Once the year 2016 has almost drawn to a close, it is usual to look back in the year and acknowledge outstanding personalities who have distinguished themselves in their various fields as a mark of honour. From my critical observations of national events, I venture to pronounce the following as the Personalities of the Year 2016:-
1. Mrs Justice Georgina Woode, the Chief Justice.
Her smooth, methodological, unbiased and effective management of the frightening corruption cases involving 37 sitting judges arising from Anas Aremeyaw Anas tape revelations have been outstanding. Also her handling of the on-going disqualified Presidential candidates' suits against EC, which threatened the December 7 National Elections, is commendable. At points in time, it appeared a constitutional crisis was looming because the inefficiency and late actions of the EC on vital election matters were just about breaking the nation apart. The Chief Justice and the Supreme Court lived up to expectation and rescued the country from the clutches of damnable inefficiency of the EC. The chief justice has steered the ship of state out of troubles waters to generate necessary confidence in the political spectrum as well as calm tensions.
2. Mr Anas Aremeyaw Anas:-
An investigative journalist who fearlessly embarked on a tricky and dangerous investigative reporting including the difficult and mind boggling successful collection of evidence against the 37 judges most of them from the Superior courts which shook the foundations of the judiciary in an unprecedented fashion. In the end more than 30 of the judges were sacked from the bench. Although High profile Justices Jet Nasam, Dery and some of the victims are still challenging their dismissals, Anas Aremeyaw Anas has done enough to merit a place of honour in 2016.
3. Manaseh Azure Awuni
Another investigative journalist from JOY fm stables who successfully investigated into the Presidential Ford Expedition vehicle bribe, which was given President Mahama by a Burkinabe Contractor Kanazoe Djibril, who was exposed as having procured overpriced contracts. Some of them were the Ghana Embassy wall at Ougadougou and the shoddily delivered Dodo Papase to Nkwanta Highway in Volta Region. Eventually CHRAJ had to investigate President Mahama whose appellation eventually became President John Ford Kanazoe Mahama and cleared him in a shoddily conducted official investigation. Manaseh Azuri has done enough to merit the honour in the year 2016 having exposed the deal by dribbling the Contractor Kanzoe Djibril in Ougadougou and again the Presidential Staffer Daniel Batidam in great sensational one to one encounters and eventually securied the official CHRAJ Presidential probe.
4. Lawyer Kwesi Nyame Eshun.
He acted brave and determined to pursue a successful challenge of the flip-flopping, erratic and adamant Electoral Commission at the Supreme Court to get critical amendments of CI 94. The SC eventually ordered the EC by to make provisions in the CI 94 to get the constituency collation sheets signed by party agents prior to transmission of same to EC head office. It was meant to deal with flaws in the previous CI 74 as exposed in the 2013 election petition. This effectively would plug one of the deep loopholes which have existed in the electoral system since 1992 and which somehow created avenues for varying electoral figures. Lawyer Kwame Nyame Eshun is a patriot and a real hero of 2016.
5. Lawyer Akoto Ampaw:-
A scintillating lawyer who has proved himself a consistent human rights advocate, a democrat and a huge patriot. Modest Akoto Ampaw has been unrecognized in any National Honours since the 1980's. He was the counsel who successfully prosecuted Kwesi Nyames Eshun's landmark Collation sheets case at the SC above.
6. Kwesi Nyantakyi: -
He has already served 12 years as GFA Chairman and introduced Ghana unprecedentedly into 3 World Cups in succession. Despite his human failings he remains the most successful GFA chairman of all time. Recently he was elected unheralded into the almost mythical FIFA executive Council, the first Ghanaian to achieve such a prestigious elevation. How such an achievement is drowned in Ghana social-politico turbulence is a wonder. He is a ray of sunshine in 2016
7. ACOP Victor Tandoh RTD:-
ACOP Victor Tandoh's active involvement in practical Road Safety matters is outstanding. His daily warnings on Happy Fm to Drivers, Passengers, pedestrians and the general public has to be recognized. He has emerged as an authority in all aspects in Road Safety. Full of vim and energy as a Retiree, he has proved to be a Researcher of good understanding of the discipline. He has been doing a great job for more than 10 years. How ACOP Victor Tandoh has been neglected in any National Honours for his great commitment over the years beat the understanding of well -meaning Ghanaians.
On the other hand, the following are the candidates for the 2016 Order of Vulture award :- Koku Anyidoho, Mrs Martha Brew Oppong the Attorney General and the Acting Commissioner of CHRAJ, Richard Quayson