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Justice Kpegah fears no cold

Wed, 27 Mar 2013 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

Like a tree stump in water, Justice Kpegah fears no cold

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Monday, March 25, 2013

Folks, once Justice Kpegah’s suit against the NPP’s Akufo-Addo remains topical, we won’t stop discussing it. Whether the suit is good or bad is not my bother. But I have an interest in how the situation unfolds. Justice Kpegah’s suit is the latest of the irritating moves against Akufo-Addo by his detractors. Is that what he needs at this time that he is losing sleep, praying and fasting so God will help the 9 Supreme Court judges nullify over 4 million votes to put him in office as Ghana’s President?

Some of the Akufo-Addo supporters are quick to say that the suit by Justice Kpegah against him won’t see the light of day in court. To them, Justice Kpegah is just seeking media attention. Here are some of the issues they’ve raised to confirm their claim that this suit by Justice Kpegah is one of the “phantom writs” under his name: • Kpegah sues government for banning people from military installation. Case was NEVER heard.


• Kpegah sues government for not helping him to fix his family house. Case was NEVER heard.


• Kpegah sues on homosexuality. Case was NEVER heard.

http://edition.myjoyonline.com/pages/news/201203/83959.php Their conclusion is that “The Kpegah phantom writs are announced in the media but never see the court room. His latest foolish case, will as usual, inspire a few naive people looking for a role model and disappear from the radar screen until the next one.” This viewpoint makes me wonder whether those jumping on Justice Kpegah and those of us commenting on his suit against Akufo-Addo really know what they are talking about. Justice Kpegah may be ridiculed over all those suits that haven’t been heard, but there is more to the current one that these people have failed to recognize.

In any case, was it Justice Kpegah’s fault that those cases listed under his name were not heard? Or did he withdraw those cases to warrant his being ridiculed because they were not heard, after all? The problem may be traced to the very corridors of the inept judicial system that we have in Ghana. So, why cite these unheard suits as the substance with which to draw parallels between what Justice Kpegah did in the past and what he is doing in this suit concerning Akufo-Addo?

Again, what is the guarantee that because previous suits filed by him were not heard, this one too will go that way? So far, he has kept his cards close to his chest and is not saying anything, even in reaction to insults against him. He must be up to something really sinister to Akufo-Addo’s interests. You see, the contention is not about whether the suit against Akufo-Addo will be heard or not, if the above claims are anything to go by. In this case, it is Akufo-Addo’s reputation that is at stake. So, if this case is not conclusively heard for his side of the story to be heard—and used to end the image-tarnishing escapades—the spate of allegations against him will continue to be the order of the day.

In fact, Justice Kpegah doesn’t have as much at stake as Akufo-Addo does. He knows that he has no ambition for political office nor will he put himself up in the public domain to contest any position anywhere. He seems to be content with his status as a retired accomplished Supreme Court Judge. He may not be materially successful (if the castigation of him by the pro-NPP Young Patriots is to be accepted that he hasn’t been able to build a house for himself and is occupying an official bungalow, enjoying utility services gratis, even if he doesn’t deserve it).

So, like a tree stump over-run by the cold waters of the river, Justice Kpegah isn’t any more afraid of the cold. It is just like he who is down needing fear no fall. But the suit he has filed against Akufo-Addo can’t be wished away as a mere irritant. If it is not heard, it doesn’t clear the air for Akufo-Addo. At least, those who have already formed negative impressions about him from the substance of this suit will need more than insults to change their mind. And they are the people who will go to the polls and vote according to their conscience. As they’ve done all these years, so will they do again at Election 2016 and beyond. If Akufo-Addo’s name shows up again on the ballot paper, the impressions that haven’t boded well for him will influence electoral decisions. Justice Kpegah may not be alive then (Who knows?), but the implications of his suit against Akufo Addo will definitely add to other allegations and influence electoral decisions. So, it is ridiculous for anybody to think that if this suit joins the others filed by Justice Kpegah but not heard, the matter will end without any fallouts for Akufo-Addo to bother about. It is clear to me that Akufo-Addo hasn’t been proactive enough to project the good part of himself. That is why all these allegations emerge from all manner of people and gain traction in the public sphere. These allegations easily spread far and near to Akufo-Addo’s disadvantage. Indeed, he needs to be up and doing as far as clearing his image of the filth splashed on it is concerned. If he can mount a vigorous campaign to project his good side, the situation should change for the better. Otherwise, the negative propaganda will continue to put him the public domain for the wrong purposes. I want to believe that what has made him succeed in his legal profession and other ventures (probably, including his advocacy role as a human rights campaigner) is known.

Thus, he is easily upheld as a successful lawyer; but turning that scintillating professional success into a political capital has been very difficult for him because of how his image has been tarnished by those allegations. That is where his nemesis lies, which must be addressed by any means possible.

I have a hunch that no matter how this Justice Kpegah matter ends, there will still be some fault lines to focus on. I won’t be surprised if others come out with other allegations to ruffle his feathers. It will be so because Akufo-Addo can’t do what he has to do to find a closure to this problem. I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.