Former President John Dramani Mahama has broken his silence on the jailing of three persons who served under his administration by the Accra Commercial High Court presided by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour.
Mahama spoke out after the three were convicted out of the five (5) accused persons who have been on trial in the case of “The Republic versus Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie and four others” since December 2017 when the case was first filed by the State at the High Court registry.
The persons are Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, the former Board Chair of the National Communication Authority (NCA); William Tetteh Tevie, former Director-General of the NCA; Nana Owusu Ensaw, a former board member; Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman, a former Deputy National Security Coordinator, and a businessman, George Derek Oppong.
One of them was acquitted on appeal and the other was discharged leaving the three, who were jailed six years with hard labour. They were charged with causing financial loss to the state by not following the “right procedure” in the award of a $4million contract for a Pegassus spying machine from Israel.
The judge however acquitted them on charges of stealing and conspiracy to steal.
Justice Eric Kyei Baffour also ruled that William Tevie and Alhaji Osman did not benefit in any way from the transaction but jailed them for breach of the procurement procedure.
John Dramani Mahama reacts
The leader of the NDC, John Mahama who appointed the trio, in apparent reaction to the verdict of the court posted a cryptic Twitter picture of ‘Lady Justice” blindfolded but firmly holding her scale and her sword which has deep meaning.
Mahama added the message: [“When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that four of his fingers are pointing at himself” —Louis Nizer.]
The meaning of Mahama’s message
The message of Mahama has been given a meaning that shows NPP appointees will face same because their crimes are worse.
Here is a breakdown of the symbolism of Mahama’s Twitter message:
The Scales: These represent impartiality and the obligation of the law (through its representatives) to weigh the evidence presented to the court. Each side of a legal case needs to be looked at and comparisons made as justice is done.
Sword: This item symbolizes enforcement and respect, and means that justice stands by its decision and ruling, and is able to take action. The fact that the sword is unsheathed and very visible is a sign that justice is transparent and is not an implement of fear. A double-edged blade signifies that justice can rule against either of the parties once the evidence has been perused, and it is bound to enforce the ruling as well as protect or defend the innocent party.
Blindfold: This first appeared on a Lady Justice statue in the 16th century, and has been used intermittently since then. Apparently, its original significance was that the judicial system was tolerating abuse or ignorance of aspects of the law. However, in modern times, the blindfold represents the impartiality and objectivity of the law and that it doesn’t let outside factors, such as politics, wealth or fame, influence its decisions.