By Dr Arthur Kobina Kennedy
Following the suggestion by Osagyefo Agyemang Badu II that the government discontinue the prosecution of Hon. Quayson in the public interest, the criminal state is at it again. Ghana’s deep-seated tendency to hypocrisy is on full display.
The venerable Sam Okudzeto, the Attorney General, the Majority Leader and many other fixtures of the “amen chorus” of this government have condemned the traditional ruler and judge. They have called his call inappropriate and demanded sanctions against him. Some like the majority leader have warned that this incident might cause the Omanhene a seat on the Supreme Court some day. What would it profit him to be elevated to a discredited Supreme Court?
Before addressing this unfortunate case, let me confess that I find Osagyefo Agyemang Badu’s call patriotic but wish it had come from another traditional ruler who is not part of the Judiciary. But he spoke from patriotic sentiments and the nation would benefit from more of his kind.
As a citizen not inclined to spectatoring, I find it strange that those who are so riled about the inappropriateness of the Omanhene’s comments had nothing to say when, on the eve of the Assin North election, the President of the Republic, HE Nana Akufo-Addo, a civil rights attorney and the boss of the Attorney General responsible for prosecuting Mr. Qusyson called him a future prisoner at a political rally! Mr. President, what happened to the presumption of innocence that is the bedrock of our constitutional Republic? After your remark, how can we be sure that the decision to prosecute Mr. Quayson is not motivated by politics rather than law?
This whole case, from beginning to the end, has been about politics rather than the law.
From anulling the original election through the failure of the EC to defend its work and its constitutional mandate to determine who qualifies as a candidate through the convoluted, embarassing rulings of the courts, this case will live in infamy, besides Sakande and re:Akoto.
As for those who saw no evil, heard no evil and perceived no evil in the President’s disgraceful remarks, they owe us an apology. How can Sam Okudzeto find fault with Osagyefo Agyemang Badu’s comments but not the President’s comments?
How can the Majority Leader threaten to bar the Omanhene’s future appointment without pledging to introduce a motion of censure against the President for his prejudicial comments?
Why was the once great Ghana Bar Association silent on the President’s comments? Didn’t they hear it? Is this the mighty and fearless BAR Assiciation of yore? Chaiii!!
On what basis would the Attorney General prosecute a man who is clearly qualified to be a candidate for Assin North now?
The only people who have shown good judgment in all this are the voters of Assin North who have spoken in defense of the law and their rights twice!
Let Gyakye Quayson serve them, not from prison, but from Parliament.
As for this President, sadly, he has spent most his Presidency undoing the very admirable reputation he built as a renowned attorney and Attorney General. His Assin North remarks were a new low point.
May God bless Ghana and all those who strive to uphold our motto, “Freedom and Justice”— those who in the President’s words are “citizens, not spectators”.