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Opinions of Thursday, 13 June 2013

Columnist: Cristo, Kwadwo

Lawyer Addison, Tainted Evidence And .....

.... The Supreme Court’s Inaction.

We are watching with shame and trepidation the unraveling of a justice system that needs a dose of reality check. In fact, this Supreme Court case has hugely opened our eyes to the rot that masquerade as a justice system. What is even amazing is that the visible players in this historic case including our justices do not appear to appreciate the depth of the decadence and arrogance that have engulfed our justice delivery system. Honestly, our hearts are bleeding not only for our justice system but all vital state institutions. The rot is everywhere. The dire predicament facing the downtrodden and politically unconnected in our society can be traced directly to this endemic rot.

Yesterday, Lawyer Phillip Addison, the lead counsel for the petitioners, had the impudence to tell the highest court of the land that it doesn’t matter how evidence to be proffered in court is obtained. To showcase his contempt for our justice system, he went further to boldly and arrogantly state that he can present to the court even evidence that has been stolen and that there is a whole stretch of legal authorities to support his scandalous assertion! What Lawyer Addison did not tell the world is that all these authorities are themselves writhing in controversy. They are not set in stone. And when this petition comes to be discussed, legal and social commentators will have a field day. To some of us, what makes Addison’s statements even more scandalous is the uncomfortable fact that there was not a whiff of protestation from our highly learned justices. So the end justifies the means, huh? Wow!

As ordinary citizens, are we to believe that our justices are prepared to admit into evidence any RELEVANT material no matter how fabricated, forged, stolen or tainted that evidence is? For example, are our learned and highly respected justices prepared to admit into evidence materials Mr. Addison obtained by torture or theft? What is so disturbing about the justices’ loud silence and/or accommodation is the fact that they are trying a case that calls into question the integrity and credibility of our electoral system. Thus, to allow Addison to get away with such malicious statements speaks volumes about the kind of justice system we are operating! It is baffling how and why Addison got away with such ridiculous statements that have the potential of further eroding public confidence in our justice delivery system.

There is no doubt that our justices are operating under intense pressure but that in and by itself does not excuse such infringement on our sensibilities and value system. They owe us a duty to protect our value system more especially so when the whole proceeding is being telecast live and practically every citizen is glued to his or her television set. This kind of inaction is inexcusable when it borders on the very integrity of our justice and value systems. After all, we have watched and heard a particular justice loudly lambasting some individuals who had had the A/Cs in the court room turned down!

The Supreme Court must start cracking the whip to bring some measure of respect and dignity to process. The Supreme Court has been too accommodating. What are they scared of?