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Prof Kludze calls for a repeal of the Transitional Provisions   
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A former Justice of the Supreme Court has called for a repeal of the Transitional Provisions in the 1992 Constitution saying it had granted immunity for criminal acts committed in the name of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).

Prof. A.K.P. Kludze, an Emeritus Professor of Law and a retired Judge of the Supreme Court, said an amendment of the Statute of Limitations must follow the repeal so that in respect of civil claims, time may run only from the date the repeal becomes effective.

He was speaking on Wednesday at the third day of a three-day J.B. Danquah Memorial Lecture series organized by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS) in Accra.

It was under the theme "Institutional Responses to the Challenges of Nationhood and Democratic Governance in Ghana."

Prof Kludze described a transitional provision in a given legislation as a temporary arrangement that took care of inconsistencies that might arise when a new law came into effect but stressed that those in the 1992 Constitution were crafted with the intent that they should be enduring as long as the constitution remained in force.

"This means that persons killed or maimed, brutalized, falsely arrested and imprisoned, in the name of or on the orders of that military regime, cannot have redress in any court of law. The perpetrators cannot be asked to account for their actions. I do not believe that that was what Flt Lt J.J. Rawlings wanted," he said.

He said that he believed Former President Rawlings would like to account for his stewardship to the citizenry stressing that as long as there exist no accountability; the situation created an avenue for peddling of rumours, falsehoods and half-truths about the PNDC regime.

"Persons who acted irresponsibly and in defiance of the orders of the PNDC may have hidden behind the immunity granted by the Transitional Provisions," he said.

Referring to a recent statement made by Dr Obed Asamoah, a former PNDC functionary, that the provisions were a contract made between the coup makers and Ghanaians, Prof Kludze said the military rulers rather imposed the provisions on the people.

"To say to the people of Ghana that they would not get their freedom unless they agreed to indemnity for their oppressors would be a case of blackmail and of undisguised and unmitigated military duress. Any agreement under such circumstances would be unenforceable under any system of jurisprudence. Our freedom in not negotiable," he said.

Prof Kludze said since Ghana should not anticipate any more military overthrow of government, there was no need to arrange what he described as an appeasement in advance for coup makers as found in the transitional provisions in the constitution, adding that an appeasement would rather invite and embolden military adventurers to attempt coups d'etat.

"Dr Asamoah's argument that the removal of the transitional provisions would frighten future coup makers to seek to perpetuate themselves in power, is immature, we do not and should not anticipate any more military overthrow of our government," he said.

The J.B. Danquah Memorial Lecture series was instituted in 1968 in memory of Dr Joseph Boakye Danquah who died in prison in February 1965. He was a lawyer, dramatist and a journalist.

The themes for the lectures were originally restricted to fields like law, history, philosophy and literature but in 1976, the first science lecture was delivered on an otherwise humanities-dominated platform. Out of the 43 lectures given so far, 13 have been on scientific themes.
Source: GNA

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