GHANA: Akufo Addo’s Legal Team Ought to Bite – By Kwamr Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

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Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
The perennial, steady, systematic and vicious attempts by hired and paid elements of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to incriminate the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) with an alleged involvement in a drug racket in the United States, must be stopped immediately by the legal team of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, or the electioneering and long-term political fallout could be both incalculable and irreparable (See “Nana Addo’s Lawyers Poised for Legal Battle Over Drug Allegations” Ghanaweb.com 7/22/11).

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This allegation, it may be recalled, originally surfaced widely in the lead-up to Election 2008. Back then, too, as now, the legal team of the former Attorney-General and Justice Minister issued a statement threatening a libel suit against Akufo-Addo’s determined and unrelenting detractors. Back then, I vividly recall sitting on the edge of my seat and enthusiastically expecting these legal titans to sink our inveterate enemies and political opponents once and for all. Alas, either out of a naïve sense of complacency – in the form of a woefully miscalculated appreciation for the power of the media – or a scandalous underestimation of the potential gullibility of the proverbial average Ghanaian voter, or even a combination of both, the matter seems to have been quietly dropped for the rather equally naïve belief that, somehow, the NPP flagbearer could facilely ride on the heady wave of the phenomenal achievements of the Kufuor administration, of which the former Member of Parliament for Akyem-Abuakwa South had been a cardinal player.

And on the latter score, of course, special reference is herein made of Akufo-Addo’s crafting of the landmark Repeal of the Criminal Libel Code/Law. Likewise, the dauphin of the former President Edward Akufo-Addo had a three-decade record of cutting-edge human rights activism to back up his remarkable stature and reputation in postcolonial Ghanaian politics.

At any rate, what appears to have fuelled this dastardly attempt of the Rawlings-Mills posse to permanently and effectively tarnish the image of Ghana’s former Foreign Minister, allegedly, has something to do with the way and manner in which the Attorney-General’s Office, under the stewardship of Nana Akufo-Addo, handled some drug offences. And on the latter score, to his credit, Nana Akufo-Addo has on several occasions highlighted the fact that the portfolio of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice invariably deals with forensic evidence and delicate matters of a democratic constitutional culture, rather than sheer vigilantism or the cynical perception of ideological opponents and detractors.

Then, of course, there was this quaint theatrical NDC sneer about Nana Akufo-Addo’s having been supposedly made mince-meat of by a purportedly genius legal maven and certified common criminal by the name of Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata. Interestingly, within the span of a few years, the Tsikata episode appears to have been curiously wiped off the plate of Nana Akufo-Addo, while unsubstantiated allegations of drug abuse continues to be dangled over his pate by his sworn enemies and political detractors of the “Indemnity Clause”-protected National Democratic Congress. One brazen Akufo-Addo detractor, who has written and published several articles presuming to impugn the credibility of the NPP flagbearer’s “Listening” campaign tour, has even adopted the roguish mantra of cavalierly claiming that his unsubstantiated incrimination of Akufo-Addo “is already in the public domain.” The preceding, of course, feeds into the perennial pabulum of repeating a vicious lie until it begins to sound truthful in the ears of the politically unsophisticated.

Then in the wake of the infamous Amoateng episode, some mischief-maker in the pay of the NDC decided to concoct a patently unlikely narrative scenario in which Nana Akufo-Addo had been allegedly arrested at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport with an unspecified, albeit presumably remarkable, quantity of Indian Hemp or Marijuana, otherwise known in Ghanaian parlance as “Wee,” an obvious corruption of “Weed.”

What is rather curiously fascinating here is the fact that an apparently insignificant percentage of the NPP presidential candidate’s political opponents appear not to be fazed by the patent illogicality of having Mr. Amoateng, a former NPP-MP from the Nkoranza area of the Brong-Ahafo Region, promptly arrested, prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to a prison term by American judicial authorities while, somehow, a purportedly equally guilty Nana Akufo-Addo is casually allowed to enter and exit the same John F. Kennedy International Airport several times a year, since the allegation was first published by the Ghana Palaver, with impunity.

Well, I have been a resident of New York City for 26 years and never heard of such media poppycock. And so, perhaps the real drug-trafficking searchlights ought to be squarely focused on the editors and publishers of both the NDC-leaning Ghana Palaver and the Daily Post.

Still, unless Nana Akufo-Addo’s legal team begins to show that, indeed, it has a set of healthy legal teeth well-sharpened enough and poised to drawing real blood from those dead-set on derailing the presidential ambition and enviable political record of its distinguished client, both Nana Akufo-Addo and the entire membership, supporters and sympathizers of the New Patriotic Party had better kiss their luck goodbye.

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is a Governing Board Member of the Accra-based Danquah Institute (DI) and author of “Dr. J. B. Danquah: Architect of Modern Ghana” (iUniverse.com, 2005).
E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net.