Political Persecutions in Ghana under President Mills’ Administration

Thu, 1 Apr 2010 Source: Adofo, Rockson

“ Nana Darkwah’s Case is a Classical Example.

May I start with a question? Does President Atta Mills know and recognise that there is political persecution in Ghana under his watch? If he doesn’t know, I am taking this opportunity to inform him that there have been persistent politically motivated and ongoing persecutions of his political rivals by his NDC hooligans calling themselves foot-soldiers. These shameless hoodlums have for the simplistic reason bordering on a simpleton’s notion of, œour NDC party is in government, think to have automatic power and licence to commit acts of crime with impunity. These NDC foot-soldiers have become law unto themselves, an unfortunate situation that in my perception has dented the purported squeaky clean credibility of President Atta Mills, now a total lame-duck.

I am going to dwell my case on one of the many such unfortunate ongoing instances of political persecutions in Ghana. One Nana Darkwah, an Accra born and bred guy of Kumawu descent made what is perceived in the eyes of typical conservative NDC activists, sympathisers and supporters, as an infamous allegation about the NDC’s tin god “ Togbui Avaklasu J.J. Rawlings. He alleged in the premises of an Accra based FM radio station (Top Radio FM), on Thursday, 18th February 2010 at 10:30 am in the capacity of a panellist on a radio programme that he believed Former President Rawlings could possibly have torched his own residence the night before. Hardly had he made this allegedly infamous on air statement when he was forcibly removed from the radio station’s studio by policemen, arrested and taken to the Accra Regional Police Headquarters at the request of one Kofi Adams, the Spokesperson to Former President J.J. Rawlings. He was charged with œcausing and spreading fear and harm in the country and then arraigned before the Cocoa Affairs Circuit Court in Accra within the following three hours.

The Presiding Judge (name withheld) agreed with the prosecutor’s (police) plea to remand Nana Darkwah to Nsawam Maximum Security Prison for two weeks to enable them assemble evidence or prepare a docket for his formal trial. The plea was granted and he was taken to Nsawam Prisons. The next day, 19th February 2010, the entire New Patriotic Party (NPP) members in Parliament caucused a meeting and decided to boycott Parliament not only in solidarity with Nana Darkwah as a member of the NPP but also, to declare their opposition to the ongoing systematic political persecutions of their NPP supporters in the country. President Mills quickly intervened, declaring how outrageous freedom of speech is seemingly being suppressed with reference to Nana Darkwah’s expressed view on the cause of the fire that gutted Rawlings’ house and his subsequent arrest. The President’s statement in conjunction with the assumed action by the NPP minority caucus in parliament led to Nana Darkwah being granted bail; a reprieve which saw him released from Nsawam Prisons.

I can hardly understand how the Judge in the midst of the abundance of common sense and the simplicity of the application of the laws of the land did accept the charge preferred against Nana Darkwah “œcausing and spreading fear and harm in the country. The judge in my estimation is as incompetent, biased, coward, lacks political and legal expediency as he proves himself unworthy of the profession he exercises. He has actually made a mockery of the nation’s judicial system and at the same time confirmed how political persecution is entrenched in Ghana under the President Mills’ NDC administration. Nana Darkwah has for reasons best known to him alleged or accused Former President Rawlings of personally setting fire to his own house. How on earth does this constitute an act of causing and spreading fear and harm in the country? I require that incompetent judge who is also a shame to Ghana to answer me. When someone is alleged or accused of committing a crime, do we investigate, arrest, and prosecute the accuser or the accused? The accused is normally the first person to be investigated, arrested and prosecuted based on reasons adduced from the accuser in support of the accusation. The judge by his incompetence has put the cart before the horse. However the adage says, œDon’t put the cart before the horse. According to Kofi Adams as I heard him speak on the Peace FM’s morning show œKookrokoo, Rawlings only became aware of the fate of Nana Darkwah after his release from incarceration from Nsawam Prisons. If the accused, in this case Rawlings, had not ordered the arrest of Nana Darkwah, who else did it? The accusation was directed at nobody other than Rawlings. Rawlings is the only person with the imperative right to institute any legal action against Nana Darkwah for falsely accusing him of arson. Rawlings being the accused could not even order the arrest of Nana Darkwah in the way and manner it was carried out by Kofi Adams and the police but rather instruct his lawyers to serve summons on Nana Darkwah for libel. Who then in this case preferred that stupid charge of œcausing and spreading fear and harm in the country against Nana Darkwah? Is it the police who at the same time are doubling as the State prosecutor in this case or the judge?

The State has no legal basis to prosecute Nana Darkwah for that most insane and politically instigated charge brought against him. He has not caused and spread any fear and harm in the country as being alleged. If the Judge was impartial, competent and without succumbing to any political pressures or threats if any, should have at best thrown out the charge brought against Nana Darkwah for lacking legal basis to be entertained. Lest I forget, who brought this silly charge against him in the first place? It is a big shame on the judge who is presiding over the case. Mr. Rawlings should be arrested and Nana Darkwah used as a principal witness since he claims to have reasons confirming his allegation of arson against Rawlings. Mr. Rawlings being the perceived feared strongman of Ghana should always be seen to have his way even if he is guilty. Why is he that untouchable even though he goes about making incessant preposterous allegations and accusations day in day out against people in authority?

Ghana is fed up with that nonsense of political intimidations and persecutions prevalent in the country under the Mills’ slow but sure administration. The court sat on 3rd March 2010 and another date in March intending to hear the case but the police as the sole prosecutors never showed up. Any competent judge in a civilized country would have thrown out the case but this judge didn’t. The court was again reconvened on 29th March 2010. The prosecutors did appear but pleaded that they must be granted enough time to prepare their docket. The judge accepted, and postponed the hearing of the case to 15th April 2010. For seemingly political persecution based on sheer stupidity, the accuser, Nana Darkwah, has now become the accused indicted for trial. Where is Rawlings here, the accused who by possible twist of fate could be the accuser? Rawlings is completely out of the case. How?

The attitude of the judge is an affront to the intelligence of well-meaning Ghanaians. He, by his untoward attitude whether manipulated or otherwise, has brought a disgrace upon the law profession and the Ghana Bar Association of which he is a likely sitting member. I am going to inform some international bodies on the ongoing political persecutions in Ghana of which I will cite this case of Nana Darkwah as a classical example. For how long should I continue to sit on the fence when people are being persecuted for their political affiliations, beliefs and activities? A lot of nonsense is going on in Ghana but President Mills is pretending to be oblivious about them; completely burying his head in the sand like an ostrich.

If Rawlings has no moral justification to challenge or pursue Nana Darkwah in Court, nobody else has. It is neither Kofi Adams nor the police nor the judge. Has Rawlings been investigated about the cause of the fire that gutted his residence? Nana Darkwah is innocent. Rawlings may not even dare see Nana Darkwah in court as he has made far worse and more serious criminal allegations and accusations against others than Nana Darkwah has ever done. Rawlings has even implicated himself in some of the allegations. He claims to know not only the very people or those behind the killing of the twenty nine women in the streets of Accra in 1999 but also, those who murdered the Yakabu Andani Ya’Na of Dagbon. The perpetrators of these crimes have neither been known nor arrested. Why can’t we arrest Rawlings as a possible accomplice and charge him accordingly? He is walking a free man although he claims to have knowledge of the identities of the perpetrators of these heinous crimes. He will only reveal them on his terms and conditions. He wants to be taken before the fetish, œNana Antoa Nyamaa or be made to pass a lie detector test.

President Mills, your administration is being undermined by your party’s foot-soldiers if you care to know. There are ongoing political persecutions in Ghana under your administration if you are not aware of. Your NDC foot-soldiers have become law unto themselves and are molesting innocent persons who don’t belong in NDC. The whole country is scared about the direction of things in the country.

Dear readers, please tune in to radio Rockson for more updates on this issue. One Carl Wilson has been sacked for presiding over utter thievery of cars at the Tema Harbour. Another Charles A. Wilson may soon be gone for proving himself as incompetent of the criminal justice law as he is a mockery unto himself. Rockson Adofo

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson