Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the General Secretary of Ghana’s National Democratic Congress (NDC), has stated that the country’s largest opposition party resorted to petitioning the Commonwealth Secretariat about the mistreatment of its members and former government officials because they were not given a fair hearing in court.
“Since assuming the reins of power in 2016, the message of physical violence against political opponents that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo preached and championed before the 2016 general elections has turned into 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,” according to the petition signed by Mr. Nketia.
Mr. Nketia justified the petition by saying, “This government does not respect the right to life, the right to a fair trial, or the right to express oneself.”
He stated that the Commonwealth must “come and advise the government,” and that “the government must reply to the Commonwealth.”
“That is why we are seeking that they send a team to investigate the claims we are making,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Godfred Dame has dismissed the petition as the NDC’s attempt to avoid the reach of the law.
“I think it [the petition] to be very hypocritical and misleading,” Mr. Dame, who is also the Minister of Justice, told journalists on Tuesday, March 1, 2022.
“All the government has sought to do is bring the NDC and its officers to justice,” he explained.
“I will not be deterred in my efforts to guarantee that the people of Ghana are held accountable,” he declared.
“The cases we’ve investigated and the legal actions we’ve filed are based on substantial evidence that we’ve found through careful inquiry,” he said.
“All this recourse to the tribunal is a ploy to encourage the NDC to run away from justice [since] their claims are unfounded,” he says, citing the Alfred Woyome incident.
“I don’t believe we should pay it too much attention,” he continued.
“It’s a clear attempt to undermine the administration of justice in the court and interfere with the sound administration of justice,” he says.
“As far as I’m aware, no foreign body can influence or meddle with the country’s courts of justice,” he stated.
“All of the NDC’s efforts, in my opinion, are an attempt to impinge on Ghana’s sovereignty.”