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It’s been ringing in my already aching head for minutes, so I have to ask – out loud – why do these guys skip jail terms and end up with 2,400 cedi fines and six months bond for good behavior? The response I get is, why do you bother your head over these things? Shouldn’t I be bothered? I sure should.
It’s a call to duty, a call to serve humanity and particularly when in the times we find ourselves, these guys have become the Barabbases in the Pontius Pilate court where Jesus was tried. “Not the Montie 3 but the Delta Force 13,” seems to be the cry.
The analogy works for me not just because I’m a practicing and believing Catholic, but also because in this country, wrongdoing and shouting matches are drumming out decency and good behavior. When you log onto social media each day, many prefer to defend their parties in ways they have never defended their parents, spouses, children, country or even their religions and for Christians, Christ, who in the coming days, is meant to die for our sins.
Unruly behavior has dominated our political space from my adolescent to adult life, particularly, since our return to civilian rule some twenty-five odd years ago. The common sense that was pumped into the loads on our necks seems to have fast eroded. Reasoning has almost given way to political punditry, dogmatism is eroding the sense of good judgment, as utter lack of literary skills is compensated for with arrogance and sharp tongue, (the latter being Kwame Appiah’s description). No one needs to learn basic grammar before commenting on social media. And the poorer their language, the more acerbic their tongues; one shadows the other. It hurts that the next generation may consider the current state of affairs the way things are done.
But to wake up to court rulings that in essence, applaud hooliganism and actually encourage young people, no matter how hungry or deserving of a fair hearing they are, to physically remove lawful office holders and run from open court with fines of 2400 cedis and months’ bond of good behavior, is like adorning them with medals for excellent behaviour.
The Chief Justice is yet to release all the innocent jailbirds in our prisons as part of that campaign to rid prisons of innocent souls, but her assign chooses to free those who defy the courts in an open sitting over their folly. John Ekow Mensah, the trial judge’s ruling also makes nonsense of the well-being of Mary Senkyire, the previous judge, who escaped attack at the hands of these young men and surely deserve terms in prison for their own safety.
Is Ekow Mensah saying Mary Senkyire could have been attacked for doing her lawful duty? Is this new Judge so removed from the public outcry over the mayhem these hoodlums are visiting on innocent Ghanaians, ostensibly because they brought victory to the ruling party? I must say that I pity anyone whose vote was based on the advice of these criminals. Yes, that’s what they are. They are nation wreckers who must be kept away from decent people, including the police whom they have countlessly attacked.
I know the nonsense about due process has started on social media. But that’s what it is, really. It’s a garbage that must be consigned to Zoomlion trucks before it begins to emit further awful odor. The Woyome case was decided by judges. The Montie 3 case was decided by judges. The 2012 election petition was decided by judges. Therefore, if in some of the listed cases and a host others, justice was not deemed to have been done, how can everyone conclude today that justice was served in the Delta Force 13 case?
If attacking judges in the election petition and threatening same in the Montie 3 cases warranted custodial sentences, it must beat any grain of commonsense that invading a public office, forcibly removing a state official and fleeing the bosom of a judge warrants mere reprimand.
Someone needs to remind our judges that their calling requires that they act as God in their judgment and not Jesus Christ. Every Christian knows what the latter would do in cases like the ‘Delta Force 13 Invasions’. But God working through Moses would certainly proffer commensurate punishments for the thirteen. Punishments that would send shocks down many spines, so that they may recognize his power.
The trial Judge, in my view, failed not just this generation, but many that would follow. Because his decision has become precedent and can in the near future be the basis upon which other criminals can escape the long arm of the law. The Judge has also unwittingly given credence to rumours that the last invasion of the Kumasi Circuit Court was a result of supposed breach of trust. That it was assured that the Judge was meant to set loose those aimless lads to further rampages in the service of their paymasters.
It is instructive to note that in the coming days the eight who stormed the open court to release these thirteen will be put before a judge. All well-meaning Ghanaians must appeal to the Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood, to heed the President’s call to the Inspector General of Police, not to pander to him, his government or party and hand that case to a judge whose cause is to Ghana. Because it is within her power to ensure that justice is well served.
She and all in this maze cannot pretend that justice has been served. I know she and many of them will go to church in this Easter season. If there is nothing to compensate Christ for his coming to die for our sins, let her ensure that these criminals who defied the courts do not return as heroes. She cannot retire with this as a living memory of her stewardship.
I rest my case.