Plenty Men Shall Fall That Day

Mon, 24 Jun 2013 Source: Casely-Hayford, Sydney

Critical News, 23rd June 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

My sincerest apologies to Tony Lithur. Some awkward sentence construction from last week, prompted my old buddy to drop me a complaint email. I admit my sentence made it read as if he was part of the team of lawyers referred to the General Legal Council, which was not the case. So, apologies in order.

This week, I should say what I have been planning for ages. Praise to the Ghana Police MTTU unit. If you have not noticed, they are doing a really splendid job these days. Even on Sundays. It is what we need to make the city worth living in and traveling round. If you have some sway over Department of Urban Roads, it might be worthwhile to point out to them (DUR) that parking control, pedestrian walkways, removing rubbish dumps and hawkers from the streets will go a long way to making your work much easier and more fulfilling. Don’t ask the Mayor.

Somehow Mayor Oko Vanderpuye, despite failing to properly manage the capital city in all ways, pulled a fast one on the Ga Chiefs and Assemblymen who suddenly think he makes the best fufu and light soup ever. What I saw on TV, they were up in arms, baying for his neck. Next thing he was waving a drawing of their new offices and palace, then, news flash; all complaints of disrespect, dictatorship, incompetence and heaped ailments disappeared and turned calamity to a praise and worship session. Reminded me of the Church of Pentecost service I graced mid-week.

So we arrested fifteen suspected arsonists, we did not name them and we did not say which fires they could have possibly started. I am also not clear whether the Americans were the team that fingered these “suspected arsonists”, and that would be some real magic if it were so. Imagine that they arrive on our gold coast and within a week they find these fifteen persons who have been burning our markets. Our people sitting in the markets and walking the beat, not seeing these persons and the Yanks come and pick them up just like that. Alas, since we are not privy to their names, rank and serial numbers, we can’t leap to that conclusion. Sorry JDM, but if you want us to believe you have arsonists in custody, without torturing them, lets have some specifics. This just does not make the cut.

Amidu’s Waterville is probably Woyome’s Waterloo. But a bravado-posturing Alfred Agbesi Woyome was in the media, claiming the decision would not faze him and he looked forward to his day in court. Unless he is reading the cowries differently, I am pushed to understand wherefrom the audacity to even warn the media to watch what they say regarding his case. This Supreme Court flipped a noteworthy canvas in our drapery of justice and I would be wary of any presumptions you make if you have a pending Government case at this time. The Waterville and Isofoton decisions are crystal clear signals that we have a justice system to fix and there is no better a time. The jurisdiction slap down of the High Court in the Isofoton case and subsequent referral of lawyers to the General Legal Council is a first step. Can someone please be debarred and a license withdrawn? A message sent that time is nigh for the twin perch of the Eagle on our crest to shore up Justice more. Freedom has caught a footing and we now need a justice reload. I think I am reading this clearly when I say the Supreme Court is now ready to lead the charge. The next big decision is the Election Petition, and so far, tactically, I say the case has been managed well by the bench. There are so many sensitivities that could have been riled and I am impressed with the flow and control. Hopefully, July will see the end of this case.

On Monday, we hear what KPMG have to say about the interruption count. That request alone has dragged the case for two weeks, which I think is what the NDC and EC side wanted and have achieved. The Daily Guide did a very detailed group by group analysis of the content of the KPMG report, which in my view closes the door on any attempt by Tsatsu Tsikata and the 3rd defendant to open another chapter on missing sheets they would like to re-examine.

MP for Adansi Asokwa KT Hammond jumped on the Martin Amidu bandwagon. But why? On CitiFm, he raucously announced he would give his June paycheck to Martin to defray costs he (Martin) spent in putting up the case against Waterville. I like KT, but this one smacks of opportunism and I think it is quite below his usual standards. Many tried to cash in on Martin’s achievement; Nana Ato Dadzie, other politicians and even the AG tried to claim a piece of the success, hastily beating a retreat when Martin went public with a recant of events. This is a clear example of how our society sits on the sidelines waiting for a dedicated citizen to fail so they can chorus his “too known” style and “ope ni hu asem” deportment. Difficult as it may be, I hope Martin Amidu has more cases in the closet and maybe in the next round, others will support him openly and even bring their own cases to the fore and augment this democracy.

So this week I borrow a line from my current favorite Azonto melody, WizKid’s “The Matter”. Many men shall fall June 30 or early July when the Commission set up to investigate the Asongtaba Cottage Industry and Akonfem project and related events presents its report. E&Y’s Ferdinand Gunn and his team are expected to tell us what they found out and what the implications are on the State purse. I keep wondering. Is there someone else driving Agambire and his RLG group? This week, Parliament was confronted with a request that he could drill boreholes in several communities. One bold MP stood against it and refused to accept this freebie and Roland Agambire just went ahead and opened new offices in Kenya. I guess he has exhausted all the offerings in Ghana and can now go Pan Africa. But I heard he still has many other projects to complete here in Ghana. Ro, what about the Azongtaba training programs for Dress Making, Beads Making, Carving, and Drum Making? Total ghc7,185,475 (Oct 2009). The Hair dressing, Smock Making, Tie&Dye, Auto Mechanic, Soap Making, Carpentry, not forgetting the Guinea Fowl programs for ghc43,388,666.50? (Dec 2009). Oh, and Dress Making training (Oct 2010) for ghc25,308,750? The Community MotorTricycle program for ghc35,700,000 (Aug 2011)? Yes? And the additional top up training in Dress Making (Jun 2012) for another ghc25,308,750?. But also under Craft Pro Limited, one of your subsidiaries, the Basket Weaving in Upper East ghc3,908,725 and Leather Works and Shoe Making for ghc12,500,000? Then for what you are best known for, RLG? 6,000 Trainee Youth in ICT Mobile Phone Repairs (Dec 2009) ghc1,826,000. Top up of trainees for this (Dec 2009) of ghc389,810. Additional 24,000 trainees for this same program (Nov 2010) ghc17,351,407 and in July 2012 additional ghc51,000,000 for 30,000 trainees? That last amount is too familiar not to point out. The Honorable Akua Sena Dansua, Rashid Pelpuo and Clement Kofi Humado all signed variously for the people of Ghana as their appointed Ministers of Youth and Sports. Ah! Lest I forget, August 2009, ghc1,792,877.50 awarded to ROAGAM Links Limited. An acronym for ROland AGAMbire? Surely you would like to let us know how far, before you move to Kenya?

And now we are calling for heads to roll. We are asking Government to flex and axe bad-nut politicians from our visage so we can confidently say the anti-corruption rhetoric is not just that. We want to poleax corruption, crush it and prevent officials from crony-skirting the regulations at the expense of law abiding Ghanaians. Arresting a handful of Customs officials is not the answer to the corruption price tag. Various pressure groups, AFAG, Ghana Integrity International and a few more made open calls for lawyers to be disciplined and ministers and civil servants related to the two cases removed or at least step aside while we look closer at these issues. Can we do this please? Anyone at the top of the ladder listening?

I have decided the Ghana meets Naija concert is not for me. Most of my favorite stars will be there, R2Bees, EL, WizKid, Burma Boy, Sarkodee, Samini, Raquel and some of the great Azonto tunes will be served with great dressing, but I don’t see the price for the hundred-cedi gate. I think Bola Ray and his team should think about how to get a larger venue and drop the gate, make it more affordable to regular folks and spread the pleasure. I might regret it, but hey, you have to draw the line someplace.

Ghana, Aha a ye de papa. Alius valde week advenio. Another great week to come!

Columnist: Casely-Hayford, Sydney