Article 55 gave the President powers to rule by decree or legislative instrument. Interestingly, this article was not in the draft constitution that was adopted under the rigged plebiscite. It was smuggled into the constitution by the CPP constituent assembly set up to pass the constitution (similar to how the certain clauses of the transitional provisions were smuggled into the 1992 constitution --- I will get to that someday). Then there was an article which empowered the president to appoint and dismiss the chief justice. Further, the president could appoint, transfer fire, probate and discipline all members of the Public Service, which includes the civil service, the judicial service, police service, the local government service, military service and any service as may be provided by law. Finally, the President was given the power to give assent to any bill from parliament - he could accept, reject, modify or do whatever he pleases with the bill. The coup de grace was the plebiscite of 1964 to determine whether Ghana will become a one party state and whether the president could dismiss high court judges without cause. Of course, the one party state proposition won with 2,773,920 votes to 2,452. Ashanti was reported to have voted 100% for a one party state! In 1965, elections were to take place under the one party state constitution. That too was not to be as the Reverend simply went on radio and announced who the new MPs will be. It was a joke as MPs were appointed who had no knowledge of where their constituencies were located. Elsewhere, I wrote about how the Messiah used the PDA between 1957 to 1960. In those 3 years, 70 people were detained. But things were to heat up. Ghanaians, having fought the British for centuries, were not about to be intimidated by one of their own. So the more Nkrumah intimidated them with his PDA, the more they resisted and the more they resisted the more the Osagyefo played the PDA card. Between July and December 1960, about 175 people were detained under the PDA. The number was over 300 in 1961 and about 250 in 1962. By 1963, 586 were in detention under the PDA. Of course, not only anti-CPP stalwarts were detained. For instance, the roll call of detainees in 1961 included Danquah, Victor Owusu, Joe Appiah but also W. A. Wiafe, P. K. K. Quaidoo who were CPP MPs at the time. A few lucky ones, like Busia and Gbedemah (Nkrumah's closest associate) were able to escape into exile. Of course, not only politicians were detained. Anyone at all who was reported by spies who had now filled every corner of the country was a candidate for detention. If a spy reported you, you were picked up. Nobody in Ghana felt secure after 1961. But it was not the number of detained or exiled people or the spies that galled Ghanaians. It was the manner in which the detainees were treated that really spoke to the Osagyefo's political callousness and that really pricked the political and human conscience of Ghanaians. There were several reports of death, untreated illness, forced medication and inoculation. When it was announced in 1965 that Danquah and Obetsebi Lamptey had both died in preventive detention, Ghanaians of all walks of life were now talking about the extra-constitutional options available to overthrow this demon that they had inherited.
The Apaloo asset commission, which was set up by the NLC to investigate Nkrumah' assets concluded: "in view of the findings we have made as to how he acquired the bulk of his property which he controlled as a Trustee of the people of this country and his proved duplicity in many matters, we find it impossible to resist the observation that Nkrumah thoroughly unfitted himself for the high office of the President of Ghana."
The Fountain of Honour, as they called him, started politics as a penniless politician. He came from very humble beginnings and at one time was a reverend. The Apaloo commission found that the Showboy was worth 250,000 pounds in cash and marketable securities by 1961. This had increased to 2 million pounds by 1966. Curiously, his lawful earnings in this period was computed at 134,000 pounds. What account for this good fortune? Put bluntly, corruption. The classic example of this is the 1 million pound that the cabinet set aside as a "Trust for the Advancement of Ghana." The Osagyefo simply appropriated 750,000 pounds from this for his personal use. Several instances of bribery, commissions, etc. were also documented by the Apaloo commission.
At 0500 hours on 24th February, 1966, Afrifa's convoy arrived at the Flagstaff house. They met resistance and came under heavy machine gun-fire from the entrance of the flagstaff house. Colonel led the resistance Zanlerigu. But Afrifa, a Sandhurst trained soldier who had recently seen action in Katanga, was not to be denied. He continued his advance toward GBC and by 0525 hours, Radio Ghana had fallen to his control. Akwasi Afrifa then went on air and asked a now awakened, unsuspecting Ghanaians to stand by their radios for an important announcement at 6am. A few minutes before 6am, his commander, Colonel Kotoka arrived at the radio station. He shook his hands and said "well done, Akwasi." With the following words, what started as a test exercise for a Rhodesian Operation, liberated Ghana from the ugly grips of Osagyefo Reverend Kwame Showboy Nkrumah. "Fellow citizens of Ghana, I have come to inform you that the military, in co-operation with the Ghana Police, have taken over the government of Ghana today. The MYTH surrounding Nkrumah had been broken. Parliament is dissolved and Kwame Nkrumah is dismissed from office. All ministers are also dismissed. The CPP is disbanded with effect from now. It will be illegal for any person to belong to it. We appeal to you to be calm and co-operative; all persons in detention will be released in due course. Please stay by your radios and await further details." Ghana was freed but not before the famous Ashanti New Town reminder. Soon after Kotoka's announcement, 1000s of people gathered at a bar celebrating With early morning agboto beer. Then a wise old man said, " You do not know Nkrumah. This is one of his wicked plans to test the loyalty of the masses." In less than 2 minutes, the bar was emptied and was as quiet again as a cemetery. Such was the fear that the Osagyefo put in us.
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