When Laymen Explain Legalese

Leaving the narration of proceedings of high profile political cases in the hands of a party General Secretary, who has the penchant for propaganda, is a national security threat.

The preliminary handling of the election petition before the Supreme Court has had the misfortune of being subjected to this kind of treatment at the hands of a party General Secretary, giving cause for those who pleaded for a televised hearing to say “there we are”.

The avoidance of opaqueness in cases such as we have on our hands today is non-negotiable, if we are to obviate chaos. Therein lies the wisdom and justification in the demand by a section of stakeholders for a televised presentation of the proceedings in court. This way, Ghanaians would have the opportunity of making their own deductions from the proceedings and not rely on the tainted narrations of people who get lost in complex legalese and even doze off when learned counsels engage each other in the courtroom.

Unfortunately, however, their request was not obliged, thereby giving a blank cheque, somewhat, for the proceedings to be misrepresented by an assortment of groups in ways that suits them. We do not know how the NDC General Secretary, Asiedu Nketia, interpreted “further and better” particulars to his party supporters, since this is another propaganda subject which he can treat in any way he deems fit.

With legalese copiously used in adjudicating such a complex case, it is beyond our ken how an uninitiated person steeped in concentrated propaganda can educate his constituents on proceedings without being subjective.

That is the milestone we have reached in this case. Following proceedings themselves on the screens in the comfort of their homes would prime the citizenry to filter the truth from propaganda and so be in a better position to receive the verdict without raised adrenalin.

News about the Ghana Bar Association’s (GBA) planned education project on the petition was widely welcomed, but with no sign of it coming into fruition, laymen would suffer greatly the misinformation that party activists, who mostly slumber in court, would churn out to them.

Some newspapers included “statutory irregularities” when they reported the tasks of the Supreme Court, an erroneous inclusion about which Gabby Otchere-Darko had to take issues with subsequently.

This clearly makes a case for the importance of reporting exactly what transpires in court without any addition or subtraction, to avoid the use of propaganda to diabolically misinform a particular party’s constituents about the court proceedings.

Being the single man who has crusaded for the televising of the court proceedings, the action of propagandists in interpreting the preliminary matters makes the fears of Gabby appear to have been confirmed.

With the decision already taken by the Supreme Court not to allow live coverage as the Kenyans did theirs, we would just make do with the status quo but with an entreaty to the vile propagandists, who have no legal acumen, to eschew interpreting proceedings to their constituents, since this is really beyond them, so they will not be a threat to national security.

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