If memory serves me accurately, it was Justice Samuel Azu-Crabbe, a blood relative, or perhaps even the elder brother of Justice V. C. R. A. C. Crabbe, who chaired the Special Investigations Board (SIB) in 1982, or thereabouts, that inquired into the brutal assassination of the three high court judges and the retired Ghana Army major, and submitted its rather meticulous and comprehensive report to the guilty-as-hell Rawlings-led junta of the so-called Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC).
I boldly remark herein that the half-junta regime of the so-called Provisional National Defense Council was as guilty as hell, because the SIB Report, a copy of which was purchased and gifted to me by a fairly well-known banker by the name of Mr. Afful-Bimpong, clearly indicated that key operatives of Mr. Rawlings’ cabinet had clearly been in the know and may well have systematically planned and orchestrated the Mafia-style execution of Justices Koranteng-Addow, Agyepong and Sarkodie; and also Major Sam Acquah.
And on the latter score, also, ought to be promptly pointed out that in the end, it was Mr. Amartey-Kwei who was made the proverbial “fall guy” or scapegoat by the PNDC regime.
Countrymen and women, what I am trying to get at here is that 89-year-old Justice V. C. R. A. C. Crabbe (generously blessed by Divine Providence with cognitive acuity and longevity), who is also reportedly the first Ghanaian to be appointed Ghana’s Electoral Commissioner, cannot pretend to be unaware of the sort of pathologically reprobate characters that Ghanaian voters are dealing with vis-a-vis the key operatives of the so-called National Democratic Congress (NDC), the direct ideological offspring of the erstwhile Provisional National Defense Council.
The preceding reference, of course, is in regard to the rather curious comment that Justice Crabbe is widely reported to have made on a television talking-heads, regarding the ongoing Supreme Court hearing of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) petition vehemently challenging the legitimacy of Election 2012 and, in particular, the declaration of Mr. John Dramani Mahama by the chairman of the Electoral Commission as winner of the 2012 Presidential Election.
According to the aforesaid report (See “Holding Two Elections Is the Cause of Current Dispute – Justice Crabbe” JoyOnline.com/Ghanaweb.com 4/23/13), Justice Crabbe would have Ghanaians believe that we are, somehow, too unsophisticated, or perhaps not cognitively nimble or malleable enough to cast two ballots in the same election for the selection of the President of our august Republic, as well as for our local Parliamentary Representatives. The obvious implication here, of course, is that if the presidential and parliamentary elections could be held separately, then, somehow, the current unsavory situation of flagrant and rampant ballot-rigging could effectively become a problem of the past.
The problem with this rather facile remediation approach is, of course, the fact that it is rather too facile to be taken seriously. This is because the holding of separate presidential and parliamentary elections was tried in 1992, I believe. And the outcome of the latter electoral regime found eloquent and resounding rejection in a book authored by the now-late Prof. Adu A. Boahen, the man who ran against the former Chairman Jerry John Rawlings. The book was pontifically and sensationally titled “The Stolen Verdict”; and it was that ramshackle state of electoral affairs which prompted the Ghanaian parliament to opt for the quadrennial conduct of a general election, rather than a presidential election first, and then a parliamentary election.
You see, fundamentally speaking, ballot-rigging has far less to do with unwieldy “multitasking” than the credibility and integrity of those entrusted with the same. This is what Ghanaians ought to be debating. Indeed, even as a member of Ghana’s most recent Constitutional Review Commission aptly indicated on the same television talking-heads program that featured Justice Crabbe, holding a separate presidential and parliamentary election could well create an unhealthy “bandwagon effect,” whereby the winner of the presidential election psychologically induces the voters to deliver her/him their wholesale mandate, or mandate en-masse as a logical crowning of her/his presidential victory lap or triumph.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
April 23, 2013
E-mail: [email protected]