Ace Ankomah writes: 'Mini-maelstrom' to my opinion on Delta 8 release expected

Ace Ankomah writes: 'Mini-maelstrom' to my opinion on Delta 8 release expected
Source: Ghana | Ace Ankomah
Date: 20-05-2017 Time: 12:05:11:pm
Private legal practitioner, Ace Ankomah

I fully expected the mini-maelstrom that my view on the discharge, not acquittal, of the Delta 8 (not the original Delta 13) would cause. As i somehow admitted, my heart and head fought over this matter. My heart wants somebody jailed for this, anybody. My head won when it finally got heart to stay at its place and stop pretending that it knows any law.

The main critique is that I am relying on "technicalities." Often people use the word "technicality" as a synonym for/to "I disagree." But if you disagree, state that, on the same basis. What does the law say?

And this is substantive law, not even procedural law. How do I explain this? Simply, you swim or sink on the evidence. That's not a technicality.

The essence of what I have written is that from reading the Senior State Attorney's memo (and by way of full disclosure, I discovered only yesterday that she had been my student at the Law School), she was clearly asking for evidence that would stand in court. She wasn't going to go to court and be humiliated by the judge and defence lawyers for the refusal, failure or neglect of the police to provide evidence that must be beyond reasonable doubt. Simply, where was the evidence that would tie THESE 8 (and none others) to the court invasion, which at my first count, constituted as many as 15 separate crimes?

Have we forgotten the disastrous Ya Naa murder trials so soon? They walked. And the equally shameful stadium disaster trials? They walked. And, oh, Tagor et al were also jailed only to be freed on appeal on the same ground? Is our collective retributive spirit somehow placated when people, possibly the real criminals, are arrested and tried with huge publicity and then freed for lack of evidence? Or are we going to demand that the evidence-gathering authority (THE POLICE) should do a good job before the State Attorneys are thrust before the court?

Do we know of the other "technicality" called "autrefois acquit/convict", aka "double jeopardy" aka "you cannot be tried twice for the same offence," by which if these guys had been tried and freed on the threadbare to no evidence, they could never be tried again even if we subsequently got proper evidence?

Reading the memo, the 'poor' state lawyer was given a plucked bird and then asked to go to court and identify it. She said "no." I would have said "hell no!"

I agree that the buck stops with the police. And, maybe people are just discovering how poorly some things are done in this country.

I also agree that the government gets to carry this can. No pity from me. But all isn't lost yet. Let the police do what they can do best WHEN they decide to work. And if they still can't find the evidence, they should explain to Ghana what they found or did not find, and why. Then we can judge them.

The law, as I know it, is an OBSTINATE ASS.

My mouth has fallen. Typo police, over to you.

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