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Opinions of Thursday, 4 November 2010

Columnist: Mensah, Nana Akyea

The Chief Justice stinks - Kwesi Pratt

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Fellow Ghanaians!

I have been instructed by His Majesty, the Odikro, to extend to you his
fraternal greetings! After listening to Mr. Kwesi Pratt, Jnr., the Managing
Editor of the Insight newspaper, speaking on Radio Gold's *Alhaji and Alhaji
* programme on Saturday, I have been directed by the Odikro to write a
transcription of the entire speech given by Mr. Pratt on the programme. In
the debate, Mr. Pratt says the Chief Justice Georgina Wood is highly
compromised in the state lands grabbing episode perpetuated by the erstwhile
Kufuor administration and should be watched closely.

Nana Odikro wants the widest possible distribution of this speech to
heighten the vigilance of the population. Please help in this exercise by
sending this as an e-mail to your friends or sharing this on Facebook and on
other social networking medium such as Twitter.

In accordance to the wishes of the Odikro, please find below, a
transcription of the very important message:

*The Chief Justice stinks - Kwesi Pratt
"What we are discussing is not complicated at all. Indeed, it is a very
simple matter. You know, when we go and join the very long queues, in the
scorching sun, to get the opportunity to cast our ballots, what we are doing
is electing people into office, who will protect our interests, protect
state assets, and make sure that state assets would be utilized in the best
interest of the people of Ghana.

So when you have a situation, where elected officers, after four or eight
years in office, leave office carrying all our national possessions under
their armpits, and on their heads, it can only amount to the abuse of trust
we have reposed in them.

This has been happening for a very long time. You recall that after the 1966
coup, the coup plotters and their allies, who included persons like K. A.
Busia and so on, came up with this notion that that "the state has no
business doing business." And therefore decided to privatize state
enterprises and other possessions.

At the end of the day, by 1972, when the Acheampong coup occurred, a vast
array of state assets have ended up in the hands of the elements of the
Progress Party. Today, many of them are very very rich people, and a very
comfortable future have been guaranteed for themselves, their children and
grand-children, as a result of looting of state assets.

On the other side, the unemployment rate is increasing because these
factories which were supposed to give employment to the Ghanaian people,
have ended up in private hands, and indeed some of them have been stripped
and sold in order to maximize profits.

On the other hand, social services which were being provided by all these
state institutions and so on have grounded to a halt, to the the extent that
today, the State Housing Corporation is no longer in a position to increase
the housing stock and improve the quality of housing! To the extent that
today in Accra, and many other parts of this country, there are too many
homeless people, people sleeping in the street and so on.

Now, this is the problem we are discussing. Is it right that after eight
years of NPP rule, NPP functionaries, leaders, sympathizers, and members,
took two hundred and thirty plots in Accra alone for themselves, paying
ridiculously low prices and without regard for laid-down procedure and any
norm of decency and so on. That is the crux of the matter!

As for the Chief Justice and the statement that she has made, hmm, I would
like to seriously disagree with my brother and friend, and indeed comrade,
Dr. Tony Aidoo. I don't see the basis for commending the Chief Justice!
Commend the Chief Justice for what? The Chief Justice thinks...

Dr. Tony Aidoo: She has seen the light!

Kwesi Pratt, Jnr: She hasn't seen any light! In fact she's plunged herself
further into darkness! What does she say? All of this struggle to ensure
that government lands which have been stolen or illegally appropriated are
retrieved, she sees this struggle as "hullabaloo"! She sees it as
hullabaloo! hullabaloo! Useless! Without merit and so on!

The struggles of the people of Ghana to retain ownership of lands vested in
them is not hullabaloo! Can never be hullabaloo! It is a legitimate and
proper struggle! What is worse, is that in the end she says "when the
hullabaloo dies down, [she] wants the land back!" She has not even lost
interest in the land. She is hoping for another opportunity to grab the land

Now, what opportunity would enable her to grab the land back? And it is very
important to examine this. A court decision that the acquisition was proper
would be one of the circumstances under which she can grab the land. Don't
you forget that she is the Chief Justice of the Republic and therefore in a
position to influence the determination of the legality or constitutionality
of the acquisition of the land. If she still has an interest in the land
back, where does that leave those of us who think that this is illegal, this
is unconstitutional and needs to be reversed?

So the whole issue about her finding herself in a compromising position is
brought out in this letter which is interestingly dated February 2010! And
it is very, very interesting! Where was this letter all this time? But we
are told that this letter is dated February 2010!

Now, the other scenario under which she can get her land back - and from her
letter, it is obvious that she really values the land! This is a precious
possession. So precious that that even in the face of what she calls
"hullabaloo", she still wants it back. So precious! The other circumstance
under which the Chief Justice can get her land back if there is regime
change and attitudes change and so on.

Now if the land is so precious to her and so on, would she contribute to
regime change? And if she is going to contribute to regime change, what
methods is she going to use? Will the office of the Chief Justice play a
part in securing that regime change and so on, you understand? So all these
questions crop up."

I avail myself of this opportunity, to extend to you, on behalf of the
Odikro, Nana Akyea Mensah II, the assurances of our highest consideration.

Forward Ever, Backwards Never!!!


Pur'gu Saarpe!
Secretary to the Odikro, Nana Akyea Mensah II,

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