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NDC's petition to Commonwealth hypocritical - Attorney-General

BY: Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson
NDC's petition to Commonwealth hypocritical - Attorney-General
Godfred Yeboah Dame - Attorney General and Minister of Justice

The government has described as hypocritical the move by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to petition the Commonwealth of Nations over alleged human rights violations against members of the party.

The Attorney-General (A-G) and Minister of Justice, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, said what the NDC was alleging as human rights violations were actually the rule of law and justice at work.

He said it could not be true that the law courts were being used to persecute members of the NDC when the same courts had ruled in favour of such persons in the past.

For instance, he said, it was hypocritical for the NDC to claim that Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni, a former boss of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), was being persecuted.

“It is the same Dr Opuni that had a Supreme Court decision in his favour on the allegation of bias against the judge, and the state deployed the legal process to have that decision reviewed.

When the Supreme Court ruled in his favour, the NDC hailed the ruling, when it went against him, the NDC was castigating the court. This was clearly hypocritical and misleading, he said.

The A-G made the comments during an interview with the judicial press corps after the hearing of a case at the Supreme Court Tuesday [March 1, 2022].

Read also: NDC petitions Commonwealth over 'human rights violations'

Accountability

The NDC at a press conference last Monday accused the government of violating the human rights of its members and using the courts to silence them.
General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, mentioned the trials of Dr Opuni, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, the National Chairman of the party and Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, the Ranking Member on the Finance Committee of Parliament, as examples of the alleged persecutions.

However, Mr Dame said the government was not interested in going to court on flimsy or trumped up charges but the sole purpose of dragging any former official in the erstwhile NDC administration to court was to ensure accountability.

“This petition by the NDC is an attempt to run away from justice. All the government has sought to do is to ensure that there is accountability.

The cases we have investigated and the actions that we have filed in court are all on accounts of solid evidence we have unearth after thorough and painstaking investigations. The government does not go to court on the spur of the moment or without any basis,” he added.

Refuge

The A-G said the petition by the NDC was not a surprise, accusing the members of the party of mostly running to international forums for refuge when they were being brought to book in the country.

“I can cite the case of Woyome who sought refuge in the African Court of Human Rights, alleging bias against the Supreme Court of Ghana . The African Court of Human Rights said the action had no basis,” he said.

He said the petition by the NDC was a ruse to shield its members from justice.

“No amount of distraction will deter the Attorney-General from ensuring that justice is sought for the people of Ghana,” he added.

According to him, instead of seeking audiences in international forums, the NDC should rather put its house in order and mount a strong defence for its members facing trials.

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