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Opinions of Thursday, 2 May 2013

Columnist: Asantewaah, Abena

Will the real Akufo-Addo please stand up!

Nana Addo must have done something right, since he makes his political opponents in the National Democratic Congress ( NDC) feel so uncomfortable and inferior to the extent that they want to crab and hold on to anything they can use to demonize him. So far none of them have succeeded in doing so. Since the inauguration of the 4th Republic, no politician has ever been subjected to personal attacks, humiliation, ridicule and character assassination more than the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party in the 2008 and 2012 elections, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who is also known as William Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

During the just ended 2012 elections, the NDC campaign team tried to dispute Nana Addo's academic and professional repute. It was alleged that Nana Addo was expelled form Oxford for smoking marijuana. The university officially wrote to deny this accusation by the NDC. Apart from this pedestrian politicking, Nana Addo has been accused of being a habitual marijuana smoker, possession of cocaine, fondling a married a woman's breast, urinating at holy mosque, etc. All these have proven falls and baseless.

Now here comes a retired Supreme Court Judge, Francis Y. Kpegah, who once called himself 'Deputy Chief Justice' (a none existent administrative Position in the 1992 Constitution). Since his retirement Kpegah has filed two separate writs at the Supreme Court. In 2010 retired Justice Kpegah sued the Chief Justice, the then Attorney-General, Betty Mould-Idrisu, the then Judicial Secretary and the then Director of Finance at the Judicial Service for failing to facilitate his loan application. In his application to the court, the retired Judge said the refusal of the respondents to recommend his loan application nearly cost two of his sons - who obtained admissions to the University of London - their education. After that, in 2012, retired Justice Kpegah, filed an application praying the Supreme Court to disregard gay right as a human rights issue. Clearly, Kpegah lost both cases.

Today, Kpegah who claims to be an NDC member, in effort to attract personal attention, has filed a writ at the High Court of Ghana, alleging that Nana Addo is impersonating one W.A.D. Akufo-Addo who is on the roll of lawyers as number 1190 and therefore not qualified to be a lawyer. According to Kpegah, Nana Addo is not a lawyer since there was no evidence of his enrollment in an institution and that the Nana Addo was not known to have changed his name, neither had he been installed a as traditional Chief anywhere in the country within the meaning of the 1992 Constitution and the Chieftaincy Act. This allegation however is not new. The former First Lady, Konadu Rawlings alleged the same during the 2008 elections.

The political and professional integrity of Nana Addo is impeccably solid without blemish. Assuming without admitting that Nana Addo is not a lawyer, then the whole Ghana judicial system lack competence and the Ghana BAR is without integrity, for allowing a none-lawyer to hold a position as President of the Greater Accra Ghana BAR. In furtherance, Nana Addo when nominated as Attorney General by former President Kufuor was vetted by the vetting committee in parliament. Was the vetting committee in parliament sleeping on the job? This can simply not be the case for Nana Addo and Ghana.

What I find quite interesting about the allegation is the fact that the onus is on Kpegah to produce the real W.A.D. Akufo-Addo to the court, while Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will also be present. What an interesting sight it will be to see both Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and W.A.D. Akufo-Addo introducing themselves to the law court for further legal identification. If it turns out that Kpegah had his money on the right horse, then all Ghanaians and most especially the Ghana BAR association and the legislature should bow their heads in disgrace for failing to do their job diligently.

I smell a politically motivated vendetta to be battled out in court, at the expense of the Ghanaian taxpayer. I hope the High Court judges, after throwing out the case, will slap a fine on Kpegah for abusing the judicial processes.

In any case, I can't wait to watch this saga unfold.

Abena Asantewaah