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27.10.2008 Feature Article

14 Day Ultimatum in a 14 Day Ultimatum

VooDoo Child

By Dzifah Hiatsi

The mother of all 14 day ultimatums was yet to expire

14 day ultimatums appears to be the ultimate directive now to be taken seriously. Your children misbehaving or your workers taking the job for granted, issue a 14 day ultimatum and fold your arms. Maybe your campaign not shaking the elephant as desired or your patient not following your advise, just issue a 14 day order and he would go on diet and drink water to lose weight.

The mother of all 14 day ultimatums was yet to expire when another 14 day was issued by the main government lawyer, Joe Ghartey. In association with the IGP, Joe Ghartey made it plain plain! People being held unlawfully in prison would be released until a case could be made against them. The Ghana Police was to follow this directive or personnel involved in the unlawful practice would be disciplined. Sweet.

Real sweet, and here is the crux of the news report; "according to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Joe Ghartey, his outfit would take steps to ensure that remand prisoners were released on bail if police prosecutors did not take steps to renew their warrants within the given period."

"Section 169 (2) of the Criminal and Other Offences (Procedure) Act 1960, Act 30, as amended by Section 17 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Act 2002, provides that "a court shall not adjourn a case for more than 14 days where the accused person is on remand".

The warrants for more than 300 remanded prisoners at the Nsawam Medium Security Prison alone have expired, with some of the prisoners having been on remand for several months without any court appearance, the report concluded

Remand could also mean you need to buy a phone card or make a HIPC call

It is obvious after reading the last three paragraphs that, the sweetness turns to sour for those affected. Police prosecutors just have to renew their warrants and back in the can, they go to await another renewal. But that number, 300 represented only Nsawam which houses Ghanaʼs celebrity prisoners. If you were in a heavenly prison near the Paga Crocodile Pond, you would shut up and be content with an expired remand and not being given the "opportunity" to clean the pond, as that k ind of prisoner.

Joe Ghartey, too known

Remanding suspects in prison may not be a terrible idea as it may seem. A suspect could be remanded pending further investigation or for her own protection because she may have be a suspected ritual killer with a contract on her head issued by the victimʼs village. Remand could also mean you need to buy a phone card or make a HIPC call or text your aunties in jaaman and or Bush country to scrap some money for you while you raid your family fortunes to sell whatever bling you could afford to part with, to raise "cola" money.

Do not ask "cola for who," you dummy. Did you not read what that circuit judge in Offinso said when he remanded some rioters into custody and demanded 20 million cedis to free them ? You were lucky your beloved was not sentenced but rather given extension to raise the money. Next time your court reporter cousin thrice removed comes to tell you, "oh, anyemi, akee remand eei". You know what to do.

And by now the koti people and all that line of people in the "remand food chain", from the judges through the state attorneysʼ office would mutter Joe Ghartey's name while invoking the wrath of the gods. Joe Ghartey, too known "twea kai, ah, kakraa ye be di enti." Jealousy go say

Oman Panyin Kufuor was fashionably late

Meanwhile Joe, undaunted was in The Hague on business with his boss, the issuer of the main ultimatum. The Hague is the real administrative capital of Netherlands and it is where Queen Beatrix resides and performs her official duties. It is also the seat of the world court, the judicial branch of the United Nations where international court cases are handled peacefully to prevent June 4 uprisings and Iraq invasions. Ooh, oh snap, The Hague was where a certain wild allegation of billionaire agreements was transferred for arbitration no? Explains why Joe Ghartey issued that ultimatum?

Then Oman Panyin Kufuor was fashionably late for an event organized for him while in the Hague and nefarious minds with wicked imagination connect that to a no existence case. Come to think of it, he was not even late as reported and all those standing in the cold weather shivering just forgot to add 3 hours African time to their time. That is aside the fact that black people and cold weather just do not mix. When was the last time we saw a black skier or ski jumper or skater. So Oman Panyin was actually 2 hours early and again no, it had nothing to do with the case referred to as'wicked lies and a figment of the imagination of the NDC.

What is known about President Kuffourʼs trip

Lets try this for imagination of the figment, the President was in The Hague on a three day visit at a time when a wild case was supposed to be in arbitration there. Youʼve got to love monarchs like Queen Elisabeth and Queen Beatrix. Playing quiet diplomacy is their boon in modern times. Queen Beatrixʼ invite to our "dear leader" was rightly timed. So was Justice Abbanʼs decision to send Rawlingʼs brain into the can. Who knows more about Ghanaʼs oil than the man Tsatsu, a friend to Joe Ghartey. The alleged case was about oil no, whose oil, Ghanaʼs oil, and the foremost Ghanaian authority on our oil is? Ayayaa, he is a lawyer too but not just another lawyer. Wild coincidences in a figment of imagination only the wicked could imagine.

What is known about President Kuffourʼs trip for sure; he was never in court or a private meeting negotiating Ghanaʼs debts to The Netherlands or finalizing discussions on the "The Making of An African Billionaire" a proposed movie based on another figment of wild imaginations. We know for sure because the presidentʼs itinerary was revealed. But where was he as the kukrudu people waited for him dressed in their best Kente wear yelling ehe edzo bodoo? Nana Akuffo Addo sure has some appeasement to do when he becomes president or opposition leader .

Program of action to mitigate the social cost of adjustment to confinement

Meantime, within the 14 day ultimatum, we expect a morning conversation such as this in a Fante household, "darling afa wo pills aa," a sweet feminine voice asks. "Engnor medo, maafa me vitamins. Enkayea?" Sounds unlike a household headed by a certain professor proving his macho abilities to the world, stumping on the campaign trail.

Also within the 14 days, someone or persons would have completed a program of action to mitigate the social cost of adjustment to confinement, PAMSCAD. Actually that should be PAMSCADCO, the updated version of the PNDC program that sought to alleviate the Rawlings Chain. Those were wilder days of imagination. But here is to waiting 14 days within 14 days.

Dzifah Hiatsi Worcester, Massachusetts

Richard Dzifah Hiatsi
Richard Dzifah Hiatsi, © 2008

This author has authored 26 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: RichardDzifahHiatsi

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