In my candid submission on proceedings from the 2020 ongoing election petition, one thing baffles me as Counsels for the two political parties with the largest followers and the Electoral Commission engage in legal battles for victory at the apex court. I hear a number of times when the word ‘justice’ is repeated several times by the ‘Lead Counsel’ for the ‘Petitioner’. My question is at what point will the outcome of the Supreme Court ruling on the ongoing election petition bring justice to Ghanaians? Is it when the case is ruled in favour of the plaintiff or the defendants?
Let us bear in mind that this is not the first time Ghanaians are witnessing election results being challenged in our apex court and we can all attest to what happened in 2013 after the 2012 presidential election results were declared by the Electoral Commission and the ruling aftermath by the Supreme Court. What happened in terms of justice for the citizenry is something we can all ponder on now.
The issue of the word ‘justice’ being repeated in the apex courtroom during court sittings and subsequent press conferences by some counsels involved in the election petition ongoing is what baffles me. Just a few of days ago, it was publicly announced that a driver of the National Ambulance Services was attacked and killed by armed robbers when driving a pregnant woman in labour from Somanya to Akuse Government Hospital in the Eastern Region.
Now it happened that when a journalist from one of the radio stations interviewed a representative from the National Ambulance Services on welfare systems in place to cater for dependents of the deceased in a form of insurance compensation, his response was that no such provisions are in place by the National Ambulance Services to cater for the wife and child of the ambulance driver who lost his life whilst performing official duties for the State.
After the ambulance driver losing his life in the process of discharging his official duties, the State has no adequate compensation to cater for the wife and child he left behind when armed robbers attacked and killed him. The question is how many Ghanaian citizens have not been left homeless, orphaned, widowed, sick, destitute and starved, imprisoned without being heard on the account of gross injustice? But we are currently witnessing an election petition court proceeding with some Counsels arguing that Supreme Court ruling in contrary to their expectations will be tantamount to injustice and affront to justice for Ghanaians.
Let me state emphatically that in the midst of our political stability and governance, majority of Ghanaians still suffer from human right abuses, with a good number of Ghanaians being denied justice every day. A significant number of Ghanaian citizens are working hard for this country under unpleasant environments, and sometimes threaten their lives but nobody seeks justice for them.
Our legal system is becoming too polarized along political lines to the extent that it seems the easiest route to become a hero in the legal fraternity is one’s ability to handle and win big political cases in court. As a nation, we need to learn from other jurisdictions where great Lawyers devote their professional acumen to push ‘human rights agenda’ for the benefit of the entire citizenry. Some of these lawyers devote their time and intellectual ingenuity to source for funding and win cases for the downtrodden in the societies they find themselves. What we see in Ghana is the opposite.
What is becoming ubiquitous in Ghana within the legal fraternity is that majority of our legal brains are being intoxicated in litigations with political colours, with passion to win political cases for their clients in the name of justice for the people. In the end, the expectation is purely for personal political expediency in sharp contrast to their so-called purported justice they claim to be seeking for Ghanaians.
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