Rights, Justice and Principles of Democratic Rule insist that it is the Lack of Swift Administration of Justice in the court system that has engendered the deadly Land Guards menace and proliferation of Barbaric Mob Justice in the country.

This writer is with the view that there are still some remnants within the Think-Tank of the Ghana Judiciary who are working hard to turn things around for the better. The system can be salvaged but it demands a one hundred eighty degree turn. The current system where judges are not strictly held accountable to their output is what is suffocating the Administration of Justice in Ghana. There must be strict checks and balances within the Judiciary which we call democratic rule.

There must be a broad-based Community Oversight Board of Administration of Justice, starting from the districts to the regional level. Every district must have a Supervisory Judge nominated by the Chief Justice and elected by the citizenry for a four-year term. Such arrangement will help democratize the Judiciary to help establish Swift Administration of Justice in the country.

Fellow Ghanaians, It is only through authentic democratization of the judiciary that we can nip the proliferation of Land Guards menace and the ascendency of Barbaric Mob Justice in the bud. Long Live Ghana! Long Live Democracy!

Rev. Yaw Obeng-Aduasare, M. Div.

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