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Ewes at War with Akans: Kpegah vs Akufo-Addo

Tue, 23 Apr 2013 Source: Owusu-Ansah, Emmanuel Sarpong

On Tuesday, the 19th of March 2013, Mr Justice Francis Yaonasu Kpegah, a retired Supreme Court judge, filed a lawsuit at the Accra High Court against the flag-bearer of the New Patriotic Party in the 2012 elections, former Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, accusing him not only of impersonation (impersonating one W.A.D. Akufo Addo) and deceit, but also of illicitly establishing a law firm, illegally disposing of a dead human body ‘mysteriously’ found in his office, and implicitly of murder.

He is thus imploring the court to restrain the accused “from holding himself out as a lawyer competent to practice in Ghana courts”, and to declare the law firm established as Akufo-Addo, Prempeh and Co in Accra incompetent to represent any party in litigation before any court in Ghana.

The rest of the content of Mr Kpegah’s statement of claim has widely and sufficiently been disseminated to the general public so I prefer not to repeat it. A statement issued and made available to all media houses in Ghana by Mr Kpegah himself offers a significant insight into the allegation. The following link provides the material: http://mobile.ghanaweb.com/wap/article.php?ID=269108&mode (27/03/2013).

My intention here is not to seek to establish which party is telling the truth or lying, being reasonable or unreasonable, or which of the characters is a protagonist or an antagonist. Neither the victory nor defeat of Mr Kpegah or Mr Akufo-Addo means anything to me. But as a political and investigative journalist, I consider it a duty to speak against certain societal misdemeanours when the need arises.

Even a five-year old child knows, that one cannot file a lawsuit, particularly a suit about impersonation and perhaps murder, against another party without first gathering enough convincing evidences and material to substantiate the allegation in court; and one wouldn’t sit back unconcernedly and allow his image and reputation to be dragged into the mud, if they honestly think the allegation is false, without filing a defence and proving their innocence in court.

This is even more evident when the person suing and the one being sued are renowned jurists, who obviously are supremely knowledgeable and very well informed about what it takes to successfully accuse and sue a group or an individual, and what goes into countering an allegation and assembling evidences to defend oneself in a court of law.

Disturbingly however, some wretched and pathetic so-called doctors (PhD holders) or would-be doctors are gradually and dangerously turning the legal battle between Mr Kpegah and Mr Akuffo-Addo into a war of ethnic groups (Akans and Ewes) and political parties (NDC and NPP). These elements proudly hold themselves out as higher echelons of the world of academics; but ironically, their inconsistent and sometimes meaningless and unnecessary arguments in the media, betray their own academic bankruptcy.

What is more worrying is the fact that almost all the commentaries and articles that favour and support Mr Kpegah’s lawsuit are being presented by Ewes and/or NDC enthusiasts, whereas those in defence of the accused, Mr Akuffo-Addo are from Akans and/or NPP devotees.

So far, Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor has written at least 17 articles, Clement Sangaparee has produced loads of articles that are not directly linked to the lawsuit in question but tribally venomous, and Daniel K Pryce who claims to be pursuing a PhD programme in Criminology has issued at least an article, all dishearteningly maligning Mr Akufo-Addo and beatifying Mr Kpegah. On the other hand, Dr Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe has penned not less than 5 articles, Adofo Rockson has had at least 6 articles published, and Dr Akadu Ntiriwa Mensema has written at least one article, all of which disturbingly vilify Mr Kpegah and canonize Mr Akufo-Addo.

Pathetically, these two groups of ‘educated’ people at times go to the extent of painting members of each other’s tribe/ethnic group so black that they become hardly recognizable.

When did the above-mentioned names and their various ‘comrades’ become the legal advisers and representatives of Mr Kpegah and Mr Akufo-Addo? When did Mr Kpegah, a retired Supreme Court judge, hire Mr Bokor to do his investigations for him; and what does Mr Bokor know about law and investigation that a retired Supreme Court judge doesn’t know?

And when did Mr Akufo-Addo, a former Attorney General and Minister for Justice recruit Mr Okoampa-Ahoofe to serve as his legal spokesperson; and what does Mr Okoampa-Ahoofe know about communication and defence that a renowned lawyer, former Attorney General, Minister for Justice and Foreign Minister doesn’t know?

When will these people realize that the media are not custodians of the law (the legal system) and do not settle disputes but rather report proceedings in court; and that the legal battle in question is between two legal experts and their lawyers, and not between so-called academics of different tribes, ethnic groups or political parties?

Instead of writing articles and making statements that strengthen the nation’s effort to unite her citizens, these professed academics are rather embarking on agendas aimed at disintegrating Ghanaians and creating enmity among tribes/ethnic groups, particularly Akans and Ewes.

Isn’t it beautiful when two or more people from diverse tribes or ethnic groups gather to share ideas and enjoy each other’s company? Don’t we get that sense of hope for our country when people from different tribes help each other to achieve success in their various fields and endeavours?

The question is, how much of the problems and pains of the Akan is caused by Ewes, and what percentage of the anguishes and miseries of the Ewe is engineered by Akans? As a matter of fact, our woes and predicaments as individuals are instigated not by people from other tribes, but by our own tribes-folks, in fact, members of our own families.

If our adults and educated people can’t do anything to help sow the seed of friendship, love, peace, hope and unity in our innocent and beautiful young generation, they should, if they wish, fight their own individual wars without involving any tribe, or shut up for good.

Emmanuel Sarpong Owusu-Ansah (Black Power) is an Investigative Journalist, a researcher, an educator and the author of Fourth Phase of Enslavement (2011) and In My End is My Beginning (2012). He may be contacted via email (andypower2002@yahoo.it).

Columnist: Owusu-Ansah, Emmanuel Sarpong