The unseen hand that pulled several strings to ensure that Tsatsu Tsikata was unjustly jailed is at it again. This time, it’s working against a hapless commentator who decided to foolishly accuse former President Rawlings of setting fire to his own house.
In the absence of solid proof, Nana Darkwa Baafi, seemed to have left his thinking cap outside the studios of Top Radio, when he opened his mouth so wide to say things he can’t prove. That was when the unseen hand started to pull strings.
First, Rawlings’ special aide filed a complaint with the police and a short while later the radio station was surrounded by rifle-wielding officers ready to arrest the ‘twit’ speaking out against his boss, a man in whose presence even the sitting president trembles. Even rapists, murderers and drug dealers do not get arrested with such show of force. But when the unseen hand waves its wand, almost everything is possible.
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That’s why shortly after he was arrested, Nana Darkwa, was arraigned before a judge charged with the offence of ‘publishing false news with the intention to cause fear and alarm.’ It must be one of the quickest arraignments in Ghanaian judicial history.
In all my days in this country, few as they may be, I’ve never heard of a case in which a suspect was arrested at midday and taken to court two hours later and shortly thereafter the judge decides to remand him for two weeks.
Darkwa’s allegations didn’t cause as much alarm and fear as the ludicrous decision by the judge to remand him for two weeks in prison custody – no less! Only puppet judges – whose strings are being pulled by the invisible hand – will remand someone charged with an obscure antiquated law for that long.
The guy is not going to tamper with any evidence. There is none. He also isn’t going to interfere with investigations because he’s too hapless to do so. Yet, Justice Wilson decided to throw common sense to the wind and do the bidding of the invisible hand, who just wants to show Darkwa where the power lies.
The idea is to put Darkwa in the midst of hardened criminals and get him so humiliated and, possibly, violated that next time he sees a radio microphone, he’d either run away in the opposite direct or consult all of the nation’s statute books before engaging his vocal chords.
That’s not all.
The unseen hand is also sending a message to everyone who has access to the media that this is a new era and we are not as free as we think we are to say what we want. The hardliners in the NDC – those who opposed the decision to repeal the criminal libel law – have been looking for an opportunity to send out this message. Darkwa foolishly gave them one and they seized it without a split second of hesitation.
The message has been sent out loud and clear: watch what you say for you never know when you’d receive the sort of treatment even murderers, rapists and drug barons do not deserve. Now the dogs who have been barking at the Mills administration have warned. Few daring ones will ignore it. But most will not. That’s what they want – to silence the majority and allow only a privileged few like Jerry Rawlings to bark all they want.
That’s what Darkwa’s case is all about. The invisible hand has done its job. But we’ve not seen the last of it yet. As it was under Kufuor, so shall it be under Mills.