Whenever we walk into those white buildings situated along the busy High Streets in Accra, we do so with so much hope. We do not just hope but we are more than certain that we are bound to receive justice; not because those walls of the High Court can give us justice but the people that bear the title ‘justice’ preside over those courts being bound by oath to deliver justice based on evidence and nothing else.
For years, I have held the attire in very high esteem until I was proven wrong on September 9, 2015. Ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas had done it again.
This time, the revelation was more shocking. In the video, there was evidence of Judges collecting sums of money as low as Gh¢300 for murder cases and ruling in favour of the suspect and in the end disregarding the facts of the case.
Some decided to trade justice for one or two goats (not to say that this deal is more classy than the former). Some even collected the money and asked with impunity for more to be added.
When I first watched it, I could not believe what I was seeing so I had to replay about three times for it to sink in. As for the rape cases, they were thrown out of the courts like paper bags of no value.
This is not to say that all the judges in Ghana are corrupt. But since too many cooks spoil the broth, justice is getting hard to find and as for evidence and truth they are becoming just like opinions.
We dare not consider the evidence because once it is handed over to ‘our lords’ they would do justice to it to the extent that it seems null and void.
‘Scandal of our time’ isn’t it? Hold on, there is more to come!
About a month ago, news broke about a boy who was allegedly battered by some policemen whom they went to dump at a hospital after he died. Autopsy report claimed that the boy had died of natural causes and Dr Sampene (the pathologist) challenged the boy’s family to produce their own autopsy if they doubted his report.
Well, in this case, you and I were not there but there is one thing I know; “In the medical field, we are encouraged to take history whenever we are seeing any patient because whatever happened in the past may have a link to the patient’s current condition. Dying of natural causes means that a person’s death is attributed to an illness or an internal malfunction but not due to any external causes. I rest my case.”
DCOP Kofi Boakye also categorically stated that his men were innocent and he did not even see any reason why his men would beat the boy up. Some of the policemen also claim that the boy had already fainted while they were chasing him so they caught him and put him in the back of their truck. If the commander is already supporting his men in an alleged case of police brutalising a civilian, then who is going to conduct any investigation into the matter? It would be like using the law to fight against THE LAW.
At the boy’s funeral, he was buried with a huge cutlass in hand, drinks and some knives around him. The family said the knives were to be used by him in the next world to take revenge on all those who caused his death. But will this “famanyame” attitude (leave it to God/ the gods) help us in such cases?
I believe the answer is a big NO! That is why we have a whole Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection which is supposed to fight for the vulnerable in society. Yet here we are with people whose political positions may be causing lip-locking to the extent that they cannot even advocate like they used to anymore. Some may be so power-drunk that they cannot even differentiate what is true from what is false.
I dare say that if Ghana did not have an Anas, the bad people would always be crowned as angels while the good suffer to even die just like it was before the Osu Children’s Home exposé that brought many to tears due to the cruelty and barbaric nature of most of the activities there.
A few weeks ago, there was a story on embezzlement where a group of people from the Accountant General’s Department were freed to assume normal duty on condition that they work to pay all the money that they embezzled. Yet, some people are imprisoned for many years for stealing goats.
Several people have even been on remand for years due to similar circumstances. Is this not all stealing? Or is it because the former had a white collar job and used his pen to aid him or her to amass wealth unlawfully? Does that make him/her different from the one who steals manually/using his physical strength?
I used to disagree with Karl Marx because I don’t usually swallow everything I read hook, line and sinker, especially when it deals with generalisation. He believed that there was a lot of social inequality and that the poor needed to rise up against the capitalist society. Also, Marx believed that laws are the product of class oppression and mostly in favour of capitalists. In Ghana, the legal aid system is defunct, therefore how are the poor supposed to have access to justice Pro Bono? All these issues corroborate his theory.
Ghana has to wake up because the aroma of the corruption coffee has been lingering on for far too long. Let us uphold the oaths that we swear and tell the whole truth before the truth loses its value.