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Opinions Mon, 2 Dec 2013

“Seeing is Believing”, Vikileaks Investigators please take Note.

My attention has been drawn to some published statements on

Ghanaweb under her General News of Sunday, 1 December 2013, attributed to one Professor

Justice Samuel Kofi Date-Bah, a former Ghana Supreme Court Justice.

In his quest to ensure public serenity vis-à-vis public perception

about judges being compromised subsequent upon their judgments, he called for a

more rigorous analysis of court judgments to help resolve such unfortunate

public perceptions.

While speaking at a colloquium organized by the Ghana

Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) on Friday, 30 November

2013, he said, “Our public space will be much better if people focused on what

the Judge has written; if the discussion were based on the intrinsic merits of

judgment that will advance our public discourse". He went on to chide the

public insinuating thus, “the confusion and ignorance exhibited by the general

public including some trained lawyers and judges is unfortunate”.

I have a problem agreeing in toto with the learned Professor.

He expects the public to focus principally on the written verdict by the judge

to determine whether or not it is a sound judgment that has been declared.

Do we not have to measure the judgment against some sort of

a yardstick to tell if the judge has been compromised? You cannot concentrate

solely on a single item to tell how better or best it is unless judged in

comparative terms with others.

A written verdict by a judge, especially those on Election

2012 petition must be interpreted in terms of what the public saw with their

naked eyes and heard with their own ears during the live telecast of the court

proceedings. What can be better than what the people saw themselves? Is it not

said since ages that, “seeing is believing?”

Unless the Professor in his mind is taking Ghanaians for

fools, the very character exhibited by most Ghanaians with a higher level of education,

I do not seem to get the point he is dragging at unless of course, he was taken

out of context.

As in Ghana the knowledge of English is a criterion of a man’s

great learning, so does a man with a higher level of education always tend to

underestimate the importance of those with little or no education at all.

We cannot base our analysis only on the merits of the written

statements by a judge but also, on the demerits of his statements as deduced

from public observations and opinions formed in an instance of watching the

court proceedings live on airwaves as it was the case with Election 2012

petition.

How could we go with Justice William Atuguba’s explanation

for “over-voting” when the Constitutional Instrument 75, the legal pillar on

which Election 2012 revolved and agreed terms with the Electoral Commission said

otherwise? How do we accept Justice Akoto-Bamfo’s written statements rubbishing

the entirety of the Constitutional Instruments and Electoral laws governing the

election just because she craved to protect the peace of the land and the peace

she has been enjoying since she was born?

Do we go for peace before justice? Would we not be better off

killing two birds with a stone than the vice versa? Once we have justice, peace

will follow automatically but not the other way round as Ghanaian judges, or

especially,

Atuguba’s panel of Supreme Court judges have proven to favour. How can we in

such an instance go with the written statements by some of the Supreme Court

judges?

I do not have to go in circles to make or prove my point. I

think my point is well made and understood by Professor Justice Samuel Kofi

Date-Bah.

The modern day Ghanaians with most among them having once

studied and resided abroad are not that stupid to be taken for granted.

We shall not concentrate solely on the written statements by

the judges in analysing the credibility of their judgment but will interpret

them in terms of what we see with our naked eyes (”KOROKORO EYES as a Nigerian would

say), hear with our own ears and read from the Constitution and other relevant

law books.

This is the take of the wise one from Kumawu/Asiampa on the

learned Professor’s view as discussed above. I hope he will not prove himself

another disgraced Atuguba when presiding over the “Vikileaks Investigation

Committee”, for discerning Ghanaians and more learned “ABROKYIREFO” are

watching.

One does not have to be a lawyer to know the law. The public

is not as stupid as some people purport. It is only in Ghana that the public

opinion is not considered as an effective and strong tool to reckon with in

establishing the truth or seeking solutions as it should, but people like

Rockson Adofo, are making inroads into changing that wrong perception. With the

passage of time, things will change for the better.

Rockson Adofo

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson