16:41, 22.Aug 2018
The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has condemned the “politically-motivated persecution” of its Chairman Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, who is standing trial for instigating violence against the Electoral Commission Chair Jean Mensa and the Chairman of the National Peace Council, Prof Emmanuel Asante.
A leaked tape that surfaced a few months ago contained a voice which the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service has identified as that of Mr Ofosu-Ampofo inciting NDC communications to go after the two personalities with insults.
Mr Ofosu-Ampofu and a deputy communication officer of the party, Mr Kwaku Boahen, are billed for court today, Tuesday, 16 April 2019.
In a statement, however, the General Secretary of the party, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, said: “We wish ab initio, to place on record, our total belief in the rule of law and the need to fight wrongdoing in society. We wish, however, to condemn in no uncertain terms, the politically-motivated persecution of our officials, cynically disguised as lawful prosecution”.
It added: “We are aware that the frivolous, trumped up and illogical charges brought against our officials form part of a grand scheme by an increasingly intolerant and vindictive Nana Akufo-Addo to gag the political opposition.
“Mr. Akufo-Addo is under the misguided belief that this partisan prosecution will divert attention from his dismal display in government and the maladministration that is fast driving Ghana into a ditch”.
Below is the full statement:
STATEMENT ON HARASSMENT AND MALICIOUS PROSECUTION OF NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS (NDC) NATIONAL CHAIRMAN AND DEPUTY COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER
The National Democratic Congress takes note of the scheduled commencement of the trial of our National Chairman, Hon Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo and our Deputy National Communications Officer.
We wish ab initio, to place on record, our total belief in the rule of law and the need to fight wrongdoing in society. We wish, however, to condemn in no uncertain terms, the politically-motivated persecution of our officials, cynically disguised as lawful prosecution.
We are aware that the frivolous, trumped up and illogical charges brought against our officials form part of a grand scheme by an increasingly intolerant and vindictive Nana Akufo-Addo to gag the political opposition.
Mr. Akufo-Addo is under the misguided belief that this partisan prosecution will divert attention from his dismal display in government and the maladministration that is fast driving Ghana into a ditch.
Fully aware that he cannot fulfil the legion of utopian campaign promises made to Ghanaians, the President has devised a scheme to use malicious prosecutions of NDC functionaries to curry favour with the electorate.
We had however never thought that such crudeness and blatant disregard for the rights of our members would be the weapons of choice in this political vendetta. We have witnessed countless instances of harassment, intimidation, criminality, lawlessness and plain terrorism by hoodlums operating at his behest. Yet, he has not found it fit to prosecute the blood-thirsty bandits who have carried out these crimes against innocent citizens of Ghana, but is quick to sanction the abuse of prosecutorial powers to intimidate opponents on the flimsiest of premises.
How can a President fail so outrageously to act against terrorists belonging to his party who attacked a Court in Kumasi and pretend that a tape of dubious authenticity in which innocuous commentary is made, can form the basis of any serious prosecution?
What kind of thinking went into this frivolous prosecution when the President’s Spiritual acolyte, Owusu Bempah, walks free after attacking a radio station with armed thugs?
How does the President reconcile his refusal to prosecute the terrorists who unleashed violence against innocent citizens of Ghana at the Ayawaso West Wuogon, with this victimisation of our officials?
We are also outraged, that the Ghana Police Service, has become a laughing stock and are willing to be made a plaint tool in the political persecution of Akufo-Addo’s opponents.
We wish to make clear, that contrary to the Akufo-Addo government’s belief that the maltreatment of our members, hasty media trials and the peddling of outrageous falsehoods against them will meet with a docile party, we will take every reasonable step to assert the innocence of our members and insist on respect for their fundamental human rights.
We demand fair and lawful treatment for all our members and an immediate end to this harassment.
Despite our strong disagreement with this partisan prosecution, we demand fairness in the judicial process and it is our expectation that historical hostility to the NDC, whether real or perceived, will play no role in the determination of all cases and that only the facts of each case, the position of the law and the objective assessment of same will inform any outcome.
Finally, we assure Mr. Akufo-Addo that his hypocrisy and quest to muscle the opposition through the misuse of security agencies and manipulation of judicial processes will fail. We will neither permit nor allow the erosion of all the gains made in our democratic march only to satisfy the whim of a power-drunk President.
We are unwilling to cede an inch of Ghana’s political space to a clearly flat-footed and clueless leader whose only approach to dissent is persecution. We are comforted that his disastrous performance as President will lead to his dismissal from office by the people of Ghana at the 2020 elections. This will afford the incoming NDC government the opportunity to right his wrongs and restore confidence and integrity into state institutions while promoting a climate of freedom and respect for all shades of opinion.
Johnson Asiedu Nketia