Attorney General: NDC petition to Commonwealth hypocritical, attempt to run away from justice

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has petitioned the Commonwealth Secretariat in the UK over what it called human rights violations, criminal persecutions and harassment of its members

The Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame has said a recent petition of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to the Secretary General of the Commonwealth is hypocritical, misleading and an attempt to run away from justice.

The NDC in a letter dated 23 February 2022, and signed by its general secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketiah  petitioned the Commonwealth Secretariat over what they say is “human rights violations, criminal persecutions and harassment of members of the national Democratic Congress by the government of Ghana”.

NDC petition

The petition, according to the NDC, is aimed at drawing “the attention of the international body to instances of abuse of the judiciary, political persecutions, and abuse of human rights”.

Citing three criminal trials that are currently ongoing at the High Court in Ghana involving members of the NDC;
(The Republic versus Stephen Opuni and two others, The Republic versus Samuel Ofosu Ampofo & another and The Republic versus Cassiel Ato Forson & two others);

The petitioner (NDC) indicated that the government of President Akufo-Addo, “since assuming the reins of power in 2016, has engaged in structural, institutional and systematic forms of violence in the form of human rights violations, harassment, and political persecutions against members and supporters of the NDC”.

AG position

However, the Attorney General told journalists on 1 March that he finds the petition to be a “hypocritical and misleading statement”.

“Clearly, for me, it is an attempt to run away from justice. All that government has sort to do is to ensure that the NDC and the acts of its officers are brought to book” the Attorney General said.

“Indeed, I will not be deterred at all in my quest to ensure that there is accountability to the people of Ghana,” Dame added.

Legitimate cases

Commenting of the three cases that the NDC cited in their petition, Dame noted that the country’s security agencies have conducted thorough investigations on all the cases and the charges levelled against the members of the NDC who are standing trial, are as a result of the findings of these investigations.

“The cases that we have investigated and the action that we have filed in Court are all on the account of solid evidence that we have unearthed through painstaking investigations,” the AG said.

“We did not just come to court on the spur of the moment or without any bases at all. It is as a result of painstaking investigations conducted by the government,” Dame said.

According to him, the petition of the NDC is an addition to the multiple letters that they have written in time past to international tribunals, and foreign entities, on domestic issues that are being dealt with internally and in line with the rule of law.

Ruse petition

He added that the path the NDC has chosen amounts to a ploy aimed at diverting attention from the substantive criminal issues that the courts of competent jurisdiction in Ghana are adjudicating.

“All this recourse to foreign tribunals and all are a ruse to avoid the NDC from facing justice. No amount of distraction will deter me from ensuring that justice is sought for the people of Ghana,” Dame stated.

Wilberforce Asare

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