The last time I wrote about how your minister for this region was sadly hailed for what the prolific writer and trained lawyer Rodney Nkrumah Boateng described as “fighting lawlessness with lawlessness”. I said watching Henry Quartey turn himself into police, prosecutor and judge, pronouncing pedestrians guilty of an offence in the road traffic law and handing them instant degrading punishments had long-term consequences for law enforcement.
The law’s punishment for those refusing to use the footbridge at the Madina Zongo Junction does not include making them squat in or sweep the streets on pain of being flogged. Do I hear shouts of “go to court if you disagree”? Yes, those who point leaders to the law’s specific command on what ought to be done with excavators found at galamsey sites are being told the same – “go to court”! Citizens complain about clear unconstitutional and criminal conduct by rogue operatives in the National Security outfit while some of your men defend them.
They have officially been found guilty of misconduct, but I hope we don’t have to “go to court” to get them properly sanctioned and implement the sound reforms advised by the eminent Emile Short Commission. Ordinary citizens must be witnessing the acts of total disregard for due process and law without any consequence. There is a real danger with general compliance and law enforcement, especially when people in authority and those making the laws are seen to disregard the law or break it without consequence.
Our “honourables” made the Imposition of Restrictions law at the sight of Covid-19. It empowered Mr President to issue Executive Instruments as and when advised by the experts during the pandemic. This is because Covid-19 is a public health crisis for which government must protect lives. You banned rallies, yet you broke the law to campaign for votes.
We saw you politicians break the law with impunity, but only poor citizens got arrested and punished with fines and jail terms for not wearing masks etc. Recently, the Christ Embassy church got into trouble for breaking the law you keep renewing each month for good reasons. You have banned funerals, allowing private burials with only 25 participants for good reasons. Families are denied the bodies of their relatives killed by Covid-19 because, by the science and advice from the experts, you must insist such corpses are buried immediately without ceremony.
You just broke the law again with all who matter in your government. News broke in July 2020 that Covid-19 overcame my good friend Sir John. You put your life in danger, filing past a Covid-19 corpse displayed in the open to a great mass of mourners who breached all the Covid protocols you put in the law for us to observe.
The police that supervised all this is the same that is shamelessly using the state’s power – the people’s power to suppress the people’s #FixTheCountry protest in the name of enforcing the law. If things continue this way, soon, you will not be able to continue the selective Animal Farm enforcement of the laws you disregard with impunity. Leaders know the way, they go the way, and they show the way. Let your example fix the law; it will #FixTheCountry.
Source: Samson Lardy Anyenini
Editor’s Note: Samson Lardy ANYENINI is a Ghanaian lawyer and journalist who works for Multimedia Ghana’s Joy Fm. He hosts Joynews and Joy FM’s weekend current affairs news analysis Newsfile programme. He won the category of Best Journalist for 2019 GIJ Annual Awards.