Opinions Thu, 19 Jul 2018
My elder brother and I returned to Ghana from the United Kingdom (UK) in 1980. I had an unforgettable experience with a Ghana Police Cpl. called Nii Yakubu.My brother owned a fleet of taxicabs some of which required maintenance in order to keep them running.
My brother, his wife, a mechanic, and I rode in one of the taxis one Friday afternoon headed toward Kumasi Adum to buy some spare parts. Cpl. Nii Yakubu pulled us over close to the former SAT building. He asked the driver to produce all the relevant documents on the taxi. The driver obediently obliged. All the documents were up to date. But Cpl. Nii Yakubu needed some money so he could account for his “sales” at the end of the day in order to justify his inclusion in the daily checkpoint squad.
The mechanic wore oil-stained clothes so he and I sat in the back seat while my brother and his wife sat in the front seat bringing the total number at the front to three (driver included).
When Cpl. Nii Yakubu couldn’t get our driver to part with some cash, he went ahead and charged our driver for operating with an “overcrowded front seat”. He asked the driver to accompany him to the then MTU at the Kumasi Central Police Station.
My brother and his wife got out of the taxi to go and take care of other things while the driver and I accompanied Cpl. Nii Yakubu to the MTU.
It was at the Kumasi Central Police Station that I was shown a long list of over 120 rules governing taxi driving.
A taxi driver could not wear “charlie wote” (beach sandals) while working. Taxis were permitted to have four (4) passengers when considered full: three (3) in the back seat and one (1) in the front seat.
Legally, therefore, Cpl. Nii Yakubu was right. What has this real-life incident got to do with Charlotte Osei (the dismissed EC Chairperson)?
The NPP government needed to legally nail Charlotte Osei in order to get rid of her without infringing the law. Due processes were initiated and Charlotte Osei was eventually slapped with an “overcrowded front seat” charge (procurement violations which many overlook but is embedded in our statute books).
In my encounter with Cpl. Nii Yakubu, I eventually had to “settle” him. Unfortunately for Madam Charlotte Osei, there couldn’t be any “settlement” on her part.
If she blatantly violated the procurement laws of Ghana, it can be fairly deduced that she could be induced with cash to declare election results in favor of the highest bidder. She is a brilliant lawyer who should have known better.
Kofi Portuphy and his NDC have vowed to contest Madam Charlotte Osei’s dismissal after the funeral of our late former Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur. I pity them.
No tears for Charlotte!
Columnist: Kwadwo Tufuor