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Ace Ankomah to lead impeachment crusade against Mahama

Sat, 28 May 2016 Source: Kwarteng, Francis

Good laws are meant for enforcement and to be respected and obeyed by a people upon whom they [laws] exercise jurisdiction.

In other words, laws by themselves do not have the power and will to enjoy any jurisdictional prerogatives and privileges until and unless they are acted upon by and through human agency.

Laws do not have a mind of their own and therefore exist on account and at the mercy of human agency. Laws are in effect generally mindless and motionless and lifeless, to put it simply and mildly.

But that tractional urgency in the nature of man to inhabit the space of self-preservation—alone and/or surrounded by or with a collectivity of other selves, agreeable or otherwise, within a well-defined geopolitical topology—imbues human agency with a high sense of moral motivity—for better or for worse—protective of all the mortal data-sets within the encircling perimeter of that geopolitical topology, however elastic or rigidly formidable.

When that human agency loses the power of “independence” and becomes an unthinking slave to manufactured consent and political manipulation, it correspondingly loses any sense of tractional responsibility and moral motivity as far as protecting citizens and the state itself from unsolicited abuse.

Thus, the law is supposed to play its “divine” role in society as an assertive combination of a redoubtable God-King-Philosopher, Judge, Witness, Prosecutor, Jury and Defense—no less—as a fearsome and friendly protector of the public trust.

On the basis of the preceding contentions therefore, lawlessness can hold itself up as antimorphic mutation of the moral imperative of a just society—a necessary corollary or forced cognate of anarchism, nihilism, and whatnot.

Laws not being dummies without the enforcement power, prerogatives and privileges of human agency, also means laws are inherently fallible as human agency. The irony is that the law therefore presents itself as a moral corrective to that intrinsic probability of antimorphic mutation, thereby acting upon, standing in, and even usurping the place of human fallibility.

But the law as a protector can also become a willing abuser of its mortal instruments insofar as human agency.

In those cases where the law acts as abuser, it may actually do so on the moral basis or weight of a benevolent dictator—either to protect a certain privileged class of persons, to reshape or reconstitute the dynamics of power and economic imperatives to preponderantly benefit an unmeritocratic class of citizens, or to make a travesty of itself—injustice and unfairness.

This is where the broader implications of Ana Aremeyaw Anas for corrective politics and his investigative work on judicial corruption provide such an indispensable vista of the moral decay that Ghana has eventually become, or probably already is.

Also the recent revelations by pressure group OccupyGhana’s Ace Ankomah—if true—on the scandalous controversy linking ex-Minister of Transport Dzifa Attivor, the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), the Finance Ministry, Smartty’s Management and Productions Limited, and now the Office of the President are such important to this present discourse:

“They cooked up the deal, right from the office of the President. The deal was cooked up. One of the letters revealed that the decision to do that branding was taken in consolation with the office of the President.”

The Office of the President is not the same as the elected occupant of the presidency, President John Dramani Mahama. But that office is technically synonymous with the physical personhood of the elected occupant of the presidency, in this special case President John Dramani Mahama.

In other words if the physical personhood of the elected occupant of the presidency is not within eyeshot of the Office of the Presidency, at least he or she must be within the earshot of the Office of the Presidency.

Stated differently, there is no impenetrable wall of silence between the physical personhood of the elected occupant of the presidency and the Office of the President. As far as all these are concerned, this seemingly abstract overlap is borne out of the reified factualness of constitutional oversight.

Nevertheless, Ankomah’s is a serious allegation which Daniel Batidam, Presidential Advisor on Corruption and Governance, has dismissed out of hand (our emphasis):

“Let us not pretend as if people who work in government cannot put logic on their heads. I am not one of the people who will defend everything but I do not think there is basis for the claim [Ankomah] is making.”

Sometimes politics derives its strength and presence of assertive muscularity from “political realism,” not logic.

But then it is also evidently clear from Batidam’s juvenile response that this point may have been long lost on him.

What is more, there have never been pragmatic and rational political logicians in Ghana since the untimely passing of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

What a lame alibi for a possible executive malfeasance from Batidam! Certainly, and quite expectedly, one is at pains to unburden Batidam of the stupendous illogic of political expediency on his head.

His comments lack analytic seriousness, intellectual depth, as well as a tail and a head—meaningless.

Here is what he is also reported to have said:

“Well it’s easy to say anybody is corrupt, when it comes to prosecution that is where I think that sometimes we are expecting too much from the presidency or the executive arm of government in general.”

Apparently, there is no need to tackle Batidam here as Paa Kwesi Nduom had already taken him on and rightly so, eloquently and without mincing words.

Yet Batidam’s remarks are deeply regrettable and unhealthy given that public corruption alone amounts to or costs Ghana at least US$3 billion on an annual basis—a conservative estimate in some circles.

The other point is that President Mahama has not as of yet publicly stated his position on the Batidam’s public diplomacy gaffe, to let us know whether or not he intimately shares the former’s sentiments as well.

All these are not meant to dissuade our readership from the fact that, Ankomah places President Mahama right in the middle of the scandalous cyclone of Smartty’s overpriced re-branding bus controversy.

We shall not, however, go into the theory being making the rounds that whoever may have translated Madam Dzifa Attivor’s controversial remarks actually did so incorrectly, that the real motives or intentions of Madam Attivor’s remarks were lost in translation. That is another paper.

Having said that, Ankomah seems to weaken or undermine the credibility of his indictment of the Office of the President with the following remarks:

“If indeed the office of the President had no hand in all of these, why would the office of the President order the Attorney General to investigate the matter? Was it why they were refusing to release the AG’s report?”

Possibly!

But is the responsibility of the Office of Attorney-General restricted to only matters bordering on public corruption?

We do not think it is necessarily always so. Evidently, then, the Office of Attorney-General enjoys the prerogatives and privileges of an inclusive jurisdiction beyond the narrow province of political corruption.

In other words because the Office of the Presidency tasked Attorney-General to look into the matter, then it follows naturally or logically that the scandalous overpriced re-branding exercise absolutely originated in the Office of the President—although it is equally likely that it may have actually originated in the Office of the President. But this is an issue that must answer to the higher authority of incontrovertible evidence.

This basic structure of Ankomah’s argument, notwithstanding, reflects the stupendous illogic of Batidam’s political morality and intellectualism.

Ankomah and Batidam are therefore, together, helpless victims of the stupendous illogic of their intellectual, moral, and political self-victimization.

Overall, this is not good critical, analytic and creative thinking coming from a lawyer, and from a former university law lecturer at that!

Cause and effect appear likely mixed up in an unprofessional, uneducated way probably on account of political expedience, not on the factual logic of constitutional realism.

And of course, the Office of the President may have called upon the Attorney-General to investigate the matter because it was the right thing to do—a task clearly within the constitutional remit of both institutions, the Office of Attorney-General and the Office of the President.

In fact, the Attorney-General should have unreservedly taken up or exercised that area of her authority even if the Office of the President had turned a blind eye to the scandalous controversy.

This also goes to the heart of why the Office of Attorney-General and the Ministry of Justice should be separated and replaced with an independent prosecutor.

It bears repeating here for emphasis that, it is nearly unimaginable and even impossible for one arm of the government to sue another arm of the government given the partisan nature of our politics, and the fact that the Office of the President and its parliamentary majority—in theory and practice—appoint the Attorney-General who is a party member just like the elected occupant of the Office of the President. The Office of Attorney-General therefore cannot bite the hand that feeds it.

The “create, loot and share” political capitalism (Re: CRAPITALISM) of our duopoly benefits all players within a given political structure, whether it is the NPP or the NDC, recalling that President John Kufuor, for instance, failed to name and prosecute political criminals in his government and party because he strongly believed that such an exercise would have brought down his corrupt government. He therefore shifted the provenance of corruption to Adam and Eve rather than to his government.

Even so, one however wonders if our extreme partisan politics will ever make room for an independent prosecutor!

Yet Ankomah’s hypothetical conclusions may not be farfetched after all.

The only possible problem with him might be a serious question about his own credibility as a political and moral activist, as in this incredible statement he made to one of his legal mentors, ex-Justice George Acquah, late:

“‘My Lord, mé gye bribe’… ‘My Lord, I will take bribes.”

Ankomah was bringing out into the open his closet intentions of taking bribe if he were ever to become a judge.

This behavior was what cost Victoria Hammah, a former Deputy Minister of Communications, her job.

Of course unexecuted intentions of this nature are not necessarily criminal, but they tell on a potentially corrupt, criminal, or corruptible mindset.

Plus, it is highly possible he may not have taken bribe as a lawyer but is equally highly likely or possible he may have bribed a judge in his long successful career as a lawyer.

These assertions belong in the proper realm of speculation, although Ghanaian lawyers are widely known for this behavior.

How ironically strange that he calls Ghanaians laws “beautiful laws” as his colleagues were, at the same time, thanks to the investigative work of Ana Aremeyaw Anas, subverting those same “beautiful laws” in exchange for goats, massage, tubers of yam, freedoms of hardened criminals…!

And then his subtle defense of the Kufuor family in the wake of the so-called Panama Papers exposé possibly bespeaks a potentially corrupt, criminal, or corruptible mindset and a partisan hack.

We should also not forget that elsewhere, he jumped the gun with an outrageous if unproven claim that he had knowledge of the contents of a particular document in the hands of the Office of Attorney-General, in which the latter had recommended the prosecution of public officials involved in the Smartty scandalous controversy, even long before also declaring his intentions to seek relief from the court regarding public disclosure of the said document.

Whether he did this in order to court public admiration and approbation is hard to tell. What we do know for a fact is that he has said at least five major laws were “deliberately” broken in order for the scandalous controversy involving the Smartty overpriced bus re-branding to go ahead, thus specifically mentioning breaches of the Constitution, the Procurement Act, Government Contracts Protection Act, the Petroleum Management Law among others. He could begin the agitation for the impeachment of the Office of the President from the angle of the breaches of these laws.

What is also rather possible is that he still could be right in his assessment of the Office of Attorney-General and if in fact he is, what is preventing him from having the president impeached for breaching the public trust—with parliament behind him? And here is Ankomah in his words:

“Yes we have all the laws here in this country…we’re one of the few countries in Africa that has tried to streamline public procurement but sadly all these laws are not applied. Our parliament is good at formulating laws, but the enforcement is the problem…We’re a reticent people; we’re too laid back in our approach to doing a lot of things and that is a big problem.”

Lawyer Ankomah is part and parcel of that “big problem.”

SOME ADVICE FOR LAWYER ACE ANKOMAH

Africa’s greatest personality Kwame Nkrumah led the way forward when he demonstrated that, one could belong to a particular political party and still patriotically fight for one’s country and continent, both of which he enthusiastically pursued with vigor and selflessness.

It will therefore not matter much for Ankomah to belong to the NPP and OccupyGhana, a copycat version of the Canadian-inspired protest movement Occupy Wall Street, and still carry out his patriotic responsibilities as a Ghanaian citizen.

On the other hand what rather tends to contaminate his credibility are his paedomorphic boastfulness, extravagant rhetoric and language of moral-political protest, and narcissistic carriage. He is probably more like America’s Cornel West in the way he chases after public attention and media publicity.

Thus, he should carefully calibrate his steps of political morality so as not to come across as a frenemy of the good people of Ghana and of the state. Human agencies like him should stay on course and as faithful messengers of political morality in the Ghanaian body politic. Perhaps he does not know yet that this world we live in is not always for men and women who wear nerd glasses.

Ankomah should learn to put away those nerd glasses occasionally and look at the world the way political realists do. The wise has also learnt to carry lit lanterns around on open sunlit days searching for the light of the Holy Grail of political, emotional and moral intelligence.

As always, he should continue to pursue the logic of public service as a precious, priceless gift from a patriotic conscience.

FINAL THOUGHT

In the final analysis, then, if the weight of the facts is on his side then he better see it as his patriotic duty to lead an impeachment crusade against President Mahama and all those involved in the criminal scandal now that he may have laid his hands on all the requisite documents.

He should do this in the interest of the nation and not in the interest of the political party—the NPP—of which he could be a registered, card-holding member or has undying sympathies for.

Also the fact that Batidam did not raise the issue of slander or libel (defamation, traducement, calumny, or vilification) in his verbal spar with Ankomah raises a number of questions, possibly pointing to the weight of the facts being on the latter’s side. The sad part is that Batidam has said President Mahama “does not seek praise” or “a pat on his back” for his anti-corruption fights in Ghana!

Yet it is also possible that a defamation suit is already in the offing. We look forward to it if this is the case.

As a matter of fact, a defamation suit is the only way the Office of the President can hope to ever redeem its tattered image because Ankomah’s revelations and activism have already seriously damaged the credibility of the Office of the President, the Ministry of Transport, the Office of the Attorney-General, the Public Procurement Authority, Madam Dzifa Attivor, and others!

REFERENCES

Ghanaweb. “Smartty’s Deal Was ‘Cooked’ In Mahama’s Office—Ace Ankomah.” May 23, 2016.

Ghanaweb. “I Refused To Become A Judge Because Of My Lifestyle—Ace Ankomah.” September 13, 2015.

Ghanaweb. “Laws Don’t Work In Ghana—Ace Ankomah.” October 15, 2015.

Ghanaweb. “Smartty’s Bus Branding: A-G Recommended Trial Of Top Public Officials.” May 14, 2016.

Ghanaweb. “Nduom Tackles Batidam Over Corruption Comment.” May 24, 2016

Ghanaweb. “Merely Using A Tax Haven Isn’t A Crime—Ace Ankomah.” April 9, 2016.

Modernghana. “We Have Beautiful Laws But Lack Brave Leaders In Gov’t—Ace Ankomah.” February 1, 2016.

Augustine Tawiah. “Lawyer Ace Ankomah Nurtured Childhood Dream.” Graphic Online. December 9, 2015.

Ghanaweb. “Five Laws Deliberately Broken In Smartty's Deal—Ace Ankomah.” May 23, 2016.

Ghanaweb. “Mahama Does Not Seek Praise For Corruption Fight—Daniel Batidam.” May 26, 2016.

Columnist: Kwarteng, Francis