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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Are you now finding out that there is a problem with the constitution? – Adom-Otchere asks Sam Jonah

Paul Adom-Otchere, host of Good Evening GhanaPaul Adom-Otchere, host of Good Evening Ghana

Paul Adom-Otchere, the host of Good Evening Ghana (GEG) has criticized Sir Sam Jonah’s Rotary Club speech in which he [Sam Jonah] argues that there is a problem with the 1992 Constitution of Ghana where it has created “Executocracy”.

According to Adom-Otchere, the conversation about the 1992 Constitution is too old for Sam Jonah KBE to be making reference to in 2021 whilst addressing Rotary Club.

He said, “it is beautiful that Sam Jonah has joined the conversation, it is beautiful that Sam Jonah has joined the train but he has come in quite late for it’s an old conversation […] We have been talking about this constitution forever, is Sam Jonah now finding out that there’s a problem with the Constitution?

“Maybe he should have started by saying that, he has found that there is a problem with the Constitution a long time ago; this is something people have said for many years.”

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Adom-Otchere explained that there is a problem with the 1992 Constitution of Ghana because it was designed to protect a military junta.

“Some people sat down to write this constitution so that it will look a dictator’s book because they were writing the constitution to attract the PNDC, a military junta, to transfer itself into the civilian rule. To be able to convince the military junta that you can also be a civilian and have the same powers, they sat down and drew up this constitution. Some of these people are Sam Jonah’s friends; some of these people are still around,” he disclosed.

“They have brought us into this cul-de-sac; they have written the constitution for a monstrous dictator. Twenty-eight years later, Sir Sam Jonah is talking about it,” Paul Adom-Otchere said on Tuesday’s edition of his show monitored by GhanaWeb.

He noted that if the respected Senior Citizen of Ghana is talking about the 1992 Constitution now, then he should have been prompted by his speechwriters or researchers that efforts have been made in this direction.

“This is an old story, so they should have captured his narrative to reflect the reality that the constitution and the thinking about it, is old, is not new; no one is going to take credit for that today; is not new but an old conversation,” he observed.

Adom-Otchere further stated that Sir Sam Jonah should have known by now that the constitution was solely made for his close friend, the late Jerry John Rawlings.

“In saying so, he should not see as a novelty; there have been public policy steps that have been said about this constitution,” he stressed.

Sir Sam Jonah had bemoaned that the 1992 Constitution is the basis for the current democratic dispensation. It created a monstrous executive which looms large over the other arms of the governance structure, and for twenty-eight years, “we have failed to make any meaningful changes to strengthen our democracy. Actually, what we have is an ‘Executocracy’, not a democracy.”

In his address to Rotarians in Accra under the theme; ‘Down the Up Escalator: Reflections on Ghana’s Future by a Senior Citizen on April 22, 2021, the business mogul said:

“The president is supposed to appoint the majority of his ministers from parliament. By definition, that makes parliament a rubber stamp, because no MP in the ruling party will be able to stand up and demand accountability from the executive – they are all scrambling for positions!

“The Judiciary is no different. The president has a determining role in the appointment of all the judges of the Supreme Court including the Chief Justice.”

This festers, Jonah stated, the perception that the situation compromises the impartiality and independence of the judiciary.

Sam Jonah KBE noted, “indeed, a large section of the citizenry believes that the judiciary is not impartial with 85% of Ghanaians in a recent Afrobarometer survey perceiving the judiciary as corrupt and ineffective.

“My own personal experience with the judiciary is that of frustration, lengthy and costly proceedings. Some lawyers take pride in being masters of legal gymnastics. Every opportunity to delay cases are seized. The Commercial Courts which were set up to speed up the dispensation of justice have been a huge disappointment. Disputes involving land overwhelm the courts. Land acquisition is the most important factor in investment decision-making. Any prolonged litigation over land frustrates the investor.”

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