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Opinions of Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

The Chief Justice is not corrupt as presumed!

There Rockson Adofo goes again, some destructive critics will say. So what, he will retort? When Rockson uses corruption, it is not solely premised on embezzling funds but mostly, using your position and power abusively.


What then is “corrupt” by definition? Corrupt is dishonestly using your position or power to get an advantage, especially for money. The Chief Justice is not known in the books of Rockson to have accepted money from anyone, or used her position to acquire illegal wealth for herself, friends or family members, unlike some Ghanaian politicians including President Mahama.


There are certain individuals who had tried, and continue to try, to corrupt her hence my anger oftentimes directed at her. She may have her own professional or personal weaknesses, being a human being. This is why we say, “To err is human”. However, I shall not have her corrupted in anyway by whomever, be they Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, President Mahama or Rockson Adofo. That is my reason for critiquing her when I see her to be dilly-dallying on certain issues that in my opinion require prompt action by her.


A case in point is when the registrars of Kumawu Traditional Council Kumawu), Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs (Manhyia – Kumasi) and The National House of Chiefs (Manhyia – Kumasi) had sought to trick the Chief Justice into corrupting herself by way of intentionally, although dubiously, to delay the course of justice in the ongoing Kumawu chieftaincy dispute.


When a praecipe for search was caused, according to credible information available to me, into whether or not Dr Yaw Sarfo, the masquerading Kumawuhene Barima Sarfo Tweneboa Kodua has been gazetted as the Omanhene (paramount chief) of Kumawu Traditional Area, the Acting Registrar of the National House of Chiefs (Kumasi) answered yes. He said the forms filled in by Dr Yaw Sarfo as Omanhene of Kumawu was approved on 24th April 2015 by the National House of Chiefs.


What is PRAECIPE? It means,


1. (Law) a written request, addressed to a court, for a writ to be produced, specifying what the contents of the writ should be

2. (Law) a writ instructing that a given action be taken, or demanding a reason for failure to take the given action


When a second request was made to the same Registrar to provide the applicant(s) with two certified true form copies of the forms filled in by Dr Yaw Sarfo before his acceptance and gazetting by the National House of Chiefs as the paramount chief (Omanhene) of Kumawu, the registrar started behaving strangely. He would not provide the copies as requested.


What are his fears should he release copies of the requested document to the applicants?


When he was proving unprofessionally obstinate, never ready to do as lawfully requested of him, the applicants applied to the court to compel him to provide them with copies of the forms filled in by Dr Yaw Sarfo subsequent upon which he was accepted and gazetted as the Omanhene of Kumawu.


A writ of mandamus was issued by the court to oblige him to provide the document. Upon the issue of the mandamus, the registrar moved a motion that the Mampong Regional High Court has no jurisdiction to hear the case. When the judge on an adjourned date said he has the authority to hear the case and that he would, fixing a new date for the hearing, the registrar quickly petitioned the Chief Justice Mrs Theodora Georgina Wood to stop the Mampong High Court Judge from hearing the case or continuing with the proceedings.


What is a mandamus? It is “an official order from a court of law stating that a person or organization must do a particular thing: A writ issued by a court requiring a public official or entity to perform a duty associated with that office or entity”.


Being conversant with the prevailing circumstances under which one could permissively petition the Chief Justice, and seeing that the registrar’s does not come within that sphere, I became furious on learning that the Chief Justice had following the petition caused the case or the proceedings to be adjourned sine die.


It is under the following two conditions that the Chief Justice can be understandably petitioned by a plaintiff or a defendant to look into a case for them to ensure that true justice prevails.


a. When a judge has ruled against you even though your available evidence and facts before the court should have yielded the opposite result. By this, you may conclude that the judge is biased, so you can petition the Chief Justice to look into the case much further.

b. When a judge in the course of the proceedings, depending on his perceived posture of bias towards you, you can petition the Chief Justice about it.


However, in the case of this registrar under discussion, he never went to court for the proceedings to begin in the first place let alone, decided. How can he credibly then petition the Chief Justice?


What then is sine die? It means “without arranging a future date for something or without a day specified for a future meeting”. This goes to tell until the Chief Justice decides on the next line of action; the judge has been rendered absolutely incapable of continuing with the mandamus proceedings.


What baffles me is, is the form(s) filled in by Dr Yaw Sarfo not a public record that anyone with good intention or otherwise, can avail themselves of? Who has the right to ask for, and be given, a copy of that document?


I am sure it is not the intention of the Chief Justice to help the registrar and his employers to flout the laws of the land by protecting the alleged Kumawuhene Barima Sarfo Tweneboa Kodua from exposure as a probable criminal or fraudster.


I thought she was helping them to protect Dr Yaw Sarfo from eventual exposure by accepting their petition; sit on it without issuing a directive to the Mampong High Court in what shall become “justice delayed is justice denied”.


The camp of Dr Yaw Sarfo has said that they will do whatever is in their power to delay the case or drag it on for as many years as they can in the hope of breaking the backbone of the popularly and publicly accepted Kumawuhene Barima Tweneboa Kodua V. According to them, as long as Dr Yaw Sarfo has been gazetted, he can do whatever he likes as Omanhene and the longer it takes the law to expose him as a fraudster if indeed he is, the greater the chance of Barima Tweneboa Kodua V’s supporters getting discouraged and abandoning him.


Is the Chief Justice going to help him do whatever he likes, as ineligible as he is to make it all nonsense the good hard work done by Ghana ace investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas, in exposing the judicial corruption in Ghana, the bane of the socio-politico-economic prosperity of Ghana? No, she won’t!


Following this publication that exonerates the Chief Justice from any perceived corruption about her as I might have held, she will expedite the study of the petition made to her by the registrar so that in one way or the other, the colluding registrar will provide the applicants with certified true form copies of the form(s) filled in by Dr Yaw Sarfo subsequent upon which he was gazetted either dubiously or not, as Kumawu Omanhene.


What particular interest has this registrar in the Kumawu chieftaincy dispute, I want to know? Is the registrar not seeking to, or trying to, pervert the cause of justice by his reprehensible attitude?


At workplace, most of my colleagues see me as pedantic. This attitudinal pedantry makes me the proud and fearless person as I am, able to take people on when I see them to be abusing their authority hence my numerous publications touching on the unfairness, abuse of power, corruption and all the ongoing ills in Ghana today.


Chief Justice Mrs Georgina Wood, you are not corrupt, so do not allow this criminal registrar to tarnish your reputation by his doubtful petition to you. The document the applicants are requesting is a public record and it has to be treated as such. It must be made available to the public if they have nothing to hide.


Whether the form(s) is inundated with falsities during its filling in or not, the fact still remains that it is a public record that must be made available to every sane person who requires seeing it or having a copy for future reference.


Rockson Adofo