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27.05.2019 Opinion

Is Kwasi Peter On A Mission To Jail Ayariga?

By Offin Aamaniampong

It sounds very controversial, isn't it?
"I Rest My Case."
But, they say, the devil is in the details.
And I dare not scratch the surface of this matter.
Hello Uncle Kweku:
This is unwelcome news, your case has grown wild piercing horns---it didn't go to bed and it couldn't rest as you assumed. Rather, it's triggered an unfettered conversation in Ghana and beyond her frontiers.

Many are making all sort of arguments and many more are professing all manner of views--- some of them warped, some of them wacky and some of them conspiratorial.

And I'm sure you'd foreknowledge of the repercussions that were to arise out from such comments.

Yes, I know you're aware of this.
That, Ghanaians love to talk about corruption. They also love to point an accusing finger at public office holders. But, they lack the oxygen to cure the putrid.

One may ask: What could account for this laxity? The answer is politics. Politics has literally eaten deep into the moral fiber of the Ghanaian. BUT, politics doesn't act alone in grand scheme of things. Poliitics has two cronies--- hypocrisy and sycophancy.

By the way, did it dawn on you also, that your supposed careful comments could potentially undermine 'KwasiPeter''s work?

If you did, how careful would you say you were, given the controversy it's now generated?

And here's a piece of the nugget:
"I'm careful how I articulate this matter because I could be wrong.. " says Alhaji Malik Kweku Baako Jnr.

There you go Uncle, you 'could be wrong'.
And I think you are wrong. What you feared then has come back to haunt you.

Suffice to say: "Wo'ato P3t3 tuo."
You've totally misfired. You probably didn't want to go down that road, albeit the temptation was more than palpable.

Mr. Baako, who"s the Editor-In-Chief of the Crusading Guide Newspaper, made the controversial comments when he appeared on MetroTV programme--'Good Morning Ghana' last Friday.

Below is his controversial comments:
"Interesting, I only pray, sometimes it’s so difficult making some statements in the public space because you may be misunderstood or misrepresented. I can sense that there is a certain feud between Martin Amidu and Mahama Ayariga. .. because if you go back to the vetting of the Special Prosecutor, and something that happened, you may be able to understand this point I’m making.

I’m careful how I articulate this matter because I could be wrong, somebody will say look at the bare facts of the case, perhaps my instincts may be wrong.

I rest my case."
First of all, I find Mr. Baako's comments strikingly benign. But he also drifts along the line to touch on certain issues that tend to belie his supposed careful remarks.

So, let's put the statement into perspective and critically look at the nuances therein. And I'll wholly limit myself to the statement in quotes.

Suspicion & Assumption
Mr. Baako's statement was based on suspicion and assumption, that must be established first, I think.

"I can sense that there's a certain fued between Mahama Ayariga and Martin Amidu...," he says.

That line unveils an element of uncertainty and suspicion. But, he doesn't end it there.

Mr. Baako initiates an argument that tends to suggest that his unsure comments should be taken as a gospel truth.

How does he do that?
He latches unto an antecedental case-- the 2017 historic vetting of then nominee for the SP position--Mr. Martin Amidu.

What's the motive?
To validate his claim. In other words make the statement factual and believable.

Deja vu!
But wait, is this an act of fret or boldnesst?
It's the combination of the two. Mr. Baako feared his comments could be misrepresented, yet he chose to put them out at the public domain. And it didn't take long, his worse fear pursued him.

".Some body will say look at the bare facts of the case," says Mr. Baako. That's right.

I think the focus should be on the bare facts and not on idiosyncrasies or quirks.

The case must not be viewed as though Mr. Amidu, is pursuing a personal vendetta against the MP for Bawku central constituency, Mahama Ayariga.

During the interview, Mr. Baako had wondered why of all the cases lined up by the SP's Office to ensure that current and former appointees of the Akufo-Addo’s government and erstwhile Mahama administration account for their stewardship, Mr Amidu decided to single out Mr. Ayariga for prosecution.

But is it true that Mr. Ayariga is the only person penciled down for prosecution?

That's false. It's one of the conspiracy theories by the critics. So far, the Office has released 26 cases it's investigating.

In spite of this, theories persist that the investigative Czar is focusing on NDC people.

Call it warped, it's false.The fact is, the Office is casting its net wider and it's no intention to focus on one political party. One of its 'victims' is Freddie Blah, the ruling party's (NPP) national chairman.

Again, the legend JoyFM Newsfile pundit says there are pressing cases in which persons and appointees perceived to be engaged in corruption should be arraigned before court or should attract the attention of Mr Amidu.

That suggestion too, in my view, has its demerit, in that it could be seen as selective and diabolical. Crime is crime, so let's allow the Office to do its work. Mind you, if we rush it , it would crash.

Also, Mr. Baako recalls that Mr Amidu during his vetting publicly bared his teeth at Mr. Ayariga and stressed how he wouldn't sleep until the latter goes to jail.

Question is: How did we get here?
The SP has sued Mr. Mahama Ayariga for evading tax on imported Toyota Landcruiser vehicles and illegal dealing in foreign exchange without a license.

The former minister is said to have transferred GH¢6,000 instead of GH¢36,000 to an agent in Dubai.

Meanwhile, the National Communications Officer of the opposition NDC, Sammy Gyamfi has described the decision by Mr Amidu to hunt down Mr Ayariga as 'much ado-about nothing'.

Is that true?
Well, that remains to be observed in the coming months or years. And surely, I believe time will tell. But he could be right too, if we go by the good old mantra-- 'business as usual'.

Views from Afar
Elsewhere, in the United States a leading member, Ghana Institute of Journalism Association of North America (GIJANA), Fiifi Amakye has waded into the ongoing debate.

Mr. Amakye a social commentator and writer, presents an arguement that tends to support Mr. Martin Amidu-- the Special Prosecutor.

The seasoned journalist describes Mr Baako's comments as 'bizzare'. An element he says is the character trait of the respected journalist.

"In a move bizarrely characteristic of Kwaku Baako, the editor of the Crusading Guide, has attracted the ire of a cross-section of the public."

He argues that Mr. Baako failed to dwell on the substance of the case.

"Commenting on the court charges by Martin Hamidu, against Mahama Ayariga , a former minister in the Mahama administration, over acts of ethical impropriety which borders on corruption, Baako instead of being circumspect and factual in his analysis, rather offered his jaded opinion with respect to the court case."

Public Relations Coup
He calls the move an act of coup, noting,
"Baako by his analysis, knowingly or unknowingly has ignited a public relations coup against the special prosecutor, by stating that Ayariga's prosecution is driven by vendetta on the part of Hamidu."

He continues:
"Here is why Baako is wrong the merits of the case is prosecutable. The facts have been made public. Again, Baako should know that in our legal jurisprudence, he who asserts needs to provide evidence. The evidence against Ayariga is overwhelming," Mr. Amakye concludes.

Another, leading member of GIJANA, Owusu Dwabeng however, disagrees with Mr. Amakye.

According to him the evidence against Ayariga will be dealt with by the courts and not by public opinion.

"Let the court adjudicates on that!!!
I thought that’s what you're telling Mr. Baako to do and you're doing something different, Sir!."

He quips: 'By the way, is he (Mr. Ayariga) being prosecuted on grounds of ethics or criminality?"

And he got his answer in plain cloth not camouflaged:

"Owusu, Ayariga as a former minister violated the code of ethics by parliament, with regards to the sourcing of the loan that he'd in buying those vehicles. He connived with a shady businessman. So, I guess you'll appreciate the element of criminality in his conduct," remarks Mr. Amakye.

Later, in his contribution, Mr. Kwame Amoako Atta, GIJANA patron remarked:

"Ethical leadership in criminal justice is extremely crucial because leaders such as parliamentarians, lawyers, and ministers etc are supposed to lead exemplary lives by adhering strictly to the rules and laws."

He argues that: "If those at the helm of affairs don't act in ethical manner it affects the employees/people at the bottom of the ladder.

People tend to adhere to rules and regulations if their leaders like law enforcement officers are law abiding."

Policemen and women are obliged to adhere to traffic regulations just like all other road users in a real sense because the road users derive inspiration from them. That's the reason why when they're flouting traffic regulations by rushing to crime scenes they put on their sirens/lights tooting their horns.

Consequently, disregarding some ethics could be criminal in the case of Ayariga," he says.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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