Feature Article of Monday, 14 January 2013

Columnist: Kwawukume, Andy C. Y.

Give Us A Break!

I was definitely the first to raise the issue of some Justices of the Supreme Court recusing in my piece, “The President Cannot be Sued!” (Ghanaweb: 4 Jan, 2013), in order to placate some NDC lawyers who were advocating that the President opens a defence, instead of pleading immunity as granted to him under the Constitution. But the way things are going, with the NPP lawyers and supporters rather suspecting even Justices who are known as supporters of their ideological leaning and ranting that they should recuse themselves, can we beg these pro-NPP supporters and so-called legal luminaries to give us a break with their lame-duck hypothetical constructs which have no factual basis or verifiability?

The fact that Justice William Atuguba is uncle to Dr Raymond Atuguba does not necessarily prove or show that they both share the same political leanings, and even if they do, he'd be biased in favour of the NDC. I don't share same political leaning with my own siblings, some of whom support the NDC all the time and one the NPP all the time until recently when he became a disillusioned independent, some independents whose support went both ways in different elections, with even skirt and blouse voting! Me, I am an ardent and steadfast pro-Nkrumaist who does not support any of the political parties in Ghana. Not even the so-called splintered and delusional Nkrumaist parties whose leadership don’t see it fit to unite, preferring to prostitute themselves to either the NDC or the NPP! So, have we not been told that Justice Atuguba was not only a friend of the late Victor Owusu but also a candidate of the PFP for the Bolgatanga constituency and so can be said to be pro-NPP if he still holds his conservative ideals and inclination?! Or, the argument is that family relationship is stronger for the man than his political leaning or principles? What about his legal training and principles? Not worth a pesewa, eh?

And then, after all, he is not the only one on the panel who has family and other relationships to the parties to the suit. Justice Dotse from the VR is known as an NPP Chairman in the region; must he also not recuse himself?

Justice Sophia Akufo Addo and others are also compromised by virtue of family relationship to the NPP honchos. Must they also not be asked to recuse? Justice Paul Baffoe-Bonnie is a bosom friend and roommate of the General Secretary of the NPP, “Sir John”, at Mensah Sarbah Annex 2. I personally left the room I was sharing with “Sir John” so that Paul could move in when he was admitted in 1978. Should he also not recuse himself? Oh! Wait a moment! We have learned that his brother works in the Castle for President Mahama. True? Hmm, as a pro-NDC political appointee just like Raymond, or a technical staff left behind by Kufuor and kept on by Father-for-all Mills? So can Paul be influenced by that to throw his undoubted NPP political leaning (that's why President Kufuor appointed him in the first place) to the dogs and support a decision in favour of the party his brother probably supports or works for now, in complete disregard to his legal principles too? What sort of people do we have as judges then in Ghana? Unprincipled scumbags? Ah! Yes, I know some are, especially those known to be fond of taking bribes, very common at the magistrate level before they all rose up to the higher levels. The NPP honchos and supporters know this very well too, having stuffed the Supreme Court with Justices whom they trust to throw legal integrity and principles overboard in order to nail Tsatsu Tsikata! They are therefore afraid of their own shadows and are becoming paranoid! But can we not trust them Justices a wee bit to put nation before their self-interests and inclinations in this case, just for once? After all, it is not a case of setting free alleged thieves and state institution plunderers like Dr Anane, Mpiani and Tarzan on technical grounds! Or regicide suspects from Dagbon because no DNA was done on the copse suspected to be the allegedly killed Yaa Naa! Can a court order a DNA test on that Awoamefia impostor from Anlo, so that we end that case too? Excuse me for sneaking that in. Na who causam? The Ghanaian judiciary system!

It could have got muddier if the NPP legal team hadn't withdrawn their objection to Justice William, as the NDC could have also filed for the recusing of at least 5 of the Justices besides Justice William! As things stand, the panel is packed with Justices who have been shown to be linked to the NPP already! So, you NPP supporters, give us a break and go away with your stupid angst, whims and caprices, convoluted mind-set, hollow arguments, and your unmeritorious case.

We should expect nothing but legal principles and integrity to prevail in this case, or we the people shall be at the throat of the Justices too if hell broke loose due to any hanky panky on their part. They don’t have monopoly over intelligence and knowing what is just. We the sovereign people do!

I honestly don’t even think it was necessary for the NDC to file a joinder, hoping that the EC would do a good job defending their actions and the results. And I definitely don’t think even President Mahama should have filed a defence beyond declaring that he should be discharged from the case due to his immunity, which the Supreme Court should uphold in order to preserve the universal principle of granting immunity to Heads of States, diplomats and military vessels, etc., which we Political Scientists understand the rationale behind very well, but which the unlearned lawyers and judges of Ghana don’t seem to understand. Shame on them! Being developing people does not mean you should behave like people who are learning to invent the wheel all the time! It has long been invented! Copy and adapt some to suit your situation by all means, but some you just need to copy them pork, lock and barrel and stop wasting our time. To develop a country doesn’t need a rocket science!

As things stand now, it appears we are going to have a once in a life time circus. Fellow Ghanaians might as well get their pop corns and sugar candy floss ready for the show to begin! But I need a break! I definitely believe some do too!

Andy C. Y. Kwawukume cyandyk@ymail.com