Opinion: Otumfuo, Don’t You Think Goat-Thieves Are Plain Stupid?! – By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

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Asantehene Otumfuo Osei-Tutu, II

At the Chief Justice’s Forum held in Kumasi, the Asante Regional Capital, on Monday, November 20, His Majesty, The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei-Tutu, II, was widely reported to have decried the uneven quality of justice routinely delivered by the members of the country’s judiciary. This state of judicial incongruity, according to the most powerful traditional ruler in the country, not only left much to be desired, it also seriously undermined the credibility, image and the reputation of our British-inherited court system (See “Asantehene Questions Quality of Justice Delivery After Delta Force Saga” Citifmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 11/21/17).

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As usual, His Majesty cited the stereotypical example of the proverbial goat-thief who routinely got hit with the hefty fine of at least GH₵ 5,000, in addition to being slapped with a long jail term, while the members of the pro-New Patriotic Party (NPP) Delta Force vigilante operatives, who recently sprung 13 of their members from the legitimate custody of the Kumasi Circuit Court, only received what literally amounted to a fraternal tap on the wrist in the sum of a piddling fine of GH₵ 1,800 apiece and promptly discharged.

That the Delta Force vigilantes indulged in the lurid politics of ethnic chauvinism, when they sought to manhandle the Akufo-Addo-appointed Asante Regional Security Coordinator, must be roundly condemned. And, indeed, yours truly, for example, was one of the first media observers and operatives to condemn this dastardly act of the Delta Force vigilantes. Even so, what amused me obstreperously about Otumfuo’s analogy of the Goat-Thief, regarded the fact that these petty thieves do not seem to be capable of learning that it is about time they joined the teeming ranks of our big-time political robber-barons who have been rubbing the Ghanaian taxpayer raw and naked, like Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome and his hoodlum pack of key National Democratic Congress’ operatives and getting away with their loot and judicial wishy-washy pretense like it was the perfect thing to do, by way of their yeomanly contribution towards the economic development of Ghana.

The fact of the matter – and Otumfuo Osei-Tutu would feel most scandalized to hear this – is that Mr. Jerry John Rawlings did far more indescribably worse to effectively damage the confidence, image and the reputation of the country’s judicial system than could ever be said of the Delta Force vigilantes who, all they did wrong was help their associates escape the excruciatingly punitive tentacles of judicial discipline. We also ought not to forget that in the infamous case of Chairman Jerry John Rawlings, it was to order/cause the summary extra-judicial Mafia-style execution of the three Akan-descended Accra High Court judges.

Now, who is more dangerous, if I may humbly and politely ask Nana Asantehene: Chairman Rawlings or the 8 Delta Force’s members who only all-too-logically sought to finally make the law fairly bend or lean their way, in much the same manner that our 1992 Republican Constitution and our judicial system have afforded the Rawlingses, the Tsikatas and the Mahamas, and the list goes on and on, a free pass to wreak havoc on the pates of the rest of us bona fide “Nobody” Ghanaian citizens?

You see, this is where the real problem with our judicial system comes from – the deliberate and flat and hypocritical refusal of the richest and most famous and powerful among us to look and examine the real problems plaguing our body politic, as Ghanaians are wont to say, and call a spade a spade, and not by its dodgy technical designation or label of a “mechanical earth-excavator.” You see, if Otumfuo Osei-Tutu, II, really cared about the morally regressive behavior of the Delta Force vigilantes, he would have since long barred the reprobate and murderous likes of Chairman Rawlings and the latter’s powerful minion, Mr. John Dramani Mahama, for just two examples, from making his Manhyia Palace their routine port of call.

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