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Opinions of Monday, 1 July 2013

Columnist: Akyeampong, Prince

The Supreme Court Should Not Yield To Nonsensical Effusions!

The lengths to which some people would go in a bid to justify freedom of speech is quite amusing. Listening to these party loyalists hurling insults at each other and constantly using threatening language on radio stations is enough to make one scoff at the term - freedom of speech. These party loyalists and sympathizers are always quick to invoke the freedom of speech clause in the constitution anytime they are red flagged for reckless and inflammatory comments. In essence, party sympathizers feel that they can conveniently hide under the cloak of freedom of speech, say whatever they want to say and damn the consequences.

Well, fortunately for all well-meaning Ghanaians, the wheels of justice are finally beginning to turn. Justice Atuguba and his team have decided that enough is enough! Now, there is a price to pay for making irresponsible and inflammatory comments and as expected, the party apologists are once again, rather pathetically, trying to flash their freedom of speech "licence' in our faces.. Sounds more like the licence to misbehave, doesn't it? Folks, let's liken the Supreme Court situation to a classroom full of stubborn kids, who, regardless of their teacher's warnings to stop talking and fooling around, continue to do so in addition to poking fun at their teacher. If the teacher does not translate his/her warnings into action by introducing some form of disciplinary action, nothing would be achieved. Like it's often said, freedom of speech is not a license for mayhem and lawlessness.

Folks, this hogwash about quoting sections of the American constitution to support arguments against the Supreme Court off Ghana has to stop! Do we have any sense of pride as Ghanaians, or for that matter, Africans? Can't we evolve our own peculiar systems without constantly referring to the American constitution or American laws like a bunch of kids who cannot think for themselves? This is the reason why Africans are not taken seriously by the western countries.. Even our intellectuals can't get it right. Kwaku Asare and Arthur kennedy can quote from the American constitution and allude to the American judicial system all they want - they do not know better than the Ghana Supreme Court judges, period!

Justice Atuguba and his team are just as human as we all are. How can they focus on the job at hand if each passing day comes with provocative comments questioning their integrity, comments accusing them of being prejudiced and being selective in their decision-making as well as comments exposing them to public ridicule? If such a situation is allowed to go unchecked, eventually, Ghanaians are likely to lose confidence in these judges. When that happens, whatever decisions the judges arrive at would be taken with a grain of salt by Ghanaians and that in itself, could potentially open the floodgates to mayhem in our beloved nation.

It is not as if this petition is going to last until "thy kingdom come." Ghanaians have to be patient and accord the Supreme Court the necessary respect to enable them do their job diligently and quickly without unnecessary distractions. I would like to urge the Supreme Court to continue with their efforts to crack down on inflammatory comments by coming down HARD on Gabby Asare Otchere Darko . Not only did this controversial NPP character question the wisdom of the court in citing NDC loyalist Stephen Atubiga for possible contempt, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko actually poked fun at Justice Atuguba by making a highly provocative comment about the closeness of his name to that of Stephen Atubiga. I once again urge Your Lordships to bring this Otchere Darko character to heel.

Folks, as Ghanaians, we stand to lose if we refuse to allow the tjudges to do their job in a conducive atmosphere. Let us refrain from making irresponsible statements that could adversely impact the progress in this on-going petition at the Supreme Court, Ghana is all we have, folks! God bless Mother Ghana!

Prince Akyeampong. e-mail: desavagist@gmail.com