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Why Instant Injustice In Ghana Today?

It is imperative on all countries that embrace the political concept called “democracy” to also uphold the doctrine of “rule of law” whereby the laws of the land deal with all the citizens equally. Under a democratic state, the fundamental laws are entrusted intothe hands of the judiciary that sees to it that the rights of every citizensare protected. It is only through the activities of the law court that a person could be tagged a victim of a crime. Until the court of law declares a person a culprit in a case, no individual under any circumstance has the liberty to stumble upon the rights of that personnot even when he/she had been convicted.

Ghana as a country embraces democracy over 23 years ago and had since successfully transferred political power from one government to another without violence though some misunderstanding popped up especially in the 2012 general election which landed unto the feet of the supreme court. The judiciary however, has in several occasions resolved issues amicably among individuals, corporate bodies and governmental institutions but can the institution (judiciary) be trusted in its activities? Why should individuals in the country take the law into their own hands and deal with people who are to be sent to the law court to be judged by law for whatsoever crime committed? Has the judiciary failed to execute its responsibility properly?

It has been recorded in the history of thecountry whereby people were lynched for crime committed especially when there is no cop or people who pity others on humanitarian grounds are present and one major incident to talk of is the death of Maxwell Mahama, a captain of the Ghana arm forces who was lynched to death for being mistaken as a thief. One may therefore ask; why do people resort to “instant justice” as it is usually called, that is meted out to people by civilian when such people are found to be thieves?

Should these actions by the civilians be condoned? If I should attempt to answer these questions I would blatantly say our institutions are not working as they supposed to do. I oft time say our institutions are not working simply because an armed robber could be apprehended, sent to court and no proper justice would be meted out to him/her.

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There are several instances whereby people who were caught red-handed in robbery act were left by the court because no concrete evidence was produced by the accusers and such convicted people come back to continue their malicious act.

This has brought the idea of instant justice into the minds of the civilians to deal with people who engage and are caught in such acts. People resort to these instant justice system because of some perceptions or experience they have about the judiciary. If our judiciary as an institution of the state is working perfectly, people who would be caught in these malevolent acts would be handed to them (judiciary) straight away because they (civilians) know that proper punishment would be meted out to such criminals to deter them (culprits) or other people from committing same crime. We must keep our institutions working if not civilians would take the law into their own hands and do whatever they like.

Most importantly, it appears to me that the institutions that are mandated to protect the rights of the citizens sometimes take the law into their own hands and do whatever they like. This actions by the military may always incur the displeasure of civilians who also avenge their anger whenever they get the chance. I am not in any way justifying the barbaric impudence of civilians in dealing with culprits or whatsoever but the fact still remains that a soldier without his/her ammunition is as poor as a “bloody civilian” as they normally say.

There are thousand and one occasions where these professionally trained forces who are expected to know better have meted out even more of such gruesome cruelty on some poorly helpless innocent civilians and men of substance have not only shamefully kept mute on it but have unfortunately without any wisdom come out with strong defense.

Just as we all condemned the unfortunate demise of our gallant soldier, let us also talk to our security forces to be very circumspect and professional with the way sometimes they handle civilians simply because they are soldiers for it is often said “what is not good for the goose is equally not good for the gander”. Institutions such as the Judiciary, WAJU, CHRAJ and others that are to see to it that peace prevails in all areas of human lives must be strengthened so that their duty would not be undermined by civilians.

Your friend,
Simon HorsenyoHator

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