The unanimous decision by Ghana’s Supreme Court not to grant the Attorney-General his certiorari application, in order for some key operatives of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to reframe their outrageous charges of genocide, terrorism and a declaration of war against Mr. Kennedy Ohene Agyepong, the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Assin-North, ought to serve as a great lesson and a resounding notice to the hate-filled NDC political aggressors that such nefarious civic irresponsibility will not be tolerated in civilized and judicially poised Fourth-Republican Ghana.
And here must also be promptly recalled the fact that in the heat of widespread intimidation and wanton physical abuse by hirelings of the Mills-Mahama-led National Democratic Congress of New Patriotic Party-leaning registrants, during the biometric voters’ registration exercise some two months ago, Mr. Agyepong was reported to have issued a call on one of his several radio stations for members, supporters and sympathizers in the NPP stronghold of the Asante Region to swiftly and massively retaliate by liquidating all Ewe- and Ga-descended residents of the nation’s heartland.
Well, my legal advisers tell me that what the Mills-Mahama government ought to have done, should have been to file the more relevant charges of incitement to violence and hatred against the understandably angry, albeit rather intemperate, Mr. Agyepong with any of the country’s legitimately constituted circuit courts. Instead, the Government resorted to a retaliatory overkill by filing its palpably outrageous charges of genocide and terrorism against the Assin-North MP with the Accra High Court.
Now, what the Attorney-General, belatedly, is attempting to do is to get the Supreme Court to summarily quash the ongoing proceedings at the Accra High Court, so as to enable him to appropriately revise the outrageous charges preferred against Mr. Agyepong, in order for the Attorney-General to then file the more actionable charges of incitement to violence and hatred and thereby readily secure the conviction and possible imprisonment and permanent political decommissioning and/or proscription of Mr. Agyepong.
Anyway, in its latest pronouncement on the case, the Supreme Court admonished the Attorney-General to file a nolle prosequi writ, declaring that his office no longer had any desire in prosecuting Mr. Agyepong. Of course, the irony here is that once the case has been discharged by the Accra High Court, the Attorney-General would then be able to effect the re-arrest of Mr. Agyepong and almost guarantee his successful prosecution in a lower court.
Needless to say, what the lawyers for the Assin-North MP ought to be doing, rather than facilely and ineffectually demanding that the Supreme Court award monetary costs against the Attorney-General and in favor of their client, is to be assiduously fighting tooth and nail, as it were, to ensure that their client’s case proceeds, without any cynical and/or tactical distractions from the Attorney-General’s office or the prosecution, in the Accra High Court where an epic failure and certain professional humiliation are almost decidedly guaranteed the zealous government of the so-called National Democratic Congress.
Mr. Agyepong’s lawyers also have to be looking forward to vigorously challenging the Attorney-General in a lower court against a double-jeopardy or the morally indefensible attempt by the Mills-Mahama government to re-prosecute Mr. Agyepong for an act or acts for which the latter has already been tried and acquitted, assuming, of course, that the Accra High Court would likely decide as such.
The preceding notwithstanding, what is even more instructively significant about the Agyepong v. NDC/State case, however, has to do with the apparently chronic inability of the decidedly vigilante government of the National Democratic Congress to appoint professionally qualified lawyers to run the Attorney-General’s department. In dismissing the Attorney-General’s application for certiorari, for example, “all the five justices who sat on the application said that the A-G consciously [or willfully] went to the wrong forum [or court] and should not, therefore, be asking the Supreme Court to bring him out of that forum.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of “Ghanaian Politics Today”(Lulu.com, 2008). E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.