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Opinions of Thursday, 3 November 2016

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Why is Kwesi Nduom so apologetic?

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

English Department, SUNY-Nassau

Garden City, New York

October 29, 2016

E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net

Following the successful appealing of the disqualification of his presidential candidacy by the Electoral Commission (EC), the founding-proprietor of Convention People’s Party (CPP) breakaway, the so-called Progressive People’s Party (PPP) – we just learned that the EC’s operatives are appealing the decision handed down by an Accra High Court judge – Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom has been doing the media rounds and attempting to explain why he decided to take his case to court.

Not only that, the renowned banker and hotelier also curiously seems to find it very significant to explain to those who give a hoot that he bears absolutely no grudge against Electoral Commissioner Charlotte Kesson-Smith Osei (See “I’ve No Evil Intentions Against EC Boss – Nduom” Citifmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 10/29/16).

His vindication by the court on Friday (October 28) now almost certainly ensures that the former Convention People’s Party Member of Parliament for Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (KEEA), in the Central Region, will have his name placed on the ballot with the four, or so, other presidential candidates who have successfully sailed through the candidacy-filing process without having to be afforded more extra time to rectify any errors contained on their nomination forms. Of course, that is assuming that the EC’s appeal is bound not to cut ice or hold the proverbial water.

As I pointed out in a previous column, according to the Deputy Chairman of the Electoral Commission in Charge of Operations, Mr. Amadu Sulley, each and every one of the leaders of the 13 disqualified political parties was afforded ample opportunity and time to rectify any clerical anomalies that had been identified by the Commission. But that with his much-vaunted wealth and professional and intellectual stature, acumen and all, still Papa Kwesi Nduom could not hire a reputable legal specialist to take care of his presidential candidacy nomination forms, tells Ghanaian voters more about both the caliber and seriousness of the Progressive People’s Party leader as a potential president of their beloved nation, than it tells us about the competence or incompetence of the key operatives of the Electoral Commission.

At any rate, heading towards the Accra High Court for the resolution of his grievances, it was all too predictable that after the dismal judicial performance by the Wood Supreme Court in Zanetor Rawlings v. Nii Armah Ashitey, particularly the Apex Court’s gratuitous arm-twisting of the Accra High Court judge who presided over Zanetor v. Ashitey, I had absolutely no doubt in my mind that the Charlotte Osei-chaired so-called Independent Electoral Commission did not have a Chinaman’s chance. Indeed, the decision by Dr. Nduom and his Progressive People’s Party operatives to publicly apologize for so predictably routing the EC in court may be predicated on two factors, namely, the guilty conscience of the filthy rich appellant plaintiff, and the rather euphoric, if also decidedly comical feeling that, somehow, an egregiously wronged Progressive People’s Party’s Dr. Nduom had won a justifiable revenge against his political nemesis.

The latter factor is, of course, grossly wrongheaded, unless the Nduom Group could also objectively demonstrate that it was exceptionally treated unfairly by the EC vis-à-vis the other 12 disqualified presidential candidates. In the immediate wake of his disqualification, some political pundits and legal experts were heard publicly arguing that the leader of the Progressive People’s Party was, somehow, too big and/or important of a factor in contemporary Ghanaian politics to be facilely ignored. The fact of the matter, even as the EC’s Mr. Amadu Sulley clearly articulated the same, is that the Nduom Group had taken matters pertaining to the filing of the presidential candidacy of its renowned leader rather too cavalierly.

We shall have more to say about this matter in due course. For now, suffice it to say, at least in passing, that in acting rashly and/or impetuously like her predecessor, Commissioner Osei had woefully failed to move the EC beyond the mountainous mess bequeathed it by the former University of Ghana’s political scientist. Dr. Nduom also smugly claims that his victory at the Accra High Court has significantly enhanced the quality of Fourth-Republican Ghanaian democracy. I seriously doubt it. For what we have been increasingly witnessing under the stewardship of Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, is a hopelessly compromised judicial system so pathologically at the beck and call of the executive and those moneyed and politically connected or influential enough to bully their way over and above the heads of our men and women of the bench.

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs