The Politicisation Of Crime
The drawbacks of the politicisation of crime have been a matter of public discourse for some time now.
The President and many other leading public figures have not stopped condemning the act which, as we know, seeks to pour water over crimes committed by persons wielding political clout in the country. It is a notion which makes a section of the public to think that politicians are hardly arraigned and jailed regardless of the seriousness of their crimes.
When a politician falls foul of the law and the matter is given a political colour, the ultimate goal is to suffocate the case with the tag of politics.
Former President Rawlings while reprimanding some leading members of the party he founded, the NDC, said some bad personalities in the political grouping rush to take executive positions so that the crimes they commit would be veneered.
He could not have put it better. Many politicians used this to cover their bad deeds expecting that party supporters would always troop to the courts or Police Headquarters to exert pressure indirectly on the judges or police to release them.
Crime is a crime with no political colours. Were it to be the contrary, the rule of law would be embroiled in double standards and lost the deference it requires to discharge its duties without fear or favour.
We have observed the tendency by some politicians to seek to influence the outcome of cases with their presence during court proceedings – regrettably, something which has almost become a norm in our political setting today.
A few days ago, the NDC disseminated a correspondence announcing the court date of their National Chairman, Ofosu-Ampofo. The objective of the social media powered correspondence was anything but well-intentioned.
The target of the communication was party supporters, the rank and file, who were expected to go to the court and foul the atmosphere. The correspondence was inciting and those behind it could not care a hoot about the repercussions of such action.
Those who want a better Ghana where institutions of state, especially the judiciary work well, won't do anything that would constitute an affront to their survival and efficiency.
Inciting party supporters is the stock-in-trade of the NDC; it has played it over and over again. Former President John Mahama was at the court yesterday when his party National Chairman honoured his date with the judge over the contents of his leaked audio recording. If the former President does not find anything wrong with the contents of the audio for which he was charged and now in court, then we can say without any fear of contradiction that the former First Gentleman is parochial in his thinking and to a fault. For him, the issue is more about his winning election regardless of how this would impact the fortunes of the country. We have confidence in our judges to uphold the tenets of the judiciary decisions from which can stand the test of veracity anywhere in the world no matter who sits in their courts.
We are longing for a Ghana where crimes would not be politicized. We are starting the journey and there is no turning back.
Couldn't the former President have showed solidarity with his National Chairman in a different way rather than entrench the bad norm of going to sit in a court of law when a suspected criminality is being adjudicated?
Perhaps the former President is picking a leaf from his party founder who used to do that. Now, though we doubt he would do what former John Mahama has fallen in love.
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