A senior lecturer at the University of Ghana, Prof. Ransford Gyamposays Attorney-General, Gloria Akuffo failed to exercise proper supervision over the trial of pro-NPP group, 'Delta Force 8'.
A Kumasi Circuit Court on Wednesday discharged eight members of the Delta Force, who were standing trial for disrupting court proceedings involving 13 of their colleagues on April 6, 2017. The decision by the Court to free the suspects followed state attorneys' decision to drop the charges for lack of evidence.
The decision has caused outrage with the Ghana Bar Association expressing surprise and demanding better particulars. The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has described it as a deliberate ploy to undermine the rule of law. The Attorney-General, Gloria Akuffo who said she did not order the discontinuation of the trial in Court, also ordered investigations into the circumstances under which the Senior State Attorney in Kumasi entered a nolle prosequi and got eight of the suspects discharged for lack of evidence.
Prof. Ransford Gyampo
But speaking on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM Thursday, May 18, 2017, Prof. Ransford Gyampo said: “If the AG herself had not taken her eyes off the ball in relation to the investigation of this matter, they [Kumasi Office] wouldn’t have come to that conclusion.”
He said, “Any AG Department official who claimed there is no evidence to try these people is incompetent and unfit for that position.
“And again any A-G who is unable to exercise supervisory responsibility for her subordinate staff on such a monumental test of our commitment to the rule of law and allows such an assault on the judicial independence to go unpunished displays palpable deficiency and lack of political wisdom,” Prof. Gyampo said.
NDC's crooked morals
The minority in Parliament, led by Haruna Iddrisu, addressed a news conference hours after the news broke, and charged President Akufo-Addo to order the re-arrest of the suspects for the trial to continue.
Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu
But Prof. Gyampo says the NDC minority lacks the moral authority to comment on the matter, because of how the case involving the three persons who threatened to kill judges on a local radio station, Montie FM, was handled in 2016.
The three – programme host Salifu Maase (alias Mugabe) and two panellists, Alistair Nelson and Ako Gunn - popularly referred to as Montie 3, were jailed by the apex court in July 2016, after pleading guilty to charges of contempt.
They were sentenced to four months' imprisonment each with an additional fine of GH¢10,000 (equivalent to $2,500). However, then President John Dramani Mahama granted remission, which saw their release, on 26th August 2016.
“Let it not be the opposition making a lot of noise particularly on this matter because it smacks of political hypocrisy,” the political scientist advised.
Listen to excerpts of the interview in the attached audio: