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Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

It is a privilege, not a human right

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

I read the brief news report captioned “Sammy Crabbe Dismissed” ( 3/19/16) and did not understand the quiddities of what exactly caused a portion of the plaintiff’s petition to be struck down. This is all too natural because yours truly is not a professionally trained lawyer. On most days, he tries to use his gumption and deep appreciation of the English language to make sense of the seamy muddle that is routine fare of many a Ghanaian media reportage of judicial proceedings.

I don’t know how court reporters are assigned their beats by the editors and producers of the various publications, both print and electronic, in the country. But it well appears to me that reporters assigned to write news articles and legalese for public consumption, ought to be made to take a course or two in general-assignment reporting.

At any rate, what fascinated me about Mr. Crabbe’s legal fisticuffs with the country’s main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) was the plaintiff’s rather imperious presumption that being elected as Second-Vice Chairman of the party is an “inalienable human right.” Per his surname, Mr. Crabbe appears to belong to a prominent Accra family more than several of whose membership have distinguished themselves as legal lights. In sum, it would not have been totally in breach with common sense for Mr. Crabbe to have asked a legally trained kinsman or relative to be apprised of the fundamental difference between a “right” and a “privilege.”

You see, the Afoko and Agyepong henchman does not seem to understand the very elementary fact that going into the Tamale Congress, Mr. Crabbe had absolutely no human right to be elected Second-Vice National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, any more than Messrs. Paul A. Afoko and Kwabena Agyei Agyepong had to be elected NPP National Chairman and General-Secretary, respectively. Mr. Crabbe may well be suffering from some acute form of dementia to suppose that playing second-bananas to Mr. Freddie Blay at party headquarters was his inalienable human right, of which the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) was naturally obligated to recognize.

Whoever wrote the caption on the article in question grossly exaggerated the reality of what actually occurred in court between the parties to the case, in which Mr. Crabbe and/or his lawyers have been earnestly pleading with Justice Dennis Adjei to be allowed to resume his aforementioned executive post at the party’s Asylum Down headquarters, from which he has been duly suspended. I have said this before and hereby repeat the same, that Mr. Crabbe has a far greater chance of enrolling himself into the Accra Mental Hospital, which is located right around the corner from the NPP’s National Headquarters, than being illegally returned to the position of patent privilege to which he was duly elected by the Tamale Congress, but whose trust and confidence he flagrantly and grossly violated when he, together with Messrs. Afoko and Agyepong, rudely and voluntarily elected to publicly and intemperately impugn the authority and integrity of the leadership of the most significant members and organs of the party, including the NPP’s National Executive Council, the National Executive Committee, the Council of Elders and, by their very destructive conduct at party headquarters, the trust and confidence of the entire membership of the Tamale Delegates’ Congress.

What happened on Thursday at the Accra High Court was that a portion of the plaintiff’s petition was summarily quashed by Justice Adjei because, as we are made to understand, the crafting of the latter did not conform with legal and judicial protocol. Mildly put, it appears that in his desperate rush to seeking a judgment against the professionally astute NPP leadership that promptly and deservedly threw him out of party headquarters, Mr. Crabbe had ended up engaging the cheap and pedestrian services of some roadside legal carpenters instead of professionally trained attorneys.

Well, the case heads back to the Accra High Court for another hearing on April 8. Hopefully, Justice Adjei would mercifully put Mr. Crabbe out of his misery then. On Thursday, we are told that Justice Adjei gave what may be aptly termed as a judicial backhand slapping to the plaintiff’s attorney because the latter had rudely presumed to play fast-and-loose with the Court, by literally arguing its case from its anal canal, rather than from professionally crafted and duly sworn and certified affidavits.

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