2013 remains a day and date on Ghana?s political, historical as well as legal
calendar that will never escape the memory of many Ghanaians for a long time to
come.
The 2012 General Elections brought
in its wake a land mark litigation which has no precedence in Ghanaian legal
history. Many citizens split hair on various platforms as how the structure of
the case would be and the plausible outcome. This has indeed been a marathon of
legal proceedings associated with often heightened tempers both in the face of
the court and among the citizenry through the Communicators of the litigating
parties.
The lay Ghanaian without any legal
background have acquired some level of knowledge about court proceedings. Legal
Practitioners? alike besieged the Supreme Court to acquaint themselves with
legal knowledge of historical importance.Majority of Ghanaians desired to
appear at the last court of adjudication in the land, but space limitations
and security, restricted court attendance to parties involved in the litigation
and those whose presence in the face of the court is of relevance.
Legal vocabularies have also been
learnt over the period, such as the almighty ?Amicus curiae? which means friend
of the court, contempt,and contemnor. Electoral terminologies such as pink
sheet, over voting and the position of the Electoral Commissioner as the Chief
Returning Officer have all been learnt starting from?16th April?when
the live telecast began to the 14th August, 2013.
Article 125 (1) of the 1992
constitution states ?Justice emanates from the people and shall be administered
in the name of the Republic by the Judiciary which shall be independent and
subject only to this constitution? Again, Article 125 (2) also states ?Citizens
may exercise popular participation in the administration of justice through the
institution of public and customary tribunals and the jury and assessor
systems? The above constitutional provisions culminated in the live broadcast
on both radio and television. ?Therefore,
the Ghanaian media deserves a pat on their backs for going all out to bring the
legal proceedings to the populace in their homes and various platforms on daily
basis from the Supreme Court thereby loosing huge revenues in air time sales.
Congratulations to the ink
fraternity for going out of their way to play their social role of informing and
educating the Ghanaian. Media outlets especially the electronic, complained
about loss of revenue due to the period when the live telecast begins and ends.
The national broadcaster, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) felt the pinch
and threatened to curtail the live transmission of the court proceedings. But,
the passion for public service and civil society?s appeals got the broadcaster
to rescind that decision.
The National Peace Council in
collaboration with the various religious bodies have called on political party
leaders and their supporters to give peace a chance after the Supreme Court
judgment. Civil Society alike are equally asking all and sundry to allow peace
to prevail.
Again, the Security Agencies have
given every indication yet of their capacity to maintain peace and order during
and after the?29th August. This has been demonstrated through route
marches on the streets throughout the country. The plea is for the Security
Agencies to discharge their duty on that faithful day with tact and high sense
of professionalism. There should be no acts of steep exaggeration which might
escalate a simple scenario into a volatile one.
The?29th August, belongs
to the Justices of the Supreme Court. The prayer is for God to grant them the
boldness and the wisdom to deliver a resounding judgment that will appeal to
all parties involved in the litigation to up hold the rule of law.
Nonetheless, immeasurable working
hours have been lost to the court processes. This has affected productivity in
the country. Against, this back drop, civil society had earlier questioned the
intent and purpose of the live broadcast of the litigation process. However,
the leeway to enable the entire process to be transparent has been abused.
After the Supreme Court verdict, there should be an unreserved resumption to
serious work to a renewed life of serious activity to rejuvenate the economy.
The delivery of the final verdict
would also be a relief to the many citizens who have the penchant character of
lax thoughts and flung mouths without concern to what emerge out of them not to
incur invitation for contempt of court.
As the whole world focus on Ghana, let?s make ourselves proud and confirm our status
as the beacon of democracy and peace in Africa. The United States of American
Government has already issued a warning to her citizens to be cautious of their
movement on the?29th August, and after wards. We should unit our
front and hold firm our thoughts as well as behaviour to prevent Ghana from
slipping into the arena of war. As citizens let?s not give work to the
International media for all the wrong reasons. Ghana has passed many litmus
test and we are going to perfectly skip this hurdle with ease. Let us not cut
our noses to spite our faces.
Let the media spare the country any
pain that come with hotheads. The media should allow level heads to decide and
not provide any fertile ground for civil strife to occur. At least as a people
well aware of history, we remember the role that the media played in the1994
Rwandan genocide.
Thursday 29th August,
2013 should not be remembered with our heads down, but a day that reasoning and
rule of law trumped well over and above ignorant tendencies.
Let us remember that, ?The ones?
the gods would destroy they first make proud? Let us pay heed to the various
peace calls and eschew acts that will drown us as a people full of promise and pride
herself as the gateway to Africa.
Long live Ghana
Long live our democracy
Long live our judicial system.

Patrick Twumasi

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