By Nana Akua Tweneboah-Koduah
It looks to me that I am living in two countries all rolled in one; A Ghana for the “We” and a Ghana for the “Them”. I do not wish anything bad for anybody, but what happened at the Supreme Court on Wednesday during the contempt hearing of Mr Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, General Secretary of the NPP and Mr Hopeson Adorye, NPP’s Communications Team member, left me dumbfounded and confused.
And I bet, if Ken Kuranchie and Stephen Atubiga watched proceedings on the contempt hearing involving Adorye and Owusu Afriyie, they will equally be stunned when they heard the ruling. Ken and Stephen were jailed for ten days and three days respectively when they also found themselves on the wrong side of the court when they made some contemptuous statements.
But if Owusu Afriyie, a bail lawyer, who threw every caution to the wind and heaped insults on Justice William Atuguba, President of the SC, hearing the election petition case, could get away or left off the hook by the SC, then Ghana perhaps has two laws – one for the rich and famous and the other for the ordinary man.
For the purposes of readers, please read portions of the insults heaved by Owusu Afriyie on Justice Atuguba. Afriyie who spoke in Twi disparaged Justice Atuguba on June 25, 2013, in an interview with Oman FM when he described the president of the panel as, “As a hypocritical joker who pampers the counsel for the National Democratic Congress, Tsatsu Tsikata, but habitually scolds the counsel for the NPP."
“That he frowned like a voodoo deity. Do they think we are stupid, you sit there and frown like a voodoo deity, when Addison is talking you shut him down and beat him with sticks but when it comes to Tsatsu, when he gets angry, you ask him apologetically if he is angry? Tsikata's cross-examination was for how many days, didn't' Atuguba and Co. see that the questions he was asking were nonsensical?"
"What hurts me most is that man that you call Atuguba, or Atu ... Atugubu, whoever, you say he is called what? I mean that judge, that your judge, that judge that you call Atugu... whatever, he oh he, he is funny That the Supreme Court had prepared mashed yam in palm oil and stuffed it with egg for Tsatsu Tsikata to eat."
“Justice Atuguba by his action; was up to hypocritical antics that is intended to lead to the NPP not getting the opportunity to play a tape recording of Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan's voice declaring that - No Verification, no vote, so that the President can win the case. Any final verdict of the Supreme Court, apart from the declaration of Akufo-Addo as winner of the elections would amount to stealing."
"To the relatives of judges sitting on the election petition, if you have a relative who is on the panel go and tell him that you don't want a funeral on your hands, beg him to speak the truth. I know the judges, they will speak the truth, but there is one or two, one particular judge who opens his mouth at any time and the next thing you hear is a warning. I want him to know that he can't intimidate us. I have never heard him warn Mahama. The whole of Ghana has watched and seen that Justice Atuguba was trying to cheat the NPP, and yet he is telling us not to complain."
These were the biting words of Owusu Afriyie, yet he got away by a clean shave of his teeth when he was fined 5,000 Ghana cedis and bonded to be of good behaviour for 6-months. I am still shaken by the warning that Owusu Afriyie gave to family members of the SC panel that, “If you have a relative who is on the panel go and tell him that you don't want a funeral on your hands.”
This most threatening statement by Owusu Afriyie, who was reminded in court about his unexpired US Visa, should have seen him serving a long time in jail. Who is Owusu Afriyie? Who does he think he is? Doe he owes Ghana, or do we queue daily in front of his house for food? These are evil individuals who through power drunkenness are prone to knocking the heads of people and inciting them to butcher each other.
Now hear what Adorye also said in an interview with Obuasi’s Time FM on June 26, 2013, “The NPP will, go on a head cutting spree, cutting off the heads of NDC supporters should the Supreme Court declare President Mahama the winner.”
"The NPP will not accept the verdict of the Supreme Court if Akufo-Addo is not declared winner since others in the NDC have also said there will be civil war if the Supreme Court rules in favour of Akufo-Addo."
“The claim by fellow NPP activist, Samuel Awuku that the Supreme Court judges were bias and are hypocrites was an appropriate comment for which Awuku should not have apologized.”
These are the most terrible political statements to date on the petition case, yet these two terrible souls got away with it. People are giving thumps up to Lawyer Ayikoi Otoo for saving the day for Owusu Afriyie and Hopeson Adorye. I have a different take.
The Justices of the SC perhaps did not want to do anything that will throw some unscrupulous NPP supporters onto the street to cause mayhem, hence their decision to fine them and let go of them.
The country currently is so polarised that you don’t want to do anything to give the wrong signals to hooligans who are marking time in anticipation of what they are looking for. Owusu Afriyie should never think that if his inflammatory statements lead to pockets of trouble spots in the country, he will escape unhurt. Trouble will definitely visit those who incite them!
Ghana is and will always remain bigger than any single individual. Perhaps the way Owusu Afriyie was reduced to nothing when the SC asked him to do what he pleases in court while he became speechless clearly demonstrates that he did not have any fire in his belly and that his empty threats on radio and television stations are at best gibberish talk.