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23.02.2007 General News

Appiah-Menka on Causing Financial Loss Law… Condemns non-inclusion of political parties, other bodies in Ghana @50 celebrations

By (ghanaian-chronicle)
Appiah-Menka on Causing Financial Loss Law… Condemns non-inclusion of political parties, other bodies in Ghana @50 celebrations

THE INCARCERATION of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Keta in the Volta Region, which has sent cold shivers down the spine of the NDC, has provoked various discussions within the political circuit.

As political pundits insist that the law of causing financial loss should be maintained, with others advocating for reviews so that it would not be used as a political tool to witch-hutch political opponents, a top member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), has prevailed upon politicians not to do anything to interfere with the judicial system.

Mr. Akenten Appiah-Menka, a leading member of the NPP and Ashanti Regional Chairman of Council of Elders of the party, told this paper in an interview that though he has a lot of reservations about the jail sentence, it would be untenable for politicians to interfere with the judicial system and end up destroying it.

“Whereas I have my own reservations on the judgment, I don't think that it is right to do anything which would seem to undermine the judiciary,” he said and declined to share his reservations with the paper.

Pushed further, the Chairman, who is also a lawyer by profession said, “I also have reservations just like other Ghanaians have an opinion but I want to keep my opinions to myself.”

He also noted, “On this matter, I am very reluctant to speak. So I will keep my own views to myself. It is not right for me from outside to pass any comment on the judgment. As a former Deputy Minister of Justice and Attorney General, since I don't have the full facts before me, I don't want to make any comment.”

Mr. Appiah-Menka, a known industrialist, told this paper that the most important thing that he would like to speak on was to caution political parties from across the political divide to be circumspect about their utterances as far as the judgment was concerned.

Asked whether he thinks the MP was wrong and that the sentence was too harsh, he said judgments vary from one person to another, adding that sometimes, the demeanor and the remorseful attitude of any accused person determines how long or short the sentence can be.

To him, in as much as he has some reservations to the ruling, the court has its own corrective measures of dealing with some of its anomalies.

Mr. Appiah-Menkah, a veteran politician, contended that it was unfortunate for the NDC MPs to continue to attack the government of selective justice and others.

He pointed out that if a teacher, taxi driver or a farmer is gaoled for whatever offence and their colleagues embark on similar positions taken by the NDC, the nation would face more problems than ever before.

Touching on Ghana @ 50 anniversary celebrations, the NPP guru said, “If we are celebrating the nation's 50th anniversary, the committee to plan the activities should be able to involve the whole country including all the political parties.”

He said the committee should include professional bodies like the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the National Union of Ghana Students, to reflect the youth's views; Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and others to reflect the national character.

Expressing ill feelings about the composition and how some political parties were relegated to the background, he said, “I would be happier if all these bodies like National House of Chiefs, Religious Leaders, Moslems and other organizations including political parties were represented so as to have a national character of peace and unity.”

He was quick however to say that if all the above organizations were invited and they turned down the invitations, then it was unfortunate.