In 2016, the leadership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was hellbent on using every necessary means, except that which were legal and democratic, to ensure that their staunch and fanatic supporters jampacked our National Biometric Voters’ Register (NBVR) by hook or crook, without having to comply with a single one of the several forms of Voter Identification Documents officially sanctioned by the Wood Supreme Court to qualify a legally registered Ghanaian citizen to duly exercise their franchise. That was also about the time that the Mahama-appointed Chairperson of the Electoral Commission unprecedentedly challenged an order of the Apex court expressly prohibiting the registration of citizens who were not in possession of any of these readily acquirable documentary evidence proving their citizenship, including the presence of a reputable or a reliable witness who was familiar with the citizenship status of a prospective voter, as this author vividly recalls.
The extant Mahama Presidency, in cahoots with the operatives of the National Democratic Congress at the party’s Kokomlemle, Accra, Headquarters would sponsor a diabolical team of three media propagandists who infamously became known as “The Montie Three/Montie Trio” to relentlessly bombard Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood with life-threatening messages around the clock. Some of the CJ’s associates on the Supreme Bench would also be threatened with death and dismemberment of the sort that was eerily reminiscent of the Mafia-style assassination and the butchery and the burning of the bodies of the Three Akan-Descended Accra High Court Judges. The savagely slain judges were actually Supreme Court Judges who had gotten demoted when the Ignatius Kutu Acheampong-led National Redemption Council (NDC) junta ousted the Prime Minister Kofi Abrefa Busia-led democratically elected Progress Party (PP) government.
In retrospect, it well appears that upon redesignating itself as the Supreme Military Council (SMC-1), the Acheampong-led junta had also decided that only one institutional establishment in the Stratocratic “Republic” of Ghana, namely, the Supreme Military Council (SMC-1), qualified to use the rather politically grandiose adjective of “Supreme” as part of its nominal and functional identity. Recently, however, it has become a subject of heated debate whether, indeed, the Three Slain Accra High Court Judges, who had been abducted from the sanctums of their homes on the night of Wednesday, June 30, 1982, had actually been High Court Judges or Supreme Court Judges. Now, this is a very interesting subject of debate because the oldest of the slain judges, Justice Frederick Poku-Sarkodie, had actually sat on the Supreme Court of Ghana shortly prior to the overthrow of Ghana’s first postcolonial President, to wit, Mr. Kwame Nkrumah, by the Lt-Col E K Kotoka-led National Liberation Council (NLC).
But perhaps the most important thing to highlight here regards the fact that the leadership of the late Chairman Jeremiah “Jerry” John Rawlings-founded National Democratic Congress, the immediate progeny of the Rawlings-led bloody junta of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC), has never had a comfortable relationship with Ghana’s judicial establishment whose membership the PNDC junta leaders, like their Supreme Military Council predecessors, had perceived to be thoroughgoing corrupt and functionally irredeemable, thus the establishment of the so-called People’s Courts, chaperoned by Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, a Rawlings cousin and the junta leader’s legal adviser. The People’s Courts were absolutely no justice-dispensing courts of law at all. Rather, they were an institutional mongrel that functioned between a very bad and an unspeakably corrupt decadent civilian court system, one that was far worse than what existed before, to be certain, and that which the PNDC operatives pontifically and self-righteously claimed to have healthily and progressively replaced, and a martial court system that effectively operated as a death squad for all intents and purposes.
There was absolutely no room for the kind of intellectually acute give-and-take that was the essence of many a judicial establishment in a civilized democracy. In the People’s Court, it was all about “Might Makes Right.” There was absolute disregard for forensically credible evidence. The accused had already been judged and summarily condemned to death by firing squad or life imprisonment long before s/he appeared before the magistrate. Any scholar or critically thinking Ghanaian citizen who desires to fully appreciate the massive and the apocalyptic failure of Mr. Martin A B K Amidu, the Atta-Mills-expelled Attorney-General and Minister of Justice and the Akufo-Addo-appointed First Independent Special Prosecutor, had better study the workings of the Kangaroo Judicial System that prevailed under the 20-year de-facto dictatorship of the tandem Rawlings-led regimes of the Provisional National Defense Council and the National Democratic Congress.
Which is why it ought not to come with even the least bit of surprise that the twice-defeated, one-term former President John “Ford Expedition Payola” Dramani Mahama would be desperately, indiscriminately and deliriously taking potshots at both the entire membership and some specifically and deliberately and maliciously targeted individual members of our beloved nation’s superior courts, most especially the Apex Court, anytime that this megalomaniacal bully fails to have his way with the members of the Supreme Bench, so-called, even when he has absolutely no forensically credible evidence to prove his case, as we all witnessed in the Mahama-led copycat 2020 Presidential-Election Petition, an inexcusably scandalous mimicking of the Akufo-Addo-led 2012 Presidential-Election Petition.
What is equally pathetic to highlight here is the fact that it was the leaders of the National Democratic Congress who first mooted the idea for the establishment of a National Identification (Card) System, as a progressive and a salutary means of streamlining democratic cultural practice in the country. But, predictably, as with all projects mooted by the grossly incompetent leadership of the National Democratic Congress, the National Identification Program never got off the proverbial ground because it was never funded by the Rawlings regime. The Asiedu-Nketia and the Mahama Posse, on the other hand, preferred to simply pocket the taxpayer funds that ought to have been earmarked for this most progressive project.
Not that anybody really expected these morbidly self-absorbed leaders to. What is downright comical here, though, were it not also morally and politically inexcusable, is that rather than maturely and wisely commend Prof. Kenneth Attafuah and his associates of talented and dedicated patriots for having finally and auspiciously put everything together so fantastically, the progress averse and national-development bucking leadership of the National Democratic Congress are trying every means, including those that are not even in the proverbial books, as they have always been known to do, to ruthlessly derail the smooth and the robust operation of Ghanaian democracy. This is one of the legions of uncompleted NDC projects that have been laudably completed by President Akufo-Addo, that pathologically cynical con-artists like somebody I know about in King Leopold’s Belgium or LEOPOLDOM are deathly afraid to commend or talk about. Obviously because it would nakedly expose them for the shameless charlatans that they veritably are. What a shame!!!
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
Professor Emeritus, Department of English
SUNY-Nassau Community College
Garden City, New York
September 18, 2023
E-mail: [email protected]