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Opinions of Monday, 29 April 2013

Columnist: Nantomah, Mustapha

The Supreme Court Case: Matters Arising.

If there is any topical issue at the moment throughout the entire nation that engages everyone, it is nothing but the legendary Supreme Court case involving the 2012 general election. Some say it is waste of time. Some say it is waste of resources. Some say it affects productivity negatively. Others give premature judgment based on what they have observed so far and/or their interest. Depending on the angle from which one looks at it, he or she will describe it accordingly.

As all these varied views continue to descend, one thing that is unconsciously or consciously learnt by those who watch or listen to the court’s proceedings is how cases are heard in a court of law and to some extent, some terminologies of court proceedings. Many are those who have learnt terminologies of law such as petitioner, lead counsel, respondent, affidavit, tender, annul overrule, adjourn etc and even interesting terms from the electoral commission. It has also indicated vividly to us that one must be adequately prepared with ample evidence before heading to court. While some grabbed this opportunity to enrich their language and expand their vocabulary, others tend to display their creativity by coming out with their own terms in some social networks. I quite remember a post on face book where, Buwumiamatics was referred to as the study of electoral fraud, Bawumiametre defined as the instrument use to detect electoral fraud, Buwumia defined as an intelligent person, Bumiametrics explained as the technique of calculating figures of election in the witness box, etc. Quite interesting indeed! But these are yet to be endorsed by the Queen of Britain.

Whatever has emanated so far from the case, I must recommend Ghanaians for taking that root to address their grievances instead of resorting to violence as others in different countries do. It tells us the extent to which our democracy has been consolidated. As Ghanaians entrust the Atuguba-lead jury with the all important case of electoral fraud, we should as well be prepaid to accept the verdict without obliterating our hard earned reputation as the beacon of democracy in the African continent. We should have absolute trust in the judges and accept the final verdict as the ultimate truth and solution to the crisis. As we ponder over this, we must remember the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the conflicts in Kenya and Zimbabwe and the Ivorian civil war.

As it stands now, nobody can tell whether the petitioners have a case or not, or whether the respondents are guilty or not. The onus is on the Supreme Court to adjudicate .It is the right of every Ghanaian to seek redress after any game if he or she so wishes and that is exactly what the petitioners are doing. We should not allow our prejudice to overcome the reality by taking the law into our own hands to cause any mischief. If most Ghanaians were in the shoes of the petitioners, they would have behaved in the same manner. Once the petitioners are not against the highest authority of the land (the revered constitution), they should be allowed to prove their case.

My humble appeal is that the Supreme Court should find a way of fast-tracking the case to end it early without tampering justice so as to release the tension and the anxiety in the country. While some like me enjoy the battle of the legal brains in the court, others are often glued to their chairs and listening with anxiety to see how it will end and this makes its early conclusion necessary.

Nantomah Mustapha 0204456564