Akufo-Addo Plots Against Judge
7/4/2012 12:10:36 PM -
Even first year law students know that one of the basic principles in their field of endeavour is that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. So, no lawyer worth his sort will go out to pronounce guilty a person who is now on trial.
Yet, that is exactly what Nana Akuffo Addo, flag-bearer of the NPP has decided to do in an obvious plot against the sitting judge in the on-going trial of Alfred Agbesi Woyome, a businessman and financier of the NDC in the matter of the GH ¢51 million paid to him as judgement debt.
A few weeks ago, Akufo-Addo, asked by press men to comment on the genocidal pronouncements of his party member, Kennedy Agyapong, said he could not make any comment because the matter was before court.
'It's in court! It's in court! I will not comment on a case when it is in court' he told the media men. Yet, last Monday, at the Taifa rally to launch Adwoa Sarfo's campaign, he commented on the Woyome judgment debt case though he was very much aware that the matter was in court.
An NPP insider and this paper's source in the Akufo-Addo campaign team told the paper that Akufo Addo's prejudicial comments about the Woyome case while the trial is on is meant to incite NPP supporters against the verdict should the businessman be acquitted and discharged at the end of the trial.
'Of course, it is deliberate. It is a strategy that aims at putting pressure on the sitting judge and secondly to prepare the minds of NPP supporters to believe that justice has not been done if Alfred Woyome is pronounced not guilty' the source said.
Explaining further, the source said Nana Akuffo Addo is aware that as leader of the biggest opposition party in the country, his comments will put pressure on the judge and incite NPP supporters to violence if a particular verdict is not pronounced at the end of the trial.
Some lawyers the Daily Post talked to but who declined to have their names mentioned because they did not want to be drawn into the political fray opined that as a lawyer who knows very well that a person is assumed to be innocent until proven guilty by a court of law, Akufo Addo's comments on the Alfred Woyome matter while it is still in court is a shame, a slap in the face of the rule of law and a danger to Ghana's democracy.
'Serial callers and social commentators can be pardoned for making such prejudicial comments but not a lawyer like Akuffo-Addo who is also flag-bearer of a political party' one lawyer said.
Another lawyer told the Daily Post that clearly, Akufo Addo's prejudicial comments means he is not interested in the truth or otherwise of the case so far as it serves a political end.
'It also means that he cannot be fair to all manner of persons if he becomes the leader of this country. If he cannot comment on a case in court involving one person (Kennedy Agyapong), then he should apply the same principle to any other case which is before a court, including the Alfred Woyome one,' the lawyer said.
Akufo-Addo's prejudicial comments on Alfred Woyome case is not the first time that he has made such statements. He has made it on several occasions.
'Akufo-Addo has spared no effort in telling Ghanaians that he is a defender of the fundamental human rights of all persons, but this single act on his part, criminalizing Alfred Woyome when no court has found him guilty of any crime leaves a big question mark against Akufo-Addo's so-called human rights record. No apostle of the rule of law will act this way. Clearly, he is in contempt of court. His utterances are also a coup plot against the sitting judge' another lawyer told this paper.