04.04.2004 Feature Article

Rejoinder: “The Judges’ Murder And Matters Arising”

Rejoinder: “The Judges’ Murder And Matters Arising”
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Please refer to your article of Wednesday March 24, 2004 at page 9 titled “The judges' murder and matters arising” by Prof. Mike Oquaye, concluded on Saturday 27th March, 2004. The writer makes unfounded allegations and a scurrilous abuse of my person and integrity which are not only malicious and false, but wicked and defamatory.

I wish to state that there were never any such occasions, that any such exchanges and altercations as suggested by Mr. Oquaye took place, during the trial of the accused persons involved in the murder of the Judges and the retired Major, as the writer had put them in “quote and quote” and wants readers to believe, allegedly between me, Senya and Dzandu.

For his information three different government agencies recorded the proceedings of the trial all with their separate equipment and I believe all tapes are in their custody intact.

For a reputable newspaper as the Daily Graphic to publish such falsehoods in an article based on imaginable and invented trial proceedings is unfortunate to say the least. And I believe these were culled from the works of the famous 'inventor' Rt. Hon. Mr. Chris Asher Jnr. who has been able to invent public tribunal proceedings verbatim, in his book titled “Rawlings and Tsikata Ordered the Killing of the Judges” even though he was not in court.

In the article Mr. Oquaye states that “Meanwhile, there were more Tribunal Chairmen in Accra/Tema than the whole of Ghana put together.” This assertion is with all respect, far from the truth, and without basis.

If Mr Oquaye's article is well researched as the Graphic Editor was making me to believe when I called to complain to him on this article, the Editor would have realised from the library of the Graphic itself and/or institutional memory based on their own coverage of tribunal activities at that time, that in 1983 during the trial of persons involved in the Judges murder, only two Public Tribunals existed in Accra, that is my court and that of Mr Addo Aikins. No other tribunals had been set up in Accra, until 1984 and beyond.

With my position as Chairman Board of Public Tribunals, I performed both administrative and judicial functions and it was with regard to this position that I was being recalled to base from my Regional tours to constitute panels to conduct the June16, June 19 abortive coup trials and that of the Judges' murder.

For his information if he cares to know, due to this lack of tribunals in Accra and with Mr Addo Aikins then still pre-occupied with the November 23rd abortive coup trial, I had to move the Ashanti Regional tribunal panel then chaired by Mr Kwame Arhin to Accra to conduct one of the trials, namely that of June 19 abortive coup.

If Mr. Oquaye's reasoning was not warped with prejudice and malice, he would have realised that the issue of blackmail due to my alleged gold stealing as the reason for the case being sent to my court was a non starter.

The kind of schemes and manoeuvres (he himself quotes from, I believe my book) used by Government Officials wanting and/or just trying to know in advance the kind of decision we had reached in the Judges' murder trial, did not support such an assertion but rather points to our independence.

The accounts and incidents he quotes in his article to support the assertion of blackmail and susceptibility, rather show evidence to the contrary.

Mr Oquaye as a lawyer: Should show from the evidence of the trial and tell Ghanaians whether or not, the verdict reached by the tribunal was contrary to the evidence before us and that, it is his opinion that if the case had been tried by his 'rule of law court' they would have come to a different conclusion with regard to the evidence adduced against all the five accused persons who were tried namely Amartey Kwei, Amedeka, Tekpor, Johnny Dzandu and Michael Senya.

He should further tell Ghanaians whether or not, if the case had been tried by his 'rule of law court', the court on its own volition without the consent of the Attorney General or for that matter the Law Office, could have charged Akata Pore, Gordon Kwawu, Nsrowuo, Gomelesio, and Kojo Tsikata and this consideration should even include a scenario where the trial judge had made an order to that effect?

Whether or not, his 'rule of law court' as it exists even today apart from issues of contempt in the face of the court, any judge including even a Justice of the Supreme Court, can charge a person for murder on his own volition, suo motu and try that person without the consent of the Law Office. In 1987 or thereabout, Mr Oquaye appeared before a National Public Tribunal as Counsel for a former matron of the 37 Military hospital, who had been arrested at the Kotoka International Airport for attempted unlawful exportation of a narcotic drug, namely heroin.

Prior to her arraignment and trial, (as I was later briefed by the Office of the Special Public Prosecutor) Mr Oquaye made attempts to get the case put before a particular tribunal panel but the Prosecutor refused and the case was placed before my panel. Now, is it Mr Oquaye's case that he wanted the case before that particular tribunal panel because he could influence or blackmail that panel?

Or it is his case that because the PNDC did it in the case of the Judges' Murder trial as alleged by him he could also do it in the heroin case he was defending?

Was I influenced or blackmailed by the PNDC to give him the verdict of the tribunal which he was happy and enthused with?

Or rather I was blackmailed by Mr. Oquaye to arrive at that decision?

Was his interest in the case just limited to that of a Defence Counsel or it extended beyond that scope? I am sorry for people like him who have lost their objectivity and allow malicious and political considerations to override straight forward legal issues and are using the murder of the Judges' for their selfish political goals and objectives.

George Agyekum, Legal Consultant and Former Tribunal Chairman, Accra. Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

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