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Zero Tolerance for Corruption: A Toothless Mantra and Gimmickry

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 Source: Bottah, Eric Kwasi

My gut feeling has been churning on me really badly when I first read of Mr. Daniel Abodapki's pardon by president Kufour and the former's return to parliament, as soon as one could say Jack.
The question is why should Dan Abodapki be allowed right back into parliament? Shouldn't there be some penal code that says, once you are convicted of some felony, you should be barred from parliament? If an ordinary citizen embezzles a company's funds and goes to jail, he does not get his old job back, even if he gets an early parole or pardon. A pardon is not to be construed to mean one did not commit an offence or is innocent. It simply says you are forgiven, in spite of everything. It does not absolve you of the crime or restore you to your job or former status, benefits et al, without some compensatory damages or restitution to the larger society on the part of the offender, and for Christ sake an august house like parliament should be sacred grounds to shut the door in the face of such white-colour criminals, or nyasa-kronoo peddlers. Now president Kufour's short-sightedness has been laid bare by Abodapki's unbelievable resort to appeal his case. Mind you he is not appealing against the pardon, he is rather appealing the original case; a closed case that ran its course and sent him to prison. The duplicity of the NDC is also laid bare, in that they are not raising hell fire and brimstone over the guy's return to parliament, as you would have expected had the shoe been on the other foot. They are rather high-fiving and giving him a pat at the back, as if to say, well done, Dan. These are the same people who bastardly and shamefully declared God killed the now deceased Justice Afreh who presided over the case that sent Dan Abodapki and others to jail. If Abodakpi does not see himself as guilty of any offence, what excuse could he possibly be passing off as reasons for his incarceration, victim of political witch hunt?
See, Abodapki still does not believe he committed any felony, and given how long it takes for cases to trickle up our gutter-choked court systems, the appeal would still be in the works by the time Kufour leaves office, and effectively draws down the curtain on this current parliament. Again, by keeping the case on an appeal mode, Abodakpi is deceiving himself and others to think, he has not been convicted yet, and can continue to function as an MP, draw on his salary, arrears, and other benefits, until the appeal is fully exhausted. So the logical question to ask is what happens if he fails on his appeal? Does he return to jail or what? This is what leads me to conclude that this pardoning is the least salient and most gratuitous act of all by president Kufour. Why give pardon to a person who still does not acknowledge and admit of his guilt? Shouldn't the pardon have been predicated on his openly professed and/or written admission of guilt and how sorry he is, to have caused financial loss to the state? Even God does not forgive and pardon us at gratis, unless we are willing to go before the congregation to raise our hands and confess our sins and accept him as our Lord. It appears to me that Dan Abodapki can eat his cake and have it. Head or tail he wins. I never fully understood president Kufour and the NPP when they kept Amoateng's Nkorasa seat, vacant for close to two years when the guy was arrested at JFK Airport, New York, for cocaine smuggling. President Kufour and his NPP would have allowed the disgraced MP to return to his seat had the Americans released him any time sooner.
This see no evil, speak no evil, and hear no evil nonsense should end. President Kufour has made a mockery of law and order, as well as render toothless, his zero tolerance for corruption mantra. There is a pattern here: Anane, Kwame Peprah, Abodapki etc. Which principles would he uphold? What kind of law and order there is, which would send a pickpocket or a goat thief to 10years in jail, but would release a person who duped his country to the tune of $400,000US? What kind of justice would look the other way regarding a minister who was supposed to uphold the tenets of community health policy on HIV AIDs, but would go and bonk, supposedly on behalf of Ghana, on the raw? That says morality is not part of the equation, when it is glaringly clear that a guy who could not even keep up with the rent at his private practice - he has to be dragged to court by the landlady – would, however, have the means to dole out $90,000 USD to his concubine. Hello, he is corrupting and drawing on corrupt means, a la the office he occupies. How could president Kufour be blind to that fact? This government is weak on law and order.
Every big thief now thinks they have a friend in president Kufour. What a shame!!!! Why bother subjecting Tsatsu Tsikata all these years, and Nana Yaa Konada Agyeman-Rawlings to this shenanigan, not to mention the costs involved, when it is apparently clear that they would not serve any long term? He, Tsikata, also caused financial loss to the state, didn't he? Kwame Peprah has been pardoned, Abodapki too is pardoned, and I have no doubt in my mind, that Tsatsu Tsikata would have been pardoned and out by now, had he cried uncle and gone to jail. But he is a smarter man; why bother in the first place, if the hidden intended purpose is not any strongly held, principled application of the law, but to score cheap political propaganda, and stick the NDC with a black eye? Meanwhile if you are Kofi Salanga, and all that you did was to steal a goat or chicken, you would go to jail for at least 5years with hard labour. Not that I endorse petty thievery, but then I cannot but pour scorn on the double standards in our society when it comes to the law. We tend to think white-colour crimes are harmless; after all it is "aban sika". We forget that the money stolen, is tantamount to funds denied a poor pregnant woman some pre-natal health care, or a school kid, some basic textbooks. Who are we deceiving, huh, President Kufour? Where is our conscience and resolve? Indeed Ghana and Africa are exactly where we are, underdeveloped, because of bad leadership and corruption. Corruption alone, per any year, far exceeds the skimpy loans we go and seek every year from the West, Japan, China and India. Where do you think those countries get the money to fork out to us, President Kufour? By the stroke of your pen, you have demoralized all hard working Ghanaians, and especially those in the law enforcement sector. How do you expect them to work diligently, going forward, often at certain risks to their lives, only to see the big fat thieves let go, with what amounts to sabbatical leaves and a slap at the wrist? You might as well open all the prison gates and let go everybody. What the heck?
Conclusion, we need a new set of government to expose the hidden corruption that has not seen the light of day. The Edumadzes must be brought to book. Bring in another party, but please not the also disgraced NDC. They are worse than the current NPP. May be the CPP this time. Let's face it I am just plain frustrated with our politicians. They all sing from the same hymn book. It is you scratch my back and I scratch your back brotherhood of dishonourable men and women. They go into politics to get rich at the expense of the populace, plain and simple. Ewifuo!!! There is a Ghanaian cliche that says if you are going to develop goiter, make sure you develop a very big one so that you can have full throat boom bust when you sing. President Kufour has signal to all that one must chop brazenly big, if you are going to embezzle any funds at all, for it is such that would get you a presidential pardon and early release, with your loot intact.

By Eric Kwasi Bottah, alias Oyokoba.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

My gut feeling has been churning on me really badly when I first read of Mr. Daniel Abodapki's pardon by president Kufour and the former's return to parliament, as soon as one could say Jack.
The question is why should Dan Abodapki be allowed right back into parliament? Shouldn't there be some penal code that says, once you are convicted of some felony, you should be barred from parliament? If an ordinary citizen embezzles a company's funds and goes to jail, he does not get his old job back, even if he gets an early parole or pardon. A pardon is not to be construed to mean one did not commit an offence or is innocent. It simply says you are forgiven, in spite of everything. It does not absolve you of the crime or restore you to your job or former status, benefits et al, without some compensatory damages or restitution to the larger society on the part of the offender, and for Christ sake an august house like parliament should be sacred grounds to shut the door in the face of such white-colour criminals, or nyasa-kronoo peddlers. Now president Kufour's short-sightedness has been laid bare by Abodapki's unbelievable resort to appeal his case. Mind you he is not appealing against the pardon, he is rather appealing the original case; a closed case that ran its course and sent him to prison. The duplicity of the NDC is also laid bare, in that they are not raising hell fire and brimstone over the guy's return to parliament, as you would have expected had the shoe been on the other foot. They are rather high-fiving and giving him a pat at the back, as if to say, well done, Dan. These are the same people who bastardly and shamefully declared God killed the now deceased Justice Afreh who presided over the case that sent Dan Abodapki and others to jail. If Abodakpi does not see himself as guilty of any offence, what excuse could he possibly be passing off as reasons for his incarceration, victim of political witch hunt?
See, Abodapki still does not believe he committed any felony, and given how long it takes for cases to trickle up our gutter-choked court systems, the appeal would still be in the works by the time Kufour leaves office, and effectively draws down the curtain on this current parliament. Again, by keeping the case on an appeal mode, Abodakpi is deceiving himself and others to think, he has not been convicted yet, and can continue to function as an MP, draw on his salary, arrears, and other benefits, until the appeal is fully exhausted. So the logical question to ask is what happens if he fails on his appeal? Does he return to jail or what? This is what leads me to conclude that this pardoning is the least salient and most gratuitous act of all by president Kufour. Why give pardon to a person who still does not acknowledge and admit of his guilt? Shouldn't the pardon have been predicated on his openly professed and/or written admission of guilt and how sorry he is, to have caused financial loss to the state? Even God does not forgive and pardon us at gratis, unless we are willing to go before the congregation to raise our hands and confess our sins and accept him as our Lord. It appears to me that Dan Abodapki can eat his cake and have it. Head or tail he wins. I never fully understood president Kufour and the NPP when they kept Amoateng's Nkorasa seat, vacant for close to two years when the guy was arrested at JFK Airport, New York, for cocaine smuggling. President Kufour and his NPP would have allowed the disgraced MP to return to his seat had the Americans released him any time sooner.
This see no evil, speak no evil, and hear no evil nonsense should end. President Kufour has made a mockery of law and order, as well as render toothless, his zero tolerance for corruption mantra. There is a pattern here: Anane, Kwame Peprah, Abodapki etc. Which principles would he uphold? What kind of law and order there is, which would send a pickpocket or a goat thief to 10years in jail, but would release a person who duped his country to the tune of $400,000US? What kind of justice would look the other way regarding a minister who was supposed to uphold the tenets of community health policy on HIV AIDs, but would go and bonk, supposedly on behalf of Ghana, on the raw? That says morality is not part of the equation, when it is glaringly clear that a guy who could not even keep up with the rent at his private practice - he has to be dragged to court by the landlady – would, however, have the means to dole out $90,000 USD to his concubine. Hello, he is corrupting and drawing on corrupt means, a la the office he occupies. How could president Kufour be blind to that fact? This government is weak on law and order.
Every big thief now thinks they have a friend in president Kufour. What a shame!!!! Why bother subjecting Tsatsu Tsikata all these years, and Nana Yaa Konada Agyeman-Rawlings to this shenanigan, not to mention the costs involved, when it is apparently clear that they would not serve any long term? He, Tsikata, also caused financial loss to the state, didn't he? Kwame Peprah has been pardoned, Abodapki too is pardoned, and I have no doubt in my mind, that Tsatsu Tsikata would have been pardoned and out by now, had he cried uncle and gone to jail. But he is a smarter man; why bother in the first place, if the hidden intended purpose is not any strongly held, principled application of the law, but to score cheap political propaganda, and stick the NDC with a black eye? Meanwhile if you are Kofi Salanga, and all that you did was to steal a goat or chicken, you would go to jail for at least 5years with hard labour. Not that I endorse petty thievery, but then I cannot but pour scorn on the double standards in our society when it comes to the law. We tend to think white-colour crimes are harmless; after all it is "aban sika". We forget that the money stolen, is tantamount to funds denied a poor pregnant woman some pre-natal health care, or a school kid, some basic textbooks. Who are we deceiving, huh, President Kufour? Where is our conscience and resolve? Indeed Ghana and Africa are exactly where we are, underdeveloped, because of bad leadership and corruption. Corruption alone, per any year, far exceeds the skimpy loans we go and seek every year from the West, Japan, China and India. Where do you think those countries get the money to fork out to us, President Kufour? By the stroke of your pen, you have demoralized all hard working Ghanaians, and especially those in the law enforcement sector. How do you expect them to work diligently, going forward, often at certain risks to their lives, only to see the big fat thieves let go, with what amounts to sabbatical leaves and a slap at the wrist? You might as well open all the prison gates and let go everybody. What the heck?
Conclusion, we need a new set of government to expose the hidden corruption that has not seen the light of day. The Edumadzes must be brought to book. Bring in another party, but please not the also disgraced NDC. They are worse than the current NPP. May be the CPP this time. Let's face it I am just plain frustrated with our politicians. They all sing from the same hymn book. It is you scratch my back and I scratch your back brotherhood of dishonourable men and women. They go into politics to get rich at the expense of the populace, plain and simple. Ewifuo!!! There is a Ghanaian cliche that says if you are going to develop goiter, make sure you develop a very big one so that you can have full throat boom bust when you sing. President Kufour has signal to all that one must chop brazenly big, if you are going to embezzle any funds at all, for it is such that would get you a presidential pardon and early release, with your loot intact.

By Eric Kwasi Bottah, alias Oyokoba.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Columnist: Bottah, Eric Kwasi
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