“As the hearing start, I look forward to a speedy resolution of the case and the deepening of our democratic process. I believe in the legal process and I pray for courage and a clear mind for all the judges and lawyers and officers of the court. I trust that the live broadcast will bring understanding and greater acceptance of the Supreme Court’s work and decisions. Good luck to all,”– Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
One cannot but be grateful to the Bearded Old Man above when one is afforded the opportunity to witness history being made. For the first time in the history of this country, court proceedings were screened live on national television. April 16, the day on which the epoch making feat took place, happens to be my wedding anniversary so it has been etched in my memory.
The live broadcast became possible when the Chief Justice (CJ) vetoed the Supreme Court’s decision not to allow a live broadcast. As soon as the announcement was made, all those who kicked against the idea of a live broadcast made a complete turnaround and hailed the idea. A chubby journalist with a very bloated belly, who claims to be a pollster, is on record to have said a live broadcast of the proceedings in court was not a necessity. He said calling for a live broadcast was absurd because others too could call on the Supreme Court to move the hearing to the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium. But as soon as the CJ vetoed the Supreme Court’s earlier ruling against a live broadcast, he was the first to go on air to welcome the move. Hypocrisy, isn’t it?
The live broadcast of the court’s proceedings is not only a victory for public advocacy, but also a giant step for transparency and the right of the people for a public hearing. The only disadvantage of the live telecast is that most of my compatriots abandon work to watch the proceedings, thereby reducing productivity. Go round offices and various places of work during a live broadcast of the court proceedings and see things for yourself, if you doubt me!
The nation virtually came to a stand-still as Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia clinically dissected the case to the admiration of all and sundry. Even some Zu-za fanatics could not help but applaud Dr. Bawumia’s splendid performance.
In the comfort of radio and television studios, you hear the propagandists say the petitioners’ case is laughable. Ironically, one does not see the lawyers of the three respondents laughing in court. What one sees is a desperate effort by the lawyers of the three respondents to stop the chief witness of the petitioners from opening up the can of worms.
Many interesting things took place at the Suprene Court last week. One of such was seeing Afari-Gyan strongly challenging Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson to a chewing gum contest. It is my hope that he has strong jaws to sustain his newfound love for the gum because the trial isn’t ending anytime soon.
One interesting comment by Dr. Bawumia in the witness stand was how he described the EC’s continuous explanation to almost all the irregularities and malpractices. He wondered why all irregularities and malpractices were explained as errors, except the declaration of the results by the EC Chairman, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan.
Abusuapanin, many were those who tongue-lashed Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, aka Sir John, when he said he smelled an umbrella in Dr. Bawumia’s near fatal accident. But after Dr. Bawumia’s splendid display in the witness stand, some of us now see a lot of sense in Sir John’s outburst. I will therefore not hesitate to join the voices calling on the leadership of the Great Elephant to tighten up security around the chief witness of the petitioners. My reason? The leadership of the eagle-headed Umbrella cannot be trusted because they can do anything to maintain their grip on power.
During cross-examination by the counsel for the first respondent, Tony Lithur, it became obvious to all that the counsel deliberately raised his voice in order to intimidate Dr. Bawumia. Human as he is, Dr. Bawumia was somewhat shaken initially. He, however, regained his confidence and did justice to the questions.
One incident which continues to play in my mind was when counsel for the first respondent suggested that Dr. Bawumia deliberately labelled some pink sheets twice to deceive the court. Dr. Bawumia looked him straight in the eye and said,” I also suggest to you that it is untrue.” The response threw the packed court into a rib-cracking laughter.
Many argue that Tony Lithur has been able to crumble the petitioners’ case with just a single blow. Others too say all Tony Lithur did was much ado about nothing.
Did I hear you ask what I think? I think Tony Lithur should have taken a cue from the comments of the judge who wondered whether Tony was going to repeat the same exercise so many times. Lawyers I’ve spoken to support this stance. They say Tony should have moved on to another point since it was obvious he could not discredit the stance of the witness. Others too say, perhaps, he was using that tactics to make the case drag.
The case resumes today, Monday, and I cannot help but wonder what the pregnant week has in store for us. As you already know, it is only when two ‘amegas’ (big people) meet that we see the amegaoo! So let’s just wait and see!