All around the world, people are increasingly taking pride in justice and the rule of law—to the extent that, some are ready to die for the enjoyment of their legal rights; think Charlie Hebdo.
However, when it comes to the poor West African country-Ghana, people seem to regard the selling of their rights and dignity a far better option than to join the global fight against the diminishing important of the rule of law in the minds of certain ‘intentional’ law breakers—mostly, those with connections and money to pay off their victims.
Few months ago, an Ashanti Regional Editor of Daily Graphic- Daniel Kenu was assaulted by Baffour Gyan, the senior brother of the rich Ghanaian footballer-Asamoah Gyan and after taking the case to court—the journalist later wrote to the court to withdraw the case, citing some ridiculous reasons. The plausible reason for the case withdrawal was that, the Gyan brothers had paid the journalists off—intentionally breaking the law and easily paying off their victim.
Just yesterday, it emerged that the victim in the KKD alleged rape case-Miss Ewuraffe Orleans Thompson had written to the necessary authorities to withdraw her allegations against Kwesi Kyei Darkwah who was being held in custody over rape charges, awaiting trial. Once again, she cited some non-convincing reasons.
The shocking and sudden efforts to withdraw the case was immediately followed by an unanticipated letter of apology from KKD who had from day one denied ever doing anything wrong to the girl—once again, speculations are wild that money has been paid to the victim’s family.
In the above two famous cases, let me mention that it’s within the rights of the victims to accept whatever compensation they are offered by those who’ve wronged them but for the rule of law to take its deserving stand in our Ghanaian society, the Court looks like a better adjudicator of such matters compared to the back door Kangaroo courts we are seeing.
The precedents springing from such offences and the way they are being settled with money by those affluent Ghanaians are these; in Ghana, you are above the law provided you have some cash—and people do not value their dignities in Ghana so you can violate them as long as you have the means to pay them off when reported.
A society founded on such inequality grounded in the ability of the rich and famous to do whatever they want to the poor—and turn back to slap their victims in the face with some cash to undermine the law only benefits the rich, both in the long and short run.
Such practices undermine the essence of justice, especially in young democratic societies like Ghana. What we should remember is that, “justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of humanity”. If we do not check such repulsive and injustice way of offering justice, we would soon find ourselves in an extreme lawless country where some few would be able to even murder the poor—and just write their families a cheque.
It surely looks like we stand for nothing in Ghana—except money. Perhaps, so many people are hungry and are therefore ready to sell their dignities for money instead of justice as long as the presented amount seems reasonable to their immediate needs.
Maybe when we are able to address the problem of poverty; the fast developing problem of ‘lack of conscience’ allied to poverty may also disappear. Nevertheless, someone must be able to check the actions of the rich and famous—else we are heading to a ‘pejorative rule’ by the rich, Plutocracy.
Law & Celebrity is a column on GhanaCelebrities.Com which focuses on how the law affects our celebrities, their lifestyles, new media, entertainment, etc.
Chris-Vincent Agyapong Febiri, who looks at these issues is a postgraduate International Human Rights student, holds a degree in Law (LLB), Diploma in Para Legal and also has extensive knowledge and interest in celebrity lifestyle & social media.