Burning Excavators: Akufo-Addo fighting illegality with illegality

Legal Luminary Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare, known popularly as Kwaku Azar has stated that the government has no legal backing in the burning of excavators of illegal miners.

The President of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo asked people opposing the burning of excavators to go to court to seek redress if they have problems with the directive to the military in the fight against illegal mining.

But in a post expressing opposing views, Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare, known popularly as Kwaku Azar said “Note that “pursuant to this law” does not mean that the executive cannot burn excavators. Rather, it simply means that the executive, if it seeks to burn excavators, should pass a law that gives it the power to burn excavators that are in the proximity of galamsey sites”.

He added that it is only when the law is passed is when the government can decide to burn the excavators.

“With such a law, the executive then can gleefully burn excavators and when questioned simply point to the law. Of course, victims here too have to bear the transaction cost of going to court but there is a law that is in effect and presumed to be passed by the people.

He indicated that rather burning the excavators, they can be put to good use whiles the people involved in the illegal mining are rather dealt with by the laws of the country rather than stopping an illegality with an illegality.

Read His Full Statement Here

The “go to court” mantra is an extremely dangerous doctrine because it essentially allows the executive to do everything that is not forbidden by law unless the court stops it.

The mantra therefore creates an unlimited executive with ex ante judicial power that is only subject to victim-initiated ex post judicial review. To the extent that victims cannot afford the transaction cost of going to court, it effectively leads to an elective dictatorship.

Rather, our Constitution provides for a limited government, which empowers the government to take only those actions that are specifically allowed by law. Thus, the executive’s mantra should be “pursuant to this law.”

Note that “pursuant to this law” does not mean that the executive cannot burn excavators. Rather, it simply means that the executive, if it seeks to burn excavators, should pass a law that gives it the power to burn excavators that are in the proximity of galamsey sites.

With such a law, the executive then can gleefully burn excavators and when questioned simply point to the law. Of course, victims here too have to bear the transaction cost of going to court but there is a law that is in effect and presumed to be passed by the people.

There is something eerie about the executive taking actions, not supported by law, and shifting the burden of proving the illegality of the action by inviting the victims to seek redress at our “fast track independent” courts.

GOGO will not burn excavators and ask galamsayers to go court. GOGO will prosecute galamsayers in court, confiscate their assets and put their excavators to proper use.

SALL is the cardinal sin of the 8th Parliament. There too, the election manager has acted outside the law and has invited the victims to go to court.

Da Yie!

Source: MyNewsGh.com/ 2021