By Margaret Jackson
May 16, 2013
It is very easy to sit behind a laptop or go to a radio or television station and criticize the nine justices hearing the petition filed by Bawumia and Co to challenge the 2012 Elections results, if you do not know the heavy burden currently hanging on their necks. Perhaps the load on the justices is far weightier than anyone anticipated or is anticipating.
That is why I found it very appalling and nauseating that the NPP supporters descended heavily and poured scorn on Justice William Atuguba, the President of the nine-member bench hearing the election petition on Wednesday May 15, when he overruled some objections raised by Mr Philip Addison, lead counsel of the NPP.
What may have ticked off the NPP supporters the most was when Justice Atuguba, who may have been tired of Dr Mahamadu Bawumia’s evasiveness, pointedly told him to get real. He scolded Bawumia in these words: “You see you are a doctor, you are very intelligent…so help us. This case; let me tell you, people are approaching from two fronts: the political front and the issues here. We are dealing with only the issues here, so bring your mind to the court room”.
The NPP folks did not take it kindly when they saw screaming headlines that Justice Atuguba has asked Bawumia to bring his mind to the court room, which contributed towards the heavy bashing that he received.
Many NPP supporters perhaps think that Justice Atuguba is making all the decisions by himself. That is not the case. Before ruling on any application, all the nine justices have to confer and Justice Atuguba being the president has the responsibility of conveying the decision to the parties involved.
The nine justices sitting on the case are facing the biggest test of their careers. This is a test case which has never ever happened in the history of the country. It has no precedent, thereby putting a lot of burden on the justices.
The ruling of this case would not be taken kindly by any party that loses out. It, therefore, makes it very precarious not only for supporters of the parties involved, but to all Ghanaians including the nine justices. That is why the justices need the prayers of every Ghanaian but not condemnation from party hacks.
The justices, by fate have been placed in this position by God, and the decisions they make or finally arrive at on this case will define the country in many generations to come. The country’s fate largely lies in their hands now. Any false move or decision that is not based on facts can easily implode the country.
I am of the view that the justices have to shed their political leanings and any other parochial interest and seek the interest of the country first. Ghana must come first and must be the first thing that should stay on their minds till they finish with the case.
At this point, the peace, the prosperity and the unity that bring us together as Ghanaians are all on the line. It is at the fingertips of the nine justices who need the prayers of Ghanaians more than ever before. As the justices have stressed over and over again that they will arrive at the final decision based on facts and evidence on the ground, it is the greatest hope of all that they will live by their words.
Ghana is a one entity. We may have our political affiliations and differences but anybody who belongs to a certain party is linked to somebody in another party. That is why any implosion in Ghana may not have any winners or losers since everybody in the country will be affected one way or the other.
We all want justice and fair play. We want the one who actually won the elections to occupy the highest office of the land. In my heart I know who won the elections, others have a different take. That is why the Supreme Court justices have been brought together to determine the merits and demerits of the case.
Everybody in the country is watching with critical eyes. Some people have sworn their lives on the final determination of the case. This is the more reason why the justices have to daily take a deep breath and focus on the case with Ghana on their minds.