Ghanaians woke up on Monday morning, 16th February 2009, to a satiric incident, which if allowed to persist, has far-reaching implications for our democracy; thus, the birth of the Egbert Faibille led movement dubbed 'Free Dan Gyimah Now'. According to the Crusaders, they are against the fact that security agencies on Friday 13th February 2009, charged the Managing Director of the National Investment Bank with a count of wilfully causing financial lost of US$60 million to the state. Mr Gyimah, who is at the centre of the controversy, has since been granted bail of GH¢ 500.000 with four sureties one to be justified. At the time of going to press, the NIB boss was yet to comply entirely with the bail conditions to enable him leave the premises of the Security Agencies.
The Next Generation Youth league International (NGYL) is opposed to the mission of the Free Dan Gyimah movement. NGYL is making a public announcement that it will use all forces it can command to thwart the efforts of the said movement and ultimately work to disintegrate it. Our decision is informed by the following:
1Public commentary, activities and publications made by leading members of the Free Dan Gyimah movement so far amounts to contempt of court.
2Their activity, if allowed to fester, will entrench the concept of selective justice, create a class society and insolate certain personalities against the jurisdiction of our laws.
3Putting our recent history into perspective, proponents of this crusade is advertising hypocrisy at the highest level and is by their actions making a mockery of our democracy.
4Again, their actions, amounts to inciting public hatred against the institutions of state and impugning doubt on their integrity. By amputating their limbs and incapacitating them to pursue the demands of government.
5By their actions, they are blackmailing the commitment of government to purify the institutions of state of stinking corruption, which is hindering the needed accelerated development of the country.
Firstly, the existence of the Free Dan Gyimah movement, its public commentary and publications made by leading members of the group so far amounts to contempt of court. Putting the mission of the group into perspective- Campaigning for the Freedom of Dan Gyimah- the group's existence alone, makes them guilty of contempt of court. It is the court alone which has the reserve powers to declare the innocence or otherwise of a person standing trial before it. The Free Dan Gyimah movement has prejudged the case in the media and has declared Dan Gyimah innocent of the said charges, and are therefore rally public support to curtail the state to continue the trial or force the trial judge to give a verdict, which reflects their convictions –freedom of Daniel Gyimah .
Again, radio interviews granted to Peace FM and Joy FM (private radio stations based in Accra), on the morning of Monday,16th February,2009, by Mr Egbert Feeble, a lawyer and Editor of the Ghanaian Observer (GO) and spokes person of the FREE DAN GYIMAH MOVEMENT, is a case in point . The Monday edition of GO, Vol 4 No.017, is littered with prejudicial statements. We refer to paragraph 10 of the editorial of the Ghanaian Observer. Inter alia it states, '....is becoming evident in the Dan Gyimah case, if no money has been paid from the coffers of the NIB and for that matter the state, in spite of the alleged action of Dan Gyimah in approving the promissory notes without recourses to the board of directors of NIB, how can a charge of causing financial loss to the state stand?'
It is very unacceptable that even before the courts could hear the facts of the case, the Free Dan Gyimah movement and the Ghanaian Observer is passing this comments. Worse still, independent of the facts of the case, the group is linking the bases of the trial to the fact that, as council chair, Mr Daniel Gyiman stopped the conferment of an honorary degree on former President Rawlings by the University of Development Studies (UDS) hence his prosecution must be regarded as an act of vengeance.
Secondly, the activities of the Free Dan Gyimah movement, if allowed to fester, will entrench the concept of selective justice and insolate certain personalities against the jurisdiction of our laws. The only reason why people will protest the prosecution of the NIB boss is simply to enforce the notion that certain persons are beyond the jurisdiction of our laws. What is the legal and ethical basis in campaigning against the prosecution of Mr Gyimah? Which of his rights has been violated? Has he not been charge under a legitimate law of Ghana? Has his right to council been denied? Has the courts not granted him bail since his allege crime is a 'baillable' one? On the other hand, is it unconstitutional for a man who has failed to satisfy bail condition to be held by the security agencies until he can do that? The answer to all of the above is a big no.
We recall the ordeal of the 6 and 18months babies who were sodomised at the Peace and Love Orphanage in Ghana. Strangely, members of the NPP and Mr feeble, legal counsel to Grace Omaboe, the owner of the orphanage, protested against the arrest and possible prosecution of the owner of the orphan house, who had not only relinquished her duty of care to the inmates but was operating the house illegally. As we speak, nobody is talking about the threat to the lives of these young ones. The focus is on whether the offender must be sanctioned or not. This precedence can only create a class society. The law must work independent of who is guilty of it.
Thirdly, the actions of the Free Dan Gyimah movement amounts to inciting public hatred against the institutions of state and impugning doubt on their integrity. By this, they are amputating their (state institutions) limbs and incapacitating them to pursue the demands of the oath of their respective offices. The Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and the Executive arm of government have been the worse victims in this recent hate campaign deployed by the Free Dan Gyimah campaign. They have questioned the legitimacy of the BNI in this process and insisted that the government has been immodest in its use of the coercive instruments of the state. NGYL dissent from this conclusion that, the government is ruling with brutal force. Evidence yet, particularly in this case makes it incredible to arrive at such a fantastic conclusion. It is also our position that state institutions complement one another in their efforts, the police-military patrols has been welcome by all. The collaboration of the BNI and the police in a high profile crime such as is on our hands, is not only commendable but must be replicated in all the ministries departments and agencies of the state, so that sectors, which have the capacity can compensate for the lapses of individual institutions that do not. Demonising the BNI and government in the face of the public, without any evidence constitutes subversion of the government.
Additionally, government's commitment to fighting corruption particularly in state institutions is refreshing. We must not allow an individual or a few individuals to blackmail the commitment of government to purify the institutions of state of corruption, which remains not only blight on our corporate integrity as a country but a hamper to the needed accelerated development of Ghana.
Finally, Putting our recent history into perspective, proponents of this crusade are exhibiting hypocrisy at the highest level and are by their actions making a mockery of our democracy. We cannot forget the vicious opposition which was put up by Mr Egbert Faibille and the then Ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) when the Free Tsatsu movement was inaugurated to protest the alleged unlawful prosecution of Mr Tsatsu Tsikata. Whilst NGYL does not fault Editor-in-Chief of GO, and his friends in the NPP for the position they took then, their recent role in the Free Dan Gyimah movement puts them across as people without principles and consistency in political values. This is a danger to our democracy. It will also in future compromise the seriousness attached to civil society who may be exercising their constitutional right to objection objectively.
Inclusion, NGYL wishes to note the following,
A.We note with appreciation, the disassociation of Mr Gyimah from the Free Dan Gyimah Campaign. Mr Nkrabia Effah Dartey, legal counsel to the NIB boss, made the announcement, on Joy FM on Monday, 16th February 2009. He disagreed that his client was being witch-hunted and emphasized that the case is a purely legal matter.
B.We also believe that the general public interest and condemnation of the Free Dan Gyimah movement, is a good index to measure the maturity of the Ghanaian civil society.
C.We also appreciate the quantum of influence, which the members constituting this group will-their unlimited access to the media and men of authority- we however, appeal to their sense of responsibility, ethical values and nationalism, to trade their selfish and short-term goals for the national good, which includes accountable leadership, the rule of law, a good precedence for the next generation.
The Next Generation Youth League International (NGYL) has no reason to believe that the ongoing trial of Mr Gyimah has any political overtones; it is our admonishing to government to stay away from the trial. It should avoid mistakes that feed into impressions of Executive manipulations. Having said the above, we will not hesitate to use all legitimate means to dismantle The Free Dan Gyimah movement, if it remains adamant to dissolve.
Issued this Wednesday, 18th February, 2009 by
Akyena Brantuo Benjamin
Executive Director, Next Generation Youth League International (NGYL)
Former President, Commonwealth Hall, University of Ghana, Legon
E-mail- [email protected]
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