“At his best, man is the noblest of all animals, separated from law and justice, he is the worst”.
“As long as the world shall last, there will be wrongs and if no man objected and if no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever”
Clarence Darrow (1859 – 1938), a prominent American lawyer
INCROYABLE! – And the French version of the words ‘incredible’, ‘unbelievable’, ‘unthinkable’ fell from the lips of the man with a smattering of French on hearing that George Adjei, the Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator had been dragged from his office. The Delta Force, identified as a group of strongly built men who were known to be providing security for the then NPP flagbearer had wished their favourite, one Mohammed had been offered that position. Haba! I.K. Gyasi would say. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. A court where the slightest noise is met with a charge of contempt!
True, the Delta Force had contributed somehow towards the success of the NPP. They had fed on ‘special’ diets of five balls of kenkey and twenty servings of chichinga at a go, plus six hours of physical drills at gyms to obtain the Brobdingnagian structure—all at their own expenses. They took many risks and the fear of their presence kept potential political attackers and ballot box snatchers at bay. They had been arrested together with their leader, Kwadwo Bamba, and granted police inquiry bail, on Friday, 24th March, 2017. They had arrogated to themselves the sole authorship of the success of NPP, the contributions of the moneyed members, the lettered ones, the riff-raffs, notwithstanding. Then the group appeared in court (K.M.A. Court) in Kumasi, before Her Lordship, Justice Mary Senchire, who after listening to the pleadings by their 5 – panel lawyers, remanded them into prison custody to appear again before her on the 20th of April. By that time, without their gargantuan meals, their prodigious structure would have deflated. Then, presto, as if in a fairy tale, pandemonium broke out, and in the disruptive revolt, the 13 escaped. Escaped? Like Lawrence Anini of Bendel State, Nigeria, who would autograph press messages in Robin Hood Fashion, the group had ‘bench warrants’ for their re – arrest. Paradoxically, they themselves turned themselves in, and the judge, Justice Ekow Mensah, was understandably lenient with them on that score, fining them GH¢ 2,400 each (a total of GH¢ 31,200). The substantive case is still pending, and on the 20th of April, they will know their fate. There is always an opportunity for an appeal for bail, since the offence is a bailable one.
The ink in the pens of commentators have not dried up. Some people question the effrontery and impertinence of the Delta Force for ‘attacking’ the Security Coordinator appointed by the President, Nana Addo. Some are asking the condition of ‘security’ if the Coordinator could be so ruthlessly, defiantly and brazenly attacked. The Daily Graphic editorial of April 10, 2017, noted: “…if the police had been vigilant, they would have nipped the barbaric behavior in the bud. It was failure on the part of the police that allowed the situation to degenerate into the level it got to at the court, as there were many lapses on the day of the event…”.
Mr. Kennedy Agyapong, MP for Assin Central, has, despite the various interpretations and misinterpretations given his earlier statement on the Delta Force and their action, stated that the group’s action amounted to a disgrace to the party and the President, “… no one can defend them on this action, and they didn’t do well at all… they have disgraced all of us… I do not support nonsense…”. And Antwi Boasiako (Chairman Wontumi) is in a dilemma: to be patriarchal to the Delta Force; to be subservient to the rule of law; or to be loyal to the President.
Various political pundits, and men of God have roundly condemned the actions of the Delta Force – The Catholic Bishops’ Conference, has described the actions as “…lawlessness that only goes to discredit the country’s hard – won independence … we reiterate our earlier call on the appropriate security agencies to enforce the laws of the land and ensure safety of life and property”.
The IGP has declared ‘war’ on vigilante groups. He noted, on his visit to Kumasi, that the 8 persons who aided the 13 to escape would be charged with “disturbing court” under Section 223 of the Criminal Offences Act (Act 29 of 1960) and “resisting arrest and rescuing” under Section 226(1B) of Act 29 of 1960.
Mr. Albert Kan Dapaah, the Minister for National Security has noted:” … some people have constituted themselves into action groups and are undertaking certain actions that are against the laws of Ghana … the law enforcement agencies are doing everything to ensure that those who were involved in the recent incidents in Kumasi will be dealt with appropriately and in accordance with the laws of this country …. We must not mix criminality with politics…”
And the President who could not sleep for inheriting an economy that is in poor shape may yet be suffering from insomnia or somnambulism on hearing of the actions of Delta Force. He was presidential in his remarks: “The events in Kumasi are being brought systematically under control in the way that they should be and we assure the nation that we are not wavering from the commitment that we made that we are going to serve Ghana under the conditions of the rule of law”. William Pitt is reputed to have said,” …where law ends, tyranny begins”. Francisco Jose de Goya states: “The sleep of reason produces monsters”, and Wendall Phillips notes: “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty”.
No ‘equalisation’ here, but people are putting on their ‘holier-than-thou’ garb, rather too early. What are the traits of the two major political parties (NPP and NDC)? Didn’t the progenitor of the NDC, that is PNDC, supervise the murder of the three judges, Justice Fred Poku Sarkodie, Mr. Justice Kwadwo Agyei Agyapong and lactating Mrs. Justice Cecilia Koranteng Addow, on June 30, 1982? What about some key NDC personalities threatening people’s lives with AK47; and what about the brother of Collins Dauda (Bamba) who openly declared a hobby of ‘murder’? What did the NDC do when the Monntie 3 were jailed for threatening to rape the Chief Justice? And the jail break of the PNDC era? We must grow out of these, but all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Agreed that the people of Ghana voted for ‘change’. It should be a change for the better not for worse.
People should use the ‘triduum’: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday ahead of us to do a ‘mea culpa’ so that their sins may be forgiven them. The Invincible Forces, the Terminator 1 Forces, the Titanic Forces, the Tai Chi Forces of Central Region the Shaolin Forces of Volta Region, the Kandahar Forces’ of the Northern Region, the Bolga Bulldogs of Upper East, the Cyborg Forces of the Upper West, the Holland Boys and Azorka Boys of Tamale should use their stupendous strength to build Ghana rather than resorting to manly displays of ‘machoism’. When Joe Louis, the Brown Bomber (1914-1981), heavy weight champion was asked by Coshocton Tribune whether he would chase Billy Conn if he hit and ran, Joe replied: “He can run but he can’t hide”, and that appears to be the fate of the Delta Force men. There is enough warning to them; however, an objective and considerate court is likely to use the discretion prudently, especially since the Delta Force men did not appear to have ‘touched’ the Security Coordinator.