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Enimil Ashon: NDC, please do a re-think

Supreme Court of Ghana

I think the Supreme Court owes Ghanaians an explanation.

If it was possible for the Court to work its own rules to allow it to determine, within 42 days, the outcome of the 2020 presidential election dispute; if, in 2016, the Judiciary set up 17 special courts to handle anticipated electoral disputes arising from that year’s elections, why was the Domelovo case allowed to travel three years?

See how civil and public servants are eating with two hands, even under the two eyes of successive Auditors-General. Imagine the level of thievery without one.

Having said this, I ask Ghanaians to imagine the sheer outpouring of anger and vituperations that would have been poured on the Judiciary, mingled with lectures on morality, if North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, had been found guilty in the contempt case filed by the General Secretary of the National Cathedral Board of Trustees.

It should be part of our political culture that Ghanaians don’t castigate our judges and declare as politically motivated, every court decision that doesn’t go in our favour. It belongs in the era of savages and barbarians for any one group to use its numerical strength to, for instance, threaten to kill any judge who is assigned to determine the culpability of anyone in the Airbus scandal.

If it is normal for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to lose a case in court, why should the Minority caucus on the Appointments Committee of Parliament refuse to vote on the President’s nominee for the position of Chief Justice until the reasoned judgement of the Supreme Court in the matter of Mr James Gyakye Quayson is made available to it?

This is a tyranny of the Minority. It is an abuse of their privilege as members of an arm of government.

A Supreme Court reserving the reason for its ruling happens everywhere and all the time. When it is ready, a litigant who desires a copy has only to apply for it. In a civilised nation, nobody or group, no matter how politically powerful, should be allowed to hold a nation to ransom in this way.

Is it the NDC’s plan to argue with the nominee regarding her personal contribution to the collective ruling? Even if Justice Gertrude Torkonoo was on the panel that heard the case and made the ruling, was she the one who wrote the decision? Granted that she was, hers would be only out of many opinions, and a panellist cannot be held individually liable for a group decision.

Ghanaians have learned to be wary when a political party claims to represent our opinions on election matters. I recall the news item below on social media in the days following the release of the 2020 election results:  

“Violent protest has been recorded at the Electoral Commission premises as some NDC supporters burnt tyres on the streets. The police had to spray water on the protesters to prevent them from destroying properties as the peaceful demonstration began to escalate. This protest is one of many happening across the country”.

What had caused this? The NDC candidate, John Mahama, had called the press to claim that “the party has won the majority of 140 parliamentary seats in the 2020 general elections”. His words implied that the EC was trying to manipulate the figures.

Years later (2022), the party’s then General Secretary (this time contending for the Chairmanship position) “revealed” that the NDC filed the 2020 election petition at the Supreme Court knowing very well they had no evidence that could invalidate the election results.

According to him, “the party flagbearer, John Mahama, could not collate results because the party’s Information Technology system crashed”.

In a leaked audio trending on social media purported to be recorded during his encounter with NDC members at a campaign meeting, the man who is now Chairman of the NDC said, “When it was time for me to enter the witness box, I asked them to bring the evidence. The evidence they brought to me, if I entered the witness box with that evidence to defend our case, I would have been disgraced, so I refused.”

On the day he was declared a loser, John Mahama said the Supreme Court ruling “is a clear stab in the heart of transparency and accountability to the sovereign people of Ghana.”

Two years later, in an address to the United States Chapter of the NDC on Sunday, March 27, 2022, JDM stated that he filed the election petition at the Supreme Court to calm the charged political atmosphere to avoid electoral violence.”

I have a compilation of the sins of other political parties. This article is to warn Ghanaians to be wary of the posture of any party. Most of what they allege are to be taken for what they are: allegations, suspicions and, often premeditated fabrications.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.