Law protecting coup makers must be expunged—Freddie Blay

Mr Freddie Blay

Mr Freddie Blay

The National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Freddie, Blay has advocated the law protecting coup makers be expunged from the 1992 constitution.


He explained that “the call for the removal of the clauses in the 1992 constitution is not to open the gates for the trial of acts of subversion that dominates the nation’s 61-year political history.


“It should be removed to serve as a warning for any future coup makers that the constitution shall be no shield for subversion,” Mr Blay noted.


He was speaking following the airing of a Special Assignment ‘Who killed the judges’ which goes back to June 1982 when Ghana was under military rule.


Mr Blay, who was the lawyer for one of the suspects in the murder of the High Court Judges in 1982, insisted the removal of such immunity would prevent the illegal overthrow of governments.


“I would have loved to have it completely expunged, joining the line of advocates which include a member of the Council of State, Sam Okudzeto in 2011, and the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) in 2010.


“But those calls will not find favour with the Constitution Review Commission (CRC) set up in 2010 to gather views on areas under the 1992 constitution which should be reviewed.


Three High Court Judges, Justices Poku Sarkodie, Cecelia Koranteng-Addow and Kwadwo Adjei Agyepong and a retired army officer, Major Samuel Acquah (rtd), were shot dead in the night by loyalists of the erstwhile Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) headed by Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings.

That era ended with the 1992 constitution coming into force to herald a return to democratic rule in Ghana and it continues to endure after 25 years.


But the new chapter was opened by inserting at least four Articles into the constitution known as indemnity clauses, an elaborate provision that denies Parliament the power to amend the articles.


The clauses also stop the courts from ever opening the pages of dark history of military overthrows by the National Liberation Council in 1966, the National Redemption Council in 1972, the Supreme Military Council in 1975 and 1978, the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council in 1979 and the Provisional National Defence Council in 1981.


Former President Rawlings remains the only surviving coup maker in the country after Colonel E.K. Kotoka, Major A.A. Afrifa, Lieutenant Colonel Ignatius Kutu Acheampong, were all killed. –

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