Following the dismissal of two judges reportedly charged with bribery and corruption by the Judicial Council of Ghana (JCG), one of the four National Democratic Congress-oriented lawyers who had earlier on accused some deceased judges of engagement in acts of bribery and corruption, Mr. Chris Ackumey, called on Chief Justice Georgina Wood to “render a public apology and compensate [the NDC-Four] for loss of income during the period of their ostracization[sic]” (See “CJ Must Apologize and Compensate Us – Chris Ackumey” Ghanaweb.com 9/7/11).
On the preceding score, we recall the fact that the four members of the Legal Team of the ruling National Democratic Congress chose the proverbial teachable period of Ghana’s “Constitution Week” – or some such – festivities to rudely and crudely impugn the credibility of the entire national judicial apparatus.
What was even more flabbergasting was the fact that the four licensed and practicing lawyers, including the recently deceased Mr. Larry Bimi, who until his death headed the National Center for Civic Education, publicly admitted to having actively participated in the bribery of judges presiding over their cases in order to unduly influence judicial verdicts.
What further complicated matters then was the flat refusal of the accusers to release the names of the accused. It was, indeed, the latter situational anomaly which precipitated the hauling of the NDC-Four before the General Legal Council, the department in charge of professional conduct among members of the legal community. Mr. Ackumey would later be alleged to have released the name of at least one long-deceased judge whose family, understandably, took umbrage at such devious attempt to impugn the dignity, credibility, integrity and the cherished memory of a beloved patriarch who was not in a position to defend himself.
Now, isn’t it rather pathetic for an evidently shameless and patently unconscionable Mr. Ackumey to be demanding both an apology and a compensation package from Chief Justice Wood on behalf of the NDC-Four, for having so shabbily and abjectly conducted themselves before the Ghanaian public at large? To begin with, there was absolutely nothing either new or altogether instructive about the clearly ideologically tinged allegations made by Messrs. David Annan, Abraham Amaliba, Raymond Atuguba and Larry Bimi. In sum, the mere fact that the judicial system is a human institution simply rendered it a matter of course that its operatives would, in no way, be envisaged as infallible and therefore incorruptible.
Secondly, the recent dismissal of the two allegedly corrupt judges is not the first occurrence of its kind in Ghanaian judicial history. And thirdly, and even more significantly, there is no evidence clearly indicating that the decision to remove the two judges, a male and a female, we are told, was either directly or indirectly based on any information furnished by any of the NDC-Four, including, of course, the late Mr. Bimi. Rather, we are categorically told that the dismissal of the two unnamed judges was directly and squarely based on information and/or charges “leveled against them by parties on whose cases they were sitting.”
And so, really, on the basis of precisely what would Mr. Ackumey have Chief Justice Wood apologize to the NDC-Four, whose most logical answer to the demand by the Ghana Bar Association to substantiate their allegations, by the way, was to sophomorically threaten to form a breakaway bar association to be led by Mr. Amaliba?
I have said this before and hereby repeat the same: that the logical temperament and shallow reasoning of the NDC-Four, if assumed to typify the mentality of the proverbial average Ghanaian lawyer, would not augur well for the salutary development of our country’s legal system. I sincerely hope that I am wrong. The latter allusion, of course, is to my fervent belief that, in general, the proverbial average Ghanaian lawyer is far more intellectually puissant and honest than any of the NDC-Four, including the late Mr. Larry Bimi, of course.
Source: 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 aut
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