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Opinions Tue, 19 Mar 2013

Supreme Court Must Fast-Track NPP Petition

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

The professionalism of the Supreme Court of Ghana, in the wake of the launching of the New Patriotic Party lawsuit challenging the legitimacy of the Mahama presidency, is beginning to worry me. What is really beginning to worry me is the apparent decision by the Registrar of the Court to allow desperate National Democratic Congress members and supporters to turn the entire judicial process into a circus act, by allowing for an indiscriminate and interminable joinder petitions by NDC partisans to be filed with the Court, with the glaring prospect of indefinitely prolonging the case (See "The Supreme Court Must Be Blamed If Violence Erupts" Modernghana.com 3/13/13).

Needless to say, while it may be aptly deemed prejudicial to the court's proceedings which have yet to ratchet up to full dudgeon, as it were, nevertheless, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh's stern warning regarding the certain possibility of a violent outbreak, should the Wood Court entertain a deliberate stalling of the sacred process of justice by the NDC partisans, is very much in order. It is very much in order because the determination of the true outcome of Election 2012 does not rest with the joinder petitioners but the Electoral Commissioner, President Mahama and the National Democratic Congress, who clearly appear to have closely collaborated in fraudulently declaring victory for the former Atta-Mills lieutenant.

What is more, it is not clear what substantive input the 327 joinders who just filed their applications with the court's registry are apt to present before the court that the available forensic evidence cannot effectively induce or prove. At any rate, what we find to be uniformly disturbing here is the apparaent fact that the members and supporters of both the main opposition New Patriotic Party and the ruling National Democratic Congress have yet to fully appreciate the deliberate dynamics of the civil court system.

This, however, is in no way to imply that the Wood Supreme Court does not have any special obligation to expedite the NPP petition, particularly in view of the fact that its continuous non-resolution appears to be adversely impacting the ability of the Mahama government to effectively deliver on its electioneering campaign promises. We recently experienced a striking example of the foregoing in the form of the erratic reshuffling of regional ministerial portfolios, on the patently specious grounds of seeking to enhance interethnic harmony and political coherence in the country.

On the question of the possibility of a violent eruption, should the Akufo-Addo petition unduly drag on, I have, to the utter dismay of a remarkable percentage of my Ghanaian readers, detailed the same in a series of articles titled "The Road to Kigali" which many major Ghanaian websites either flatly refused to publish or curiously, albeit predictably, abandoned after a few initial runs. The comical implication here appeared to be that a refusal of publication, somehow, resolved this epic constitutional crisis by the abrupt and decisive enforcement of political amnesia.

Needless to say, no such action could be more unpardonably preposterous. What is doubly interesting, if also utterly amusing, is the fact that the members and partisans of the National Democratic Congress appear to want to eat their proverbial cake and have it at the same time. Thus, on the one hand, the key NDC operatives vehemently inveigh against the grim and real possibility of a frustrated New Patriotic Party membership resorting to the deadly application of violence to settle both ancient and contemporary scores, while at the same time deviously scheming to abort the rule of law and justice where the interests of the main opposition New Patriotic Party mebership and partisans are concerned.

Ultimately, however, the NDC attempt to cynically regress the judicial process is apt to redound to the circumstantial benefit of the NPP, by indisputably underscoring the fact that this criminal attempt to deliberately stall constitutional justice emanates largely out of guilt-ridden conscience, that is, hypothetically assuming that, indeed, the Mahama posse is endowed with any such sublime human faculty.

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*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Department of English

Nassau Community College of SUNY

Garden City, New York

March 14, 2013

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[PS: Shortly after composing this piece, March 14, 2013, the Supreme Court was reported to have summarily dismissed some 327 NDC joinder petitions; we congratulate the Wood Court for promptly and fearlessly standing up to the machete- and gun-tooting goons of the so-called National Democratic Congress]
Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame