Chief Justice Kwasi Anim Yeboah
There is no reward for those who serve this country called Ghana except death or disgrace. Therefore those who choose to serve the country must be prepared to be tied to stakes and shots without any due process. Or be prepared to be calumniated, berated, or disgraced. And it will certainly not matter whether you do right or wrong or die for the people or live all your life serving the people. If the time and opportunity come, a terrible fate will be dealt to you!
The above statement might well be on account of the ignorance of the people, not so much because they have any rational justification to do the most harm to their leaders. Our people are too incapable of reasoning in a logical manner, and they are imprisoned in the catacombs of this incapacity to think. Our educational system has also not trained us in any ethical and moral ways to reject evil sentiments and wishes against our leadership.
Let us take the allegation of bribery against the Chief Justice as our case in point. There is this lawyer called Afrifa whose client complained to the Ghana Legal Council that he had persuaded the client to give him a substantial amount of money to pay bribes in order to assure a successful outcome for his case.
Now note that this claim is serious enough on its face and throws the integrity of the lawyer into question. Instead of that lawyer restricting himself to denying the charge against himself, he makes a claim that the client had told him that some people took him to see the Chief Justice who demanded a bribe of $5 million in order to assure the success of his case. Of this amount, the lawyer claimed his client had told him he paid $50,000.
Intelligent minds hearing this type of story will object to its irrelevancy to the matter against the lawyer and question how the Chief Justice came into a case which was supposed to be about a complaint lodged by a client against his lawyer. If the client claims that the lawyer has cheated him, the flow of investigations has to trend towards the truth or falsity of the client’s claim.
The lawyer’s defence cannot comprise a shining tinsel thrown before simple minds to divert attention. What is the value of the claim that the client told his lawyer the Chief Justice demanded a bribe? How likely will that claim be to advance the lawyer’s defence?
The whole matter is a case in double hearsay where the lawyer is saying that the client told him the Chief Justice told him to pay a certain amount as bribe? At another multiple hearsay level, the lawyer is again saying that his client told him that the Chief Justice advised the client to fire him and replace him with another lawyer!
I have already stated that the lawyer should have advanced his defence without the irrelevant information as to what the client told him. When the Council meets to decide his fate, it will not matter what his client has told him. The whole case will depend on whether he took money from his client to pay bribe.
His defence will be to produce evidence to the contrary. It will not benefit his case to make any reference to whatever the client has told him about somebody else. Besides, it will be double hearsay on two levels. First the client told him…….. That is a classical example of inadmissible hearsay! Not only that…..The client told him that the Chief Justice told him….. That is another level of inadmissible hearsay.
Now, the Ghanaians, in reporting this matter, have also said that the lawyer said that his client told him that the Chief Justice told him to pay a bribe! Or that a lawyer has told us that his client told him that the Chief Justice told him to pay a bribe!
Anybody with any modicum of knowledge of how the law works will dismiss the whole matter with contempt once the first “told” drops into the narrative. But to many learned Ghanaians, it was a field day for the crucifixion of their Chief Justice.
There is a serrated phalanx of pungent insults and odiferous innuendoes rained against the person of the Chief Justice. Instead of presuming his innocence as per the mantra of law until proven guilty, he is already crucified and held up to be a thief, an archetypal criminal to whom corruption is a type of atavistic heritage.
Nobody has peeled off the multiple layers of hearsay in the lawyer’s claim. Nobody has questioned the relevance or the credibility of the lawyer’s account. Nobody cares that as irrelevant as the whole claim is to the lawyer’s case, the complainant who brought a petition against his lawyer, has denied that such conversation ever took place between himself and his lawyer.
He has even said that he had never met the Chief Justice in any private place apart from the courtroom. The Chief Justice has also denied the allegation and stated that he had never met the client anywhere apart from the courtroom.
Ghanaians have dismissed these denials with cacophonic derision, asking for the head of the Chief Justice on a spike.
It will be naive enough to think that people care for any truth. Indeed, this whole thing is about a mob-lynching western style where truth is of no moment. The people are happy enough to tar and feather their victim and parade him through the streets before finally lynching him! And how dare you spoil their fun with inconvenient truth!
When those NDC cronies cobbled together their minions at a press conference on the matter, they stated categorically that the Chief Justice should step aside for an investigation into the bribery allegation to be had. There were lawyers among them; but none of them asked the pertinent question as to exactly how any such investigation will proceed.
I imagine that they will call the lawyer who made the claim who will also call his client who has already denied the claim that any bribery took place. And then what? How will such a proceeding be like? You want a whole Chief Justice to step aside and cause a committee to meet in order to call a lawyer who will call a client who will deny that an incident of bribery occurred? Or what else do they expect to happen?
For people baying for blood like these hyenas, it is of no consequence that any truth will be found by anybody. Justice is not what they want; they prefer calumniation and killing. That is why the truth will not matter when they gang up on their victims.
A common traditional practice of destooling a Ghanaian chief is to pull the chair from under him for him to fall on his butt, and thereafter strip him naked and slap him on the head with his own sandals.
That should tell everybody what happens to any Ghanaian leader the mob makes a target……like this Chief Justice they are now busy flailing on a cross!
By Samuel Adjei