The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has expressed disappointment with the conclusion to the seven-month-long case involving 13 members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP)-affiliated vigilante group, the Delta Force.
According to CDD-Ghana, the court’s decision to fine each of the accused GH¢ 1,800 or in default serve a 12-month jail term represents a setback in efforts to promote decency in politics.
“While CDD-Ghana acknowledges that the process leading to the verdict followed the rule of law, it is also saddened by the leniency of the judgement. Considering that activities of political party vigilante groups are still rife, this verdict represents a setback in efforts to promote decency in politics,” it stated.
What is more disturbing with this case, the statement added, is the continuous failure of institutions in the criminal justice system to professionally discharge their constitutional duty in order to preserve the integrity of the state and uphold the standards of what is right and wrong in our society.
For instance, it stated that with all the intelligence they possessed, the security agencies could have averted the invasion by providing necessary protection for the coordinator.
Similarly, it further stated that if the security agencies had learned from the first incident and provided the necessary security at the courthouse, knowing the group in question, the gross interference with the cause of justice could have been avoided.
The centre, in the statement released last Tuesday, noted that: “This development has dealt another devastating blow to the keen desire of many Ghanaians for justice and the rule of law. The ‘slap-on-the-wrist’ punishment given to a group of ruling party-affiliated criminal suspects only reinforces the unfortunate impression that incumbent party members and affiliates who break the law can count on the protection of the powers that be, and will not face the full rigours of the law.”
The statement further stated that “Indeed, it is also a major victory for a baneful phenomenon in Ghanaian politics — political vigilantism and hooliganism — which the centre and other civil society actors have flagged as posing a mortal danger to democratic politics and national peace.’’
CDD-Ghana is calling on all stakeholders interested in improving and sustaining democratic governance in Ghana to take action to find a lasting solution to the problem of political vigilantism.
Source: Daily Graphic
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|