Freedom Of The Delta 8: A Pummel In The Face Of The Rule Of Law - News Hunter Magazine

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Saturday, 20 May 2017

Freedom Of The Delta 8: A Pummel In The Face Of The Rule Of Law


I had in the latter part April made a promise to myself to start writing about national issues again in May after a hearty conversation with one of my bosses in Sunyani.  Apparently,  he used to enjoy my write- ups and had to be frank with me that my writing skills got me where I am today hence I needed to make it routine. 

I traveled to  Dubai within that week for a private engagement and on my way out of the country,  the excitement of a 'first time traveler' eluded me because  thoughts of how to blend writing with my demanding new role at work kept staring at me like night mares. I resolved upon my arrival the next day to start off with my experiences in the United Arab Emirates then follow it up with my weekly articles. This was on Tuesday, 2nd May,2017.

Thanks to a contaminated salad I ate upon my arrival in Ghana last week that ended me at the hospital and nearly cost me my life, I would have  written about my Dubai experiences first.

If you have ever been diagnosed of shigellosis and have had to go through detox for some days,  you would understand the pains I have dealt with to come up with this piece.

Our elders have said we do not leave the face of a drum and play its sides. This proverb is always said by people when an advise is being given and a hard truth is about to be said no matter how bitter it would be to the one at the receiving end.  Mostly, this truth helps the  people it is told to when they heed to it.  

I am a bit skeptical in our judicial system here in Ghana. This  is not because some judges had in the past taken  tubers of yam,  goats and other livestock  to skew justice. No.  It is because the deadliest infection,  politics,  is gradually creeping into how justice is being served in this part of the world. 

On Friday, 24th March this year,  Joy FM's reporter Erastus Asare Donkor reported that More than 200 members of a self-styled security force affiliated with the governing NPP had attacked the Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator, George Agyei,  in the  morning and physically hounded him out of office.

This group is known  as Delta Force.  The leadership of this group, who  was later interviewed by some  television stations, said they were in no way going to work with George Agyei who had been appointed by the president, Nana Akufo-Addo,   because he was not part of the struggle to wrestle power from the NDC during the December 2016 general elections. Such an impudence!

Thankfully, they were apprehended and arraigned before court,  an act that made sane Ghanaians heave a sigh of relief.  

However, on Thursday, April 6, a disgusting history would be made in Ghana.  some members of the  Delta Force stormed the Kumasi Circuit Court and freed the members of their group who had been remanded into prison custody for earlier charges. I have never in my almost three decades stay on earth heard about this sort of gross indiscipline before.

Social media , as usual, went agog as some Ghanaians (including some known NPP fanatics) showed their displeasure on the raid in plain language.  

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) yelped and condemned the act with all their might. The president was not spared either , especially when some respected people in the NPP sought to legalise the operations of these shameless miscreants when they were rearrested.

Conspicuously,  the judges and magistrates in the country were not happy about the turn of events and had to talk to save their members. These were the words of Justice  Victor Ofoe, the president of the Judges and Magistrates Association of Ghana in a press conference the day after the court was raided: "We call on the authorities, to as a matter of urgency, particularly the police, to arrest and bring to normalcy the situation for peace loving Ghanaians to go about their lawful duties. Such acts are a threat and intimidation of the members of the judiciary. It should be most gratifying for us, and of course all Ghanaians, that all involved will be apprehended and dealt with according to law."

There is a wise saying that if one visits the barber's shop for a shave and does not give directions on how his head should be shaved, he goes home with an ugly hair cut.  The judges had to use same approach to save their heads. 

Like other civil organisations, the  UN did not take this lightly.
A joint statement by the special representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel; Mohammed Ibn Chambas , and the resident coordinator of the UN system in Ghana; Christiane Evans-Klock described these attacks as reprehensible.

The statement, which was issued on Monday April 10 also called for a thorough government investigation into these incidents since Ghana’s image was being affected by these developments.
Gloria Akuffo
Alas, the day of judgement came on Thursday,  17th May and the surprises set in.  
The eight thugs:  Abass Ceaser, Ebenezer Opoku, Samuel Yeboah,  Kofi Fosu, Christian Anokye, Kwame Frimpong, Eric Kusi and Abdul Odudu Sulemane were set free in court.  

According to the prosecutor, ACP Okyere Darko, the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo, had instructed the police to stop pursuing the matter because they had insufficient evidence against the accused persons. This, to me, was as though a deadline had been provided to finish the case.

This decision was, indeed, taken on 9th May, 2016. A letter that was signed by Senior State Attorney, Marrie Louise- Simmons, which  I intercepted on Wednesday, May 17,  gave those orders. 

At this moment,  I know I'm not the only one  so convinced that the president's adulation for the rule of law is nothing but a myth.  The police did a shoddy job on this matter yet the Inspector -General of Police (IGP) has  kept mute.  Or he did not bother to show interest in the case? 

What if those doltish guys had killed the  judge, Mary Senkyire, in the process of their raid in the court? Is the police saying they would not have recognised anyone to arrest? May be I'm so ignorant, but Is that not crap?  And it is not as if the police have not in the past conducted excellent investigations and have brought to book criminals who had left crime scenes before the arrival of the police.

Granted that the details the state attorney had given are, indeed,  true then the IGP should smell pepper and not the the State Attorney.

I think government's handling of the issue is rather providing a lot of incentives to hooliganism and the rule of anarchy. In any serious country,  the IGP would be summoned for grilling.

Regardless the fact that the AG, Sophia Akuffo has said she was oblivious of the ruling and what must have triggered it,  Ghana is setting a bad precedence  with the way justice is delivered. 

The NPP has in the past said these vigilante groups should not be disbanded because of their contributions to the party in the 2016 elections period.  When the chairman of the NPP in the Ashanti Region has publicly said the activities of these 
forces are useful, Why will the party not have a meeting to interfere with Justice? 

The last straw that broke the camel's back:  the communicators of the ruling NPP who are found on radio doing what they know best; crying themselves hoarse and defending the indefensible in this matter. 

Except one's head is filled with elephant dung, why hail and defend a broad day light crime that could have cost a judge her life?

Before you mention Muntie 3,  know that those 3 dazed guys danced to the tune they asked for. Though their party was in power, their colleague communicators  ranted to support them, the rule of law prevailed. They were hugely fined and thrown into prison custody for their foolery before the disgusting,shameful opening of a petition book to free them was initiated. 

A comparison of the Delta 8 and the Muntie trio in this regard is a farrago of tripe.

Government needs to stop the jokes and get serious on this. The international community is watching us too. We can't pummel the rule if law in the face at a time our president has promised a new era of governance.

We must not allow  justice to be selectively served while we have always boasted that our Ghana, that has a venerable lawyer as a president,  is the beacon of democracy in Africa.

In all of these let it be known also that common sense is not bought with gold bars.


The writer, Emmanuel Henryson Okrah, is a broadcast journalist with Sunyani-based Sky FM and Peacefmonline.

His email is piesieokrah@gmail.com

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