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Opinions of Saturday, 2 November 2013

Columnist: Amenga-Etego, Sacut

Shaking hands on the street with Atuguba JSC

I was recently privileged to meet Justice Atuguba of the Supreme Court of Ghana who recently presided over an eight - month long electoral petition in Ghana. The election petition culminated in the endorsement of John Dramani Mahama as a validly elected president of Ghana. Atuguba JSC was the man who read out that long anticipated judgment to Ghanaians. it was this man I saw standing on the side walk on the street in osu where he was having a conversation with one young man in the afternoon. It was difficult to identify him - unless it is you really know him.

When I saw him, I left my friends - immediately - and went across the road to greet him. I got close and attempted to shake hands but he seemed reluctant. Looking at my strange face, he just nodded in response. I was unsatisfied. I wanted to talk to him by all means. I wasn't about to give in. So: I remained adamant. But I needed a plan B.

I drew back closer to him and said in a low tone ' mam dela hu am bia ooh'. To wit ' I am your kinsman'. Now I got his attention - quickly. He could now trust the strange face I presented. And believe me, my face is strange enough to make a Supreme Court judge distrust me on a first glance.

'What is your name?' He asked me. ' Denis Amenga - Etego, from Kandiga', I said. The famous supreme court judge was smiling now. But he still had a question to ask me before he settles down. ' you are from Kandiga? But who is that SaCut guy on radio here in Accra, and who is also from Kandiga?

Now I am shocked. I thought this man was the most famous, and all Ghanaians are his fans. But now, I am learning that the most celebrated Supreme Court judge of Ghana is my fan. 'I am the one'. I answered.

' You don't mean it' He said excitedly whiles shaking hands with me. I used to listen to you do your show on radio. I felt proud when I heard you mention your grandfather's name but I have never seen you before. You know I don't know you the young ones' He added.

Now I am humbled by the great man's humility. And I said it. ' Oh I am humbled hearing this from you but you are the one who recently made all of Ghana proud. In fact we are proud of you. May the gods of our forefathers and the ancestors guide you always'. I told him with a warm handshake. He received it with grace.

You won't believe how simply the presiding Supreme Court judge was dressed in sandals, and simple clothes, his car parked somewhere out of sight and walking on the street - all by himself - without looking over his shoulders. That must be a man with clear conscience - I thought!

I exchanged cell phone numbers with the great man on the street like an ordinary guy I just met. ATUGUBA JSC is a true definition of humility.

Amenga -Etego Akaabitono SaCut - The writer is a political journalist, broadcaster and ghost writer

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