Friday, August 29, 2014, will be exactly one calendar year that 9 Supreme Court judges led by William Atuguba, SC., and colleagues gave a supposedly doubtful judgment in a marathon case between three personalities – Jake Otanka Obetsebi Lamptey, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo and Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia as Plaintiffs on one side versus the Electoral Commission with its chair- man, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, as co-Defendant and His Excellency John Dramani Mahama as beneficiary of the disputed case, on the other side. The three gentlemen, through their solicitors, filed a suit at the SC on Friday, December 28, 2012, the last date for the submission of a writ concerning the elections. They prayed that the wrongful declaration of JDM by the EC as winner instead of the flag-bearer of the NPP should be heard. The writ was well received by the Registry and Tuesday, January 16, was slated for the epic trial to begin. That Tuesday finally arrived and 9 judges comprising three females and 6 men graciously occupied their seats with the chairman, Justice William Atuguba, SC in the middle. Only God knows why the Chief Justice, Mrs. Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, never participated herself; and it still remains a mystery and a myth. The proceedings continued from that day for so long that the cross-examination of Dr. Bawumia, who has come to be a.k.a. “You and I were not there” with his responses by Counsels Tony Lithur and Tsatsu Tsikata became so bored for watching. Other cross-examinations came from Counsel Quashie-Idun with the three representing the president, the NDC and the EC respectively. Occasionally, there were requests from the bench for evidence and documents upon documents were forwarded to facilitate the court proceedings. When it was evident that the EC was unable to clarify some differences, the chairman of the SC, with collective agreement of the panel members, invited the KPMG to come in and testify. The day was set for the senior partner of that international auditing firm, Mr. Amanor, did come to testify. Examinations and cross-examinations came from all angles to humiliate this gentleman. But lo and behold, despite his expertise and the fact that he had never appeared before such an august house, was humiliated at certain stages. His time elapsed and the proceedings continued day after day until Fridays when the court rose and resumed the following Tuesdays.
However, getting to the latter stages, certain comments were said to have been made by Sammy Awuku to the effect that the court was not up to expectation on an FM station in Accra. Just as Sammy had been invited to explain his side of the story to the court, Lawyer Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, a.k.a. 'Sir John' also threw in the bombshell to worsen the integrity of the judges in general. Many people became anxious when the case would be determined. As if by design but not fate, Ken Kuranchie, editor of the Daily Searchlight paper and one Atubuga, an NDC activist from Binduri, in the Upper East Region had both made some derogatory remarks about the integrity and competence of the judges as well as the consequences the outcome of the judgment will be if the case was not ruled in their (Atubuga's NDC) favour. Sammy was the first to be invited to defend himself at the end of July while the others had their turns towards the close of August. Sammy was called and when he admitted his guilt; apologized and was cautioned to be of good behavior and not to appear on air till the close of the hearing. Then a date was fixed for hearing Atubuga and Kuranchie. Atubuga was the first to be called and in his case, after accepting his guilt and pleading for clemency, with intermittent jokes to create laughter and caress the nerves of the judges, was cautioned but jailed for 3 days to be of good behavior. On his turn, Ken Kuranchie, an embattled law student; in trying to defend himself even though was represented by Hon. Atta Akyea, M.P. for Abuakwa South, was not spared but jailed for 10 days probably due to his misdemeanor and his elementary knowledge of the law. Try as his solicitor did to state his case, was not accepted by almost all the judges at the bench. Soon after Ken's jail term was pronounced, presumably to put fear in the populace, the whole country remained very silent. Everybody then realized the power and authority the court wielded from thereon. Sadly, before Ken's 10-day jail term ended, he had been transferred from prison to prison for as many as six times – just to teach him as a member of the opposition party a great lesson. By the way, did the government achieve anything anyway? Then was the turn of Sir John and his solicitor, Mr. Okine Adamafio, a leading lawyer in the country, using his experience and expertise as former Attorney-General, clandestinely cajoled the whole bench with occasional laughter and plea for clemency for his client to befit his birthday that fell that same day. He too was pardoned but without reprimand. He was scorned in the face and that his primary class one pupil (if he had one) was probably stronger physically than him that moment when he was in the dock. He was verbally reduced to shreds by the chairman who could make and unmake him change his sleeping place that moment. He too was cautioned to be of good behavior and not to be heard on air again till after six months of the ruling. Soon after, Justice William Atuguba was heard talking at the top of his voice as if he was a peddler of native herbs and promoting the sale of his wares with a megaphone in hand from the rooftop. He yelled, “Some of you politicians have probably purchased your airline tickets and soon after, you flee the country; you think you can take the 24 million Ghanaians to ransom with your erratic political platform talks to put fear in all of us to destabilize the country and the peace we enjoy; we will not allow you politicians to do whatever you like (at this juncture, screaming and hitting his bench with the end tip of his ball point pen as amplified by the microphones there. We will not allow you to take the nation for a ride whenever you mount the political platform. You people should know that ……… We are tired of you et cetera.” When tempers calmed down presumably, after regaining consciousness from the sub-conscious mind that sent his temperature beyond boiling point and gradually seeping in descending order, the court rose for lunch and returned to fix a date for the ruling - Thursday, August 29. The two week interval was to give them ample time to make available their written verdict and hopefully to read it individually on that fateful day. People prayed that, that day should appear like a star in a moonlit night. That unforgettable Thursday came and the court that normally sat between 10.30 a.m. and 11.00 a.m. latest, never surfaced until 13.00 hours; and when finally, all the 9 judges arrived, almost everybody thought that at least each person would be given some 10 to 15 minutes minimum to read his/her address and/or verdict. The contrary was what we witnessed. Rather, they had elected the chairman to be their spokesman for the day. Contrary to expectations, as soon as they occupied their seats, when the chairman started with the opening remarks, it never took the SC more than 7 minutes with the final judgment thus; this, that, this, that, Justices bla, bla, bla overruled; over-voting, double voting, double registration, unsigned pink sheets by EC officials, Justices A, B, C, D, E over-ruled, while Justices W, X, Y and Z abstain. As a matter of fact, whatever lawyers Addison, Akoto Ampaw and Gloria Akufo contended in that 8-month period did not hold water; while the contributions from lawyers Tony Lithur, Tsatsu Tsikata and Quashie-Idun with their defence of 27 0, over-voting, double-registration, voting by proxy, minors and unsigned pink sheets by EC officials did not matter; as well as the controversial Finger of God polling station that created a scenario, did not also matter to mean anything to them. That rather appealed to the conscience of the five judges who ruled in favour of the EC and the beneficiary, JDM. That is the 'Ghana Judiciary' for you; and by this verdict the country still looks forward to receiving an influx of investors to come with their hard earned foreign currency. In fact it will probably be only the deaf and dumb and the blind investors who might come and pour their money into the dust bin because they have no value for it. Our slogan, “Gateway to Africa” could clearly be interpreted by them to mean, come to “the Lions' Den in Africa” where members of government continuously cherish in the “create, loot and share” ideology and majority of our judges who, by their professional ethics, background and training should know better to safeguard such investors' interests, also have no will-power to protect them because of greed, avarice and political influence. The best caution was to ask the EC to make some reforms and implement them to avert any unpleasantness in future elections. Four judges however contended that the plaintiffs should have been the winner but because majority carries the vote in all debates, they emerged victorious. Soon after the judgment at 13.07 hours, the country was immediately over-shadowed by the thickest historic clouds. The country was so tensed up thereafter that any little flick of finger on the trigger could set the nation ablaze despite the security red alert that the commander-in-chief may have placed his forces. However, Ghanaians should be thankful to Nana Akufo Addo for conceding defeat with reservations; otherwise, if he had not been so magnanimous to do so, but to refuse the verdict, most of us would by now still be refugees in foreign lands while the rest would not have returned from self-exile due to the volatile situation the unprecedented verdict was so presented. That was the day Ghana went dumb. That was when Ghana stood still. That was when Ghana kissed the canvas. That was when the country fell flat with face down. That was the day many Ghanaians in the Diaspora wept bitterly because their investment partners immediately lost confidence in our judiciary. That was when all household pets fasted to avert inevitable bloodshed. That was the day all the birds in Ghana failed to sing praises to their Maker in protest of the upturned judgment. That was the day vultures in Ghana went on hunger strike to further worsen the filth situation. That was the day many angels regretted that God had created a place called Ghana on earth.
ONE YEAR IN RETROSPECT
That 'Black Thursday', August 29, 2013, has come and gone. Luckily, the whole world watched the events live on television, courtesy, GTV to know the state of affairs, integrity and credibility of our judiciary. But one year on, many events have strangely unfolded in Ghana that could be attributed to the perversion of justice to incur the wrath of God. Please read the numerous but carefully and serially bulleted events to make your own impartial judgment.
• Ironically, the capitation grant of Gh¢2.00/per day for about 6,000 physically impaired and challenged pupils in special schools face difficulties because of government's inability to come to their aid.
• Again, because of the bone-economy that government runs, all second cycle senior high schools have been hit by poverty; no funding to meet their feeding and has forced them to stay home until further notice. That is the reward for mismanagement.
• Because of the outbreak of Ebola in neighbouring countries and the fact that some international students were expected back and also government's inability to cushion the running of the public tertiary institutions financially, it has cunningly postponed the re-opening date for two more weeks to save face.
• As you read this piece, Ebo Barton Odro, as the 1st Deputy Speaker of Ghana's Parliament still walks about as a freeman despite his involvement in the Woyome Scandal of Gh¢52m which he and former sector minister, Betty Mould-Iddrisu Ms. condoned and connived to dupe the State in the judgment debt for no work done by Waterville/Isofoton etc.
• One year on, the GYEDA/SADA/Guinea fowl project that turned out to be daylight thievery and robbery of the millennium, have gradually pushed the economy to the threshold of HIPC.
• Latest revelations clearly indicate that after one year on, the scramble for wealth and property by people in government has reached an alarming rate as if the world was coming to the end tomorrow.
• Exactly one year on, because of the 'awam' judgment, no sane donor partner from the western world, will dream of doling out loans/grants to us for development.
• Currently, as a result of general corruption engulfing the ruling government and failure to meet their contractual obligations and statutory payments, Ghana is still indebted to both the ECOWAS and AU.
• One year on, as regards the reckless dissipation of the national cake to some judges, party activists and opinion leaders, every fresh academic school year witnesses fathers carrying bags of cement and mothers laboring to carry buckets of paint while the students themselves carry their chop-boxes to campuses.
• One year on, the NDC has not wizened up but to glorify ex-convicts like Kwame Peprah and Dan Abodakpi to still occupy responsible positions to denigrate the respect and dignity of all.
• The resultant effect from dishing out money left, right and center has negated government's ability to purchase ordinary writing chalks and attendance registers for use by public schools.
• Because of the unnecessary expenditure incurred prior to the 2012 elections, government has been compelled to look left, right, and centre for a worthless loan of $156m for pampers for second cycle student girls. Is this not an indictment on the embattled Prof. Naana Opoku Agyemang, who, probably, was privy to that cancerous loan application?
• One year on, the Minister of Education and a former university don who should have taught the 1st Lady to pronounce the simple word 'facilitate' effectively rather than to disgrace Ghanaians at the recently held U.S. confab for African First Ladies failed her duties.
• Knowing the true outcome of the EPH of last year, the donor nations have all wizened up to say enough is enough with the 'skewed' ruling.
• As usual, one year or so on, all Ghanaian contractors have not been paid for the jobs done and has sent many to their graves while others have also lost valuable assets to their creditors.
• Furthermore, all the CHASS members have not been paid for their services for some 10 months now by the NHIS due to the poor economic situation and have resolved en bloc to refuse to play their meaningful roles to humanity.
• One year on Ghanaians should not be fooled into thinking that the relative peace we purport to enjoy could not degenerate into something else because of the glaring polarization and volatile situation pertaining in the country.
• The number of promises made by Prez. Mahama within the year to ameliorate the economic hardship has been so unprecedented and overwhelming that needs to prevent students of history from getting something to write about.
• Contacts and investigations made or conducted globally by modern scientific means indicate that one year on, the purchases of landed/immovable properties in Canada, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Jamaica and Dubai, just to name a few, have been very, very phenomenal by the young and old people in government and some judges.
• One year on, the rate tribalism has played significance in political appointments, promotions in the military/police and other security agencies; that have never been experienced before, tell it all that should there be any Arab Spring in Ghana, your guess could be as good as mine.
• Fellow Ghanaians, with the Usain Bolt's 100-metre speed that the Cedi has run the International Monetary Olympics since the beginning of the year suggests that no prayers by the clergy could halt the fast deteriorating economy.
• One year on, because there have not been prudent economic measures in place, the civil aviation, judicial service, the railways corporation, the UTAG/POTAG/GUTTA and other institutions have been forced to embark upon strike actions to demand their pound of flesh.
• No wonder, one year on, a second year student of Agona Swedru School of Business has been forced to commit suicide by hanging due to the inability of her parents to settle the school fees while Woyome's fraudulent judgment debt has not been retrieved by government.
• The National Economic Forum of Senchi and its attendant ruin to the tax-payer is indicative that the country is poised for doom.
• One year on, despite the heavy rains we have recorded, the Volta River keeps drying up because of God's anger and despair for the perverted justice.
• The Black Stars' abysmal performance at the just ended World Cup tournament in Brazil, the Scotland Commonwealth Games and the Black Princesses' encounter in Canada were not for fun. The child who does not want the mother sleep equally does not have sleep. God will not allow them to bring laurels back home to over-shadow the evil deeds of government.
• One year on, despite the experience and expertise of Dr. Wampah as BOG boss, he never saw anything wrong with the haul of $4.5m cash that was hurriedly airlifted to Brazil to soften the insubordination of the Black Stars than to disgrace the entire country amongst the comity of nations. Can he confirm the purported monthly salary of ?Gh¢80,000?
• One year on, does Dr. Wampah know that the Ghana Cedi is the weakest globally to take the place of the Zimbabwean currency?
• Under normal circumstances, the vice president, HE K.B. Amissah-Arthur, who, hitherto, was the deputy minister of Finance and Economic Planning and later relocated as BOG Governor, with the avalanche of experience in simple banking and finance, has not helped with the restructure of our economy and, unashamedly, does not see the wisdom to resign his position as veep. After advising the Mills government to print the Gh¢2.00 and further advising the printing of the Gh¢50.00 to change the then largest currency in circulation, has prompted discerning persons to know that he must have done that for monetary gains and political expediency otherwise, how can someone like his caliber, fail to utilize the enormous professional banking experience at his disposal to help revamp our comatose economy; unless he was one of those people who normally wash their faces from the chin to the eye-brow every morning.
• Due to poor economic policies and mis-management as a result of dishing out money to undeserved persons, manufacturers of cement now sell a bag for Gh¢30 in Accra with an average of Gh¢35 across the country as dictated by exorbitant transport fares.
• Even though the CEPS Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority's commitment of daily collections from importers, VAT monthly returns from companies and the IRS bits and pieces received monthly are promptly sent to government coffers by corporate bodies; one year on, because of the magnitude of nationwide corruption, Capitation Grant to assist schools/colleges and hospitals via the NHIS, MPs Common Fund, GETFund, constitutionally mandated payment to MMDAs, allowances for students of the 38 Colleges of Education, have been scrapped; book and research allowances for lecturers in public tertiary institutions also stalled, whilst the remittances to students on scholarship abroad need no commentary.
• One year on, despite the reckless bluff of government to play fiddle with our lives; no, repeat no single chief of repute in society, has stood up to announce his presence to be counted among the saints because many have been corrupted with four wheel drive vehicles and wonder how they can afford fuel at Gh¢15/gallon, lubricants and maintenance at cut-throat prices or decide to worship them as white elephants.
• One year on, apart from Pastor Mensa Otabil, who has mustered courage to call the bluff of government's incompetence and frivolous economic mess, no other member of the men in cassock who are highly revered in society, seems to have two balls in between the two thighs. . One year on but Dr. Afari Gyan still lingers on to grow stronger wings despite clocking
76, i.e. six more years after the constitutionally mandated retiring age for ECs. . One year on since the five SC judges hurriedly won the EPH case for JDM, but because the Accra Mayor, Alfred Okoe Vanderpuye, cannot grapple with the enormous filth in the Accra Metropolis, wants to shirk that fundamental responsibility of waste management to contest the Ablekuma parliamentary seat come Election 2016 where he will not fight with cholera any longer after cruelly demolishing countless number of people's houses with his crazy thugs.
. It is more than one year when JDM promised Ghanaians that he would pull the magic wand to clear the filth and mess in Accra especially, the Odaw Bridge and its undergrowth popularly called the Neoplan Station area – just take a stroll on the bridge and see things for yourself. . Almost one year after the ruling, Mr. Rawlings has now woken up from sleep to realize the damage and harm the ugly dwarfs and sharp teeth party activists have helped JDM to ruin Ghana's economy.
• One year in retrospect, the perverted justice must be placed on record that the shock waves from that 'Stolen Verdict' will definitely have electrocuted Ghana's previous eminent justices like Sir Arku Korsah, E.C. Quist, Nii Amaah Ollennu, F.K. Apaloo, Philip Archer and E.K. Wiredu; who were men of noble principles, to turn in their graves if they were alive today because of unprincipled professional competence and/or stance.
• One year on after the EPH, the unprecedented legacy JDM's government has bequeathed to Ghanaians is nothing special and different from the gargantuan corruption, tons of promises and mountains of filth to breed cholera that has already taken a toll of 51 lives and maiming tens of thousands of innocent persons and forcing 5,019 to Korle Bu Hospital for medication.
• Because of the Stolen Verdict to favour JDM's government; after one year on, the governance continues to fumble with everything from A-Z is in disarray with no savior in sight.
In a nutshell, the author takes inspiration from the wise sayings of the celebrated American president, Abraham Lincoln, “You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” And in the author's own version it will be illustrated as thus: “Some of the judges can pervert justice some of the time but all the judges cannot pervert justice all the time.” By inference, if it happens, some molten materials will erupt one day from a volcanic point to come to halt the rot in the system to serve as deterrent.
ADMONITION – Jeremiah 17:11
Even if all the Arab Oil Money plus the Venezuelan and Equatorial Guinea's was brought in for free on a silver platter, the weak Cedi cannot resurrect from death; nor could secured loans be properly utilized to free the Ghanaian people most of whom find themselves enslaved in their own country for it is akin to the biblical quotation above - “The partridge sitting on strange eggs ….. (no matter what), it cannot hatch them because they do not belong to her.”