Opinions of Wed, 17 May 200645

The Hypocrisy Of Chronicle Boss

Chronicle boss takes on Akuffo Addo, May 05 2006

DID NANA KOFI COOMSON SNOOZE UNDER RAWLINGS? REGIME?

As a practicing journalist with over 25 years experience, Nana Kofi Coomson, Chief Executive of the Chronicle Newspaper Group, says that he would [now] do his best to ensure that Ghanaians made informed choices after he had made proper evaluations on the numerous presidential aspirants. But, he desperately fumes his noxious proviso on the tested Foreign Minister, Nana Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who his supporters and even terrestrial and celestial bodies are forecasting victory, come the highly to be contested 2008 NPP presidential slot.

Nana Coomson also says that in spite of the fact Law Professor John Evans Atta Mills, was the front runner of the National Democratic Congress, he had not got what it takes to win the presidency for the NDC. Mr. Eddie Annan, however, has. Because he is a clean man who was not found culpable of any scandal in any of the various investigations, including forensic ones, conducted on him. But Nana Coomson fell short to say whether our learned Professor, is found amiss somewhere, apart from what our satellite picked on Saturday 29 May 2006, from North London, at the meeting of UK/Ireland Branch of the NDC, that was attended by former P/NDC functionaries such as Brother Ekow Spio Garbra and Nana Ato Quarshie and his son, who intends to run on the ticket of NDC, at the constituency his father once presided.

Ekow, the former Education Minister and professionally to be envied six-digits international civil servant, who is now based in the UK, confirmed what is already in public domain that it is true that some concerned members of the NDC had approached him to stand for the contest simply because there is an unsettled dust hovering around the marketability of our Uncle Atta. He explained that having lost twice, perhaps, Prof, might not be able to untie the knot. Let us rest this issue, so that we continue with Nana Coomson?s analysis. In Nana Dankwa?s case, all his woes, in the quoted words of Nana Coomson, are that he performed abysmally when he, was Attorney General and Minister of Justice. And so Nana was capped at 3 out of the threshold of 10. But, must Ghana win the case on-all-force against one of our legal wizards- Brother Tsatsu? In that Nana had been, yes, touted more prolific in handling legal matters?

We may have spotted the cracks on the walls on which our Nana Coomson hangs his informed thesis. We are right in reasoning that the veteran media fellow is not suggesting that Tsatsu ought to have been jailed at all cost because the then A-G, Nana Akufo-Addo, had political power that he could have abused, though the evidence proofed doubtful before the eagle eyes of our judges? That ought not to be so. Why must the inherent and independence of the judiciary not be given standing ovation to the effect that justice had been dispensed without fear or favour in our interests, members on the bench or in favour of political rival? On this basis Nana Coomson?s argument that ?I cannot entrust the destiny of this nation into the hands of Akufo-Addo because I know him. I cannot easily sleep, as a citizen of this country if he is to rule this nation.,? in that he has been legally defeated several times, fails.

Notwithstanding the fact the law must pursue with alacrity those we suspected to have subverted the weaknesses in our statutes by exploiting the trust repose on them, we must also be wary of the threats of prejudices and kangaroo legal procedures in administering justice that might later be established to be nothing more than hoax. Why must our learned veteran journalist and businessman, Nana Coomson, who is said to be employer of over 100 workers and ourselves, not be contented that we are in an era where legal issues would be well argued before judgments are passed? We are not too young to remember how swift judicial processes had led to the destructions of lives and properties. If legal defeat implies inadequacies of lawyers, then politicians must rethink because they all read through the same lens- the constitution? Happy Nana Coomson, now manages his own business but not the PDCs.

Ghana has had enough of bitter judicial pills to swallow, so it is rather unfortunate that the media Consultant Nana Coomson, who this report under review describes him as one peeved and angry over unmeritorious and baseless accusations that he was paid by Hon. Yaw Osafo Maafo, one of the NPP aspiring presidential candidates, to run down other potential candidates, and rubbishes the assertions by arguing that he was a man of himself, capable of doing his work as a professional journalist without being induced by anybody to proceed his informed analysis? So must judges. In all alleged criminal cases, the burden of proof hangs heavily on the neck of the prosecution which it must dislodge. It is a legal principle that every civilised nation badly aspires, because innocent life, image or precious property are at stake?

That is why in criminal trials or decisions, jurors and judges thread with caution. The issue is that false accusation tends to beget snare; but could the other horn of the dilemma also not be that it is only by putting force aside and applying legal principles on the facts that the ultimate end of peace and safety that Nana Koomson is contemplating of might be secured? We assume that the media guru perfectly knows the contrast between the compelled reparations of Versailles that left Germany feeling humiliated and opened the way to Hiltler; and the Marshall Plan after the Second World War that restored Germany?s dignity. The supporting argument is stated passionately by Hon Finance Minister, Kwadwo Baah Wiredu, in an interview he granted to a London-based community radio- HOTFM, on Wednesday, 10 May 2006, presented by one of our gifted journalist brothers, Kwaku Owusu - Frimpong.

Side-tracking a little from finance and economic planning to justice, Brother Baah-Wiredu said something like this: ?General Utuka had nothing in his hometown, Likpe Marte. But he was shot. Today, we have people who can afford sponsoring their children?s education abroad.? On the other time, another personality also said on another station: ?the only sin of Air -Vice-Marshall Yaw Boakye for his crucifixion was the loan he contracted from a bank that he never defaulted payments? If Nana Koomson wants to give Ghanaians an informed choices on the question of who is capable of leading Ghana, then he should have ruled out the NDC because Flt Lt Rawlings is NDC and NDC is Chairman Rawlings- the sole founder?

How could the chief promoter of the said Takoradi-based Coomson Private Initiative (CPI) reconcile the view that the ex-president has a ?negative influence on the Ghanaian psyche,? nonetheless the retired air force officer and party founder, who remained the most charismatic and one of the best crowd-pullers in the history of Ghana, alone has to endorse John Dramani Mahama, the man Coomson exalts as one of the finest guys of the NDC, who unfortunately, is not the favoured candidate of ?Junior Jesus?? That the NDC must abandon its dream of the presidency and concentrate on parliamentary, where it will perform well?

The equation above is that could Nana Coomson, who is said to have bemoaned on the World Press freedom Day celebration, on the question of the current poor quality of the products from journalism institutions in Ghana [that might have occasioned from decades of pitiable educational bearing], but pledges to establish a journalism training school, that would equip students with adequate skills, explain whether he still pledges to Jesus? parable that good tree bears good fruits? In legal profession, lawyers go to court room with the presumption that they might win or be defeated because they do not know what may be running through judges and jurors. This is what the famous American law realist, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, describes as the prophecies of law. Meaning, what the law will or might unfortunately not do.

In his anxious effort to mend gaps in his net, Nana Coomson demonstrated this hypocrisy: ?The man is not arrogant as people claim. He is a very simple man, because I know him very well. The problem is that he is not well-managed by his managers.? But even if we were not to have difficulty in accepting this as the honest truth, could Nana Kofi Coomson tell us when ?perceived arrogance? became criminal offence to debar us from holding public office in Ghana? Much as we expect our leaders to be humble and not to be seen lording things over us for their personal comfort, we must also be disturbed if we were to misconstrue self-confidence- one of the highly-valued traits for employability to mean arrogance. And undue cultures of silence or compulsions that our parents and elders subject us, to mean obeisance?

The consequences are clear to us all to understand. Thus, if we were not to misinterpret compassion to mean meekness and respect to fear, then we may truly also, yes, accept that Flt-Lt J. J. Rawlings was not in contempt arrogance when he rose against his superior officers at Burma Hall, in May 1979. The fact that Tony Blair and George Walker Bush ignore the pleas of their peoples and the world and exported war to Saddam, appears not to have meant arrogance to their citizens. So, why could Nana Coomson throw this dust on the Foreign Minister, who for all these decades, has been seriously sailing his part in getting Dankwa-Busia boat afloat, by suggesting that he is not well-managed by his managers? In the face of threats of terrorist attacks, even the Blair/Bush leadership ratings are well within its marks.

At a time that Ghanaians are yearning for a viable alternative to NPP/ NDC, and Dr Nkrumah?s boat, according to Comrade Mike Hagan, sinking day-by-day, the Takoradi-based media consultant, should have come up with a critical evaluation of the CPP and its leadership, rather than what he untenably portrays as Rawlings can but Nana Dankwa Akufo-Addo must not, because he failed to crucify the ex-Chief Executive of the GNPC in a criminal trial. Thus, until authoritative and contrary arguments are raised, Nana Coomson must accept with all meekness that in criminal trial, unlike in civil case, the legal equation, again, is balance of probabilities. The prosecution must proof his case beyond all reasonable doubts. Of course, Nana Akufo-Addo is not beyond rebuke. So, as we are for example, increasingly wanting to know the legibility of our Land Title Register, from Professor Fobih, so also Nana must tell Ghanaians what is really slippery at the corridors of the passport directorate.

Otherwise, the Chronicle boss takes on Akuffo Addo, must be read as nothing more than a foiled plot. If so, then, the time is ripe for us all, to accept the prudence in this criminal justice system as subscribed by all civilised nations, of which Ghana is one, so as to avoid hasty and unfair decisions that might lead to unnecessary confession of new evidences at execution grounds from probably, an innocent convict after his death warrant had been hurriedly signed. Because disclosures extracted under duress might not be admissible in law?

Asante Fordjour
Student
Department of Law, Governance and International Relations
London Metropolitan University, London, UK


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Columnist: Asante Fordjour

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