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Mob action affects us all

By
Benjamin Hallo, GNA

Accra, July 24, GNA –
Three issues are of paramount c0ncern to me in this short piece. These are
justice, fairness and inclusiveness. I believe that without these, progress in
curbing the various forms of mob action cannot be sustained.

Access to justice is
the hallmark of a civilised society. And it is the cornerstone on which the
entire society is built. The Chief Justice Madam Sophia Akuffo did explain at
her recent hearing that ‘justice delayed is justice denied’  and ‘ justice hurried’ as it is for instance
perpetuated by a mob, may be  ‘justice
buried’. And this case justice has not been served and lessons may never be
learned.

More so the Chief
Justice did explain that ‘mob action’ is different from ‘mob justice’. As very
often, mob action on a suspect, is not justice served for all parties involved.

Again for me, in order
to attain fairness in justice delivery, justice should not be perceived as
being done, but should be actually seen done, and all parties should be
adequately represented in the proceedings. And the outcome of the proceedings
could be tested again assuming a party in the deliberation is unsatisfied with
the initial outcome.

This means our legal
institutions should be adequately funded for the speedy and efficient
adjudication of all cases before them. As in many cases, the absence of the
efficient and speedy adjudication of cases, has led to the perception that
justice is not being served as expected. And this is a concern to be tackled by
the entire society.

And what does
“access to justice” mean, if a fully funded legal aid system is limited
in its functions. Should we still keep dreaming of such notions whereas we can
adequately fund it and actualise our expectations?  These are some of the questions I have asked
various personalities including lawyers and security experts, since the gruesome
murder of Major Maxwell Adam Mahama.

For me the growing
perception that justice is not speedily and fairly served is one of the reasons
leading to the rising incidence of mob justice in many communities. And if this
claim cannot hold to be true, then the legal institutions should help clear the
misconception.

And the national
consensus in the very important fight against illegal small scale mining
(Galamsay) should not prevent those affected from accessing any form of legal
aid should the need arise. Access to justice, in this regard, means being
treated fairly and within the expectations of the law even though the act
committed is an illegality.

Ernest Adu-Gyamfi in
his insightful article “Implications of mob justice practice amongst
communities in Ghana”, said the root cause of mob action is amongst others the
distrust in the legal and security authorities, hence the need for awareness
creation on our human rights, improving our justice and the police
accountability measures, and resourcing the police for them to effectively
carry out their mandate.

The onerous
responsibility of the National Commission for Civic Education cannot be
understated in its effort to develop meaningful strategies in educating the
public on various concerns affecting the society. But it equally needs more
funding with regards to fighting the rising incidence of mob action.

Inclusiveness; and for
me- every member of the public- we all need to stay vigilant in the effort to
prevent the incidence of mob action or mob justice. We all need to become alive
to our civic responsibilities and help prevent such unfortunate occurrences
from taking place in our communities.

GNA

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