Mr. Victor Smith, former President Jerry John Rawlings' Special Aide has vowed to file a case against Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain for unleashing atrocities on the people of Iraq if any extradition suggestion was made against his boss.
Reacting to the suit being brought against Mr Rawlings in a British court over alleged human rights abuses and murder, by a certain Ghanaian female lawyer, Ms. Georgette Dede Djaba, Mr. Smith angrily told CitiFM, an Accra-based radio station, the woman was only hallucinating.
“Where was she coming from,” he wondered aloud.
“I am hoping no judge there will make the sad mistake of asking the former president to appear there. We'd then go to court and ask for the extradition of Tony Blair to Ghana for brutalities against the people of Iraq,” he said and asked whether the British knew the extent of atrocities they had inflicted on the people of Iraq.
Picking on the female lawyer's reference to what happened to the former Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet, as what she wanted to see enacted on Rawlings, Mr. Smith was not amused.
“If the people of Chile allowed what happened to Pinochet to happen, Rawlings is still in Ghana and has not moved,” he asserted.
The Office of the former president, he said, had taken note of what, according to him, were moves by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration to put Rawlings in a mess.
He repeated the oft-alleged attempts to have the former president murdered, but declaring triumphantly, “None of these worked”.
In the same breath, he warned, “Let anybody make the sad mistake of trying to kill him.”
Ms. Djaba is a prominent figure in the Ghanaian community in the UK, who was advised by the court to first report Rawlings' alleged human rights abuses to the police.
She is the chairperson of a voluntary group, Family Resolution, which ensures the adherence to proper family skills as a way of stemming anti-social behaviour among the youth.
Another Rawlings apologist and head of the former president's legal team, Dr. Kumbuor said the latest attempt at dragging his boss to court was the “repeat of an old song”.
“It is just that the keys are different. It actually started with going to the International Criminal Court of Justice. From there, it moved to the subpoena in a United States court and now it is in the UK. I do not know which country it would move to next,” he said.
Dr. Kumbuor who is the MP for Lawra/Nandom wondered why Ms. Djaba was making her claim now when she could have done it much earlier. “Why now?” he asked. He said the woman had not come out with the specifics, about which comments could be made on.
The MP noted the case is “too predictable and repetitive.”
To him, the issue at stake was not about time limit but about someone's interest in getting a wrong righted.
“If you really believe that you have been wronged, you use the least opportunity to ensure that wrong is righted. That is why one is asking the moral question, why this time?”
Those who were raising the Pinochet case, he said, were oblivious to the judgment emanating from the case and rubbished the use of the Pinochet case as basis for comparison to Rawlings.
Kumbuor said it was worrying that some Ghanaians used hypothetical cases as basis for their arguments, whereas this was not tenable in law.
“What one is saying is that you don't ask for extradition in the air,” he said in response to a suggestion that as far as extradition was concerned, Rawlings was in no danger.
“You ask for an intra-extradition based on the law. We do not know what the crimes are. They are just allegations. So how can you use these to debate whether the former president can be extradited or not?” he argued.
On the existence of witnesses in Britain to the murder of the judges, he wondered, “Where were these newborn angels with these fresh information which they could not put before the Investigation Panel and the NRC?”
He asked whether if someone said he had information about those behind the murder of the Ya Na and 40 others, we would be engaged in this kind of debate.
Ms. Djaba, who claimed to be a grand niece of Lt. General Akwasi Amankwa Afrifa's, who was among the executed Generals in 1979, said she had given instructions to her lawyers to bring action at the British justice system against Rawlings for mass murders and wanton human rights violations.
She asks that the former President be stripped of his immunity from prosecution to face the law.
In the document filed at the court, copies of which have been served on the London Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Ian Blair, Prime Minister Tony Blair and British Solicitor-General among other human rights groups, including the Amnesty International, General Afrifa's niece explained that offences committed by Rawlings during his AFRC and PNDC days were grievous enough to warrant him facing the full rigours of the law.
As she stated, “Rawlings must be prosecuted for human rights abuses, mass murders, causing death, suffering, deprivation, causing death by firing squad in 1979 of three former heads of state of Ghana including General Akwasi Amankwa Afrifa, General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong, General F.W.K. Akuffo and an order to be arrested and be prosecuted whilst present in the UK.”