Opinions Sat, 21 Aug 2010

Rise Of A Nation's Tyrant

*By Ernest Kofi Adu*

*Throughout the years, I've been hesitant to share with my fellow Ghanaians about the tyrannical precedent of the (P) NDC in the 1980s and 90s because I thought Ghana still has **a nascent young multiparty democracy that requires diverse ideological political parties, including the National Democratic Congress.*

But on the account of recent propagandistic iconography of a despot’s campaign by the headship and foot-soldiers of the NDC, there is the need for a quick action, lest the nation wreckers plunge all of us into destabilization.

As I listened to Dr. Kwabena Adjei, Chairman of the NDC, indicating that “people in the judiciary can make a very good case look very bad… and that if the Chief Justice doesn’t take steps to clean it we ill clean it and let everybody everywhere blame us for interfering …”, I became alarmed and felt embarrassed too for this country.

This message and posturing of the NDC chairman give reflections on the assassination of the three High Court judges 28 years ago. I also think it is an attempt to instill fear into the bench; but trust me the motive of this man and his cohorts have failed.

The accusation of bias and the open hostility being demonstrated by the NDC and its government towards judges is a clear indication for people like me to impute that it a protracted agenda of the NDC government, led by President John Atta Mills, to rule like a tyrant.

I recall on June 30, 1982 Justices Fred Poku Sarkodee, Cecilia Koranteng-Addow and Kwadwo Adjei Agyepong, together with a retired Army Officer, Major Sam K. Acquah, were abducted during curfew hours from their homes, murdered at the Bundase Military Range in the Accra Plains and their bodies doused with petrol and set ablaze.

This is because they did not allow themselves to be manipulated by the PNDC government, which gave birth to the NDC.

Today, we are witnessing the some signs of that gory action in the words of Dr. Kwabena Adjei, who was a member of the leadership in Parliament during his time, having thrown away his experience in the National Assembly as a lawmaker and threatening judges.

This is worrying and may God save Ghana from -re-visiting her dark days because we cannot afford toy with the current dispensation.

He must be told unequivocally that the NDC government’s source of power resides in the 1992 Constitution where the Chief Justice also derives her powers and independence from.

His party has no power to direct the CJ, but has the right to appeal a decision of the courts if it is dissatisfied with any verdict. Instead of suspecting judges of bias, the NDC should be looking at how to use the law to its advantage.

Kwabena Adjei’s call is unfortunate and unlawful and the earlier he apologizes, the better for the NDC government since it does not take anyone with the wisdom of Odysseus to know that they intend to intimidate members of the Bench to give judgments in their favour, after campaigning to jail its opponents in the name of pursuing justice.

There is no gainsaying that we have come very far as a nation that has joined the comity of civilized society where democracy and rule of law are made supreme, far from the whims and caprices of a political party that always threatens institutions of the state.

Democratic institutions should not be a target of the NDC. The party began with the media and now the judiciary; another time, it may be parliament or any other state institutions.

Let us all say no to the dictator. Everybody should rise against the oppressor. END

Columnist: Adu, Ernest Kofi