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Rejoinder: “The Supreme Court and Muntie” by Dr. Arthur Kennedy

M OntieMuntie trio

Mon, 1 Aug 2016 Source: Osei, Nana Yaw

In his article published on the prestigious Ghanaweb.com on July 29, 2016, the former presidential hopeful of the largest opposition party in Ghana, New Patriotic Party (NPP) Dr. Arthur Kennedy asserted as follows: “Impartiality is a central tenet of impartial justice.

Regardless of how one feels about the MUNTIE panelists and the others, the judges of the Supreme Court were not impartial in this case. By acting as prosecutors and judges in a case involving threats to their lives, they dealt a big blow to impartial justice in our country.

Nobody would accept that a judge can sit on a case involving a threat to his wife or father. And they can sit in judgment of threats to their own lives? Justice Sophia Akufo was right that, "There is an element of criminality in their utterances which the Attorney - General should have noticed and acted upon." If this is the case, can the Supreme Court now assume the prosecutorial powers of the Attorney General?”

I strongly disagree with the good medical doctor. In the first place, if the Supreme Court judges who sat on the case were not impartial as suggested by Dr. Kennedy, how are we assured of the impartiality and neutrality of the attorney general? Who is the attorney general responsible to?

The radio panelists involved in the case were speaking for the ruling party of which the attorney general is a member. So dear Dr. Kennedy: the value is the same and as such your argument is untenable. As a matter of fact, Ghanaians are increasingly becoming enigmatic and paradoxical.

The main scaffolding of our society has been hypocrisy. We must try and allow the independence of the state institutions. Anything that is not quantitative in nature can hardly be devoid of human values. We must always look at the substance of the case and avoid resorting to technicalities. The horrifying tales of 1994 Rwandan genocide must motivate us to support our judges.

As a guest speaker at Watson institute for international and public affairs, Brown University, USA, on September 30, 2014, the Nigerian poet and playwright, Wole Soyinka has the following words to describe the Islamic insurgency in Nigeria: “Hatched from the egg of impunity: A fowl called Boko Haram.”

I humbly want to adapt to the aforementioned quote and intimate that hatched from the egg of impunity Fowls called death threat and contract killing. Serial killing is rising in Ghana. For example, in December, 2013, a staff of Stanbic Bank, Rosemond Nyampong was murdered in a cold blood. In March 2014, Fennec Okyere was murdered by unknown assailants.

On May 23, 2015, Mr. Adams Mahama, the Upper East regional chairman of NPP was murdered. On February 9, 2016, the member of parliament of Abuakwa North constituency, Mr J.B Danquah Adu was murdered. Certainly, we must build a collective non -partisan effort as a country to rid our society of such heinous crimes. The American psychologist, Lawrence Kohlberg, best remembered for his theory of the stages of moral development propounded a dictum: “reasons to dilemma make moral maturity but not the response.”

The reasons to Montie case (prevention of crime and discouragement of contract killings so that all and sundry will be assured of safety) make moral maturity but not the response that the sentence is very harsh. If every murderer and prospective murderer is treated with kid gloves, then where are we going as a country?

Many Ghanaians are under the influence of a philosophical concept known as the gambler’s fallacy. The gambler’s fallacy is a situation whereby an individual has an erroneous conviction that the onset of a random event is less likely to happen following an event or a series of events.

This line of thinking is not correct because past events do not change events that occur in the future. We are complaining about the verdict because of our knowledge of similar cases of criminal contempt during 2012 election petition. We must stop putting a lot of pressures on the Supreme Court judges for their decisions inure to the benefit of all.

There is no place like home. Let us preserve our country’s peace. God bless our homeland Ghana. “I know that I am intelligent because I know that I know nothing.” (Socrates)

Writer's e-mail: padigogoma77@yahoo.co.uk

Columnist: Osei, Nana Yaw