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Opinions of Saturday, 29 June 2013

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Supreme Court Cannot Crack the Whip

While Judges are Openly Biased

It hurts to tell the truth but in the end it brings comfort.“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.”

Unnecessary intimidations, issuance of threats and abuse of positions have never achieved anything purposeful to advance the prosperous and peaceful course of mankind. Nevertheless, fairness, justice and the respect of one's position to be of service to his country and people have always been the cardinal pivots on which peace revolves to attain spiritual and material prosperity for a nation.

The apparently ridiculous desire and policy by the NDC government and her obnoxious agents and assigns to practice selective justice, has almost brought the country's Supreme Court into disrepute. Those in government and in positions of responsibility think they can get away with crime playing their partisan cards, with impunity. I assure them they have got it all wrong. Gone are the days when we sat shivering from head to toe when we saw their shadows pass by let alone, being in their physical presence.

There is a proverb that goes, "Nothing ventured nothing came". The Supreme Court judges sitting on Election 2012 case have now realised the urgency with which to salvage their reputation which is almost marred by their own actions and inactions. Their integrity is called into question. Their credibility is on the precipice of national and international mockery.

Who has brought about all these problems that have perilously perched the judges on the edge of that slippery or steep slope leading into the abyss of shame and oblivion? The answer is not far fetched. It is the Presiding judge, Justice Atuguba. Many all over the world have come to the conclusion that he is more of a fourth respondent in the case than an arbitrator. His actions, pronouncements, body language and whatever he does sitting on the bench show his strong leaning towards the respondents. He is not ashamed to glaringly portray his partisanship which should otherwise not be the case.

Any intelligent person would seek to suppress their bias if accidentally chosen to preside over a case in which they have interest. Most judges, especially in the civilized world (in the Whiteman's land), would on first hand opt out, that is, recuse themselves. In Ghana , he/she will rather force themselves in with intent to defending the party they support as in vivid exhibition by some on the bench; exemplified by Justice Atuguba.

I am sorry that by his actions, others on the panel are being seen in the same bad faith. Why does he see being tagged as practising selective justice be a pain in his backside? What does he think he is doing if not exactly as accused of? Why does he single out Daily Guide newspaper for castigation knowing very well that many pro-NDC newspapers are doing same if not far worse than what Daily Guide reports on the ongoing Election 2012 case?

Does Justice Atuguba not know that he, being openly partisan sitting on the bench, presiding over the case, compromises the credibility of the panel? Until he is seen to be fair, suppressing his open partisanship and giving a level playing ground to both the petitioners and the respondents and their supporters, all his threatening will amount to much ado about nothing.

Today, he has got judicial "koboko" (cane) in his hand to crack on the back of NPP supporters without anyone able to challenge him except the fearless few. Tomorrow, like the law of Karma, he will be at the receiving end. Who knows tomorrow and what it will bring? This is the more reason why we should tread cautiously but that has never been the mentality of the Ghanaian or the Blackman. When he has power, he wants to exercise it abusively. Justice Atuguba is not an exemption.

Technology and social networking have evolved so much so that nobody can linger in a cranny to issue orders intended to cower others while he lives unrestricted free life. We want to see nothing but true justice. I am actually fed up with the animalistic showmanship exercise of power by people in government or in higher positions of responsibility in my country Ghana.

I love to jealously protect the Ghana judiciary but let us see justice become the order of the day. I least appreciate the world witnessing our judges being openly partial as it is currently the case with Election 2012 hearing that is on live telecast.

Let us all accept our faults and change for the better irrespective of our positions in society. People are becoming more sophisticated, ready to resist absurd oppression. A word to the wise is enough.

Rockson Adofo