Aug 01


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The Politics Of Insanity


Daily Guide August 1, 2015

cameron duodu
K1: Koo, what at all is happening in this our country?
K2: Ei, so you too have noticed?
  • Why shouldn’t I?
  • I know, I know! But sometimes we are not struck by the same thing.
  • I take it you are disturbed by the way and manner in which a judge
  • dealt with Charles Antwi, who unlawfully took a gun into the church where the President usually worships?
  • Bingo! What did you find strange about the case?
  • Well, some of the things he is alleged to have said about himself….
  • Yes, he said he should be the President!
  • Not even a District Chief Executive or Minister! But President!
  • Where do they get these ideas from?
  • Ask me!
  • Yes, I see where you could take this.
  • The cult of personality in our politics does create its
  • inconveniences.
  • Aand unexpected consequences.
  • But if you and I could see the ego aspects of the matter, although we are not trained psychiatrists, why couldn’t the judge?
  • Maybe he too has an ego problem!
  • So many elementary things went wrong in that court-room!
  • The judge should not have taken Antwi’s plea!
  • Once the question of his sanity had been raised!.
  • Indeed, the issue was argued by a lawyer in the court…
  • Yes, acting as an amicus curiae (friend of the court)!
  • Because he had not been formally instructed?
  • Yes. He sought to draw the judge’s attention to the need…
  • To send Antwi for psychiatric observation?.
  • Right!
  • But the judge ignored him and took the plea of a person whose unbalanced state of mind had been brought to his notice?
  • Yep! The judge should have ruled that the accused was “unfit to plead”; then entered a plea of “not guilty” on the accused’s behalf, pending a report from a psychiatrist, that the accused was fit to plead.
  • But the judge took the chap’s plea twice, right? First, he allowed him to plead “not guilty”, and later, that was changed to “guilty”? He allowed him to change his plea after he’d been talking pure nonsense?
  • It’s all extremely odd.
  • When the amicus curiaerequested the judge to send the accused person for psychiatric observation,  do you know what the judge said? The learned judge stated that he had observed the accused himself, and had found him “confident” in what he had  said and he  was therefore fit to stand trial!
  • Lord have mercy!
  • And he gave the accused ten years, after the accused had said in open court that it was he who caused the death of President John Atta Mills, and that he had expected to succeed President Mills, only to find that Mr John Mahama had been allowed to steal the accused’s “birthright” and become President?
  • Yes!
  • Koo, I am not a psychiatrist. But as for this, I can say that to judge from Antwi’s statements, he is both a schizophrenic and megalomaniac!
  • Tu bra! (Bring it on!)
  • I should add delusional into the mix! For Antwi does not live in the real world. He lives in a world which he has created for himself.
  • In other words, he’s living in a delusion. And he has more than one personality: he can at times behave quite “normally”, but at times he  takes on a different personality that makes him act in a “strange” way. For instance, he is alleged to have been able to drive a taxi in his home-town…..
  •  But he drew attention to his driving by going too fast. He probably regarded himself as having been given supernatural “powers” which would prevent him from being involved in motor accidents (delusion.) And there’s  also megalomania at work here  – a person who is bigger than everybody else.
  – Yeah – he thought he was even  bigger…
Than the President who was in office!
  • Yeah! The President in office was a ‘usurper’ to him! It was he, Charles Antwi, who had been designated to succeed Mills, after Antwi had “killed” Mills by merely wishing that Mills should die!
  • And the judge heard all this and concluded that Antwi was “sane” and “confident”?
  • Yes o! Methinks the Chief Justice would be well-advised to call for the papers of the case immediately and give them to a senior judge to review. This is not a matter that should go to appeal and waste taxpayers’ money. Antwi should be removed from prison and taken to a psychiatrist hospital, and if found to be insane, committed into psychiatric care.
  • Why is it important that this should be done?
  • The reason is that a person suffering from mental illness is not responsible for his actions and cannot, therefore,  undergo a trial. Mental illness is like any other illness – it incapacitates the sufferer; in this case, it is the sufferer’s mind that is incapacitated — which is worse than prdinary ailments, because, of course,  the mind controls the entire human body. A large number of illnesses, grouped under the single word depression, can deprive a human being of his mental faculties. A judge would not wish to diagnose the illness of someone who faints in his court, for instance, would he? No – it would be wrong for the judge to turn himself into a physician or doctor. Similarly, he shouldn’t turn himself into a psychiatrist, either. A psychiatrist is also a doctor, only that he deals with mental and emotional illnesses. A judge who neglects to send an accused person who shows signs of insanity to a mental hospital for him to be  professionally established as either sane or insane,  has patently infringed the constitutional rights of the accused person. And the earlier the head of the judicial service sorted out the injustice, the better. Otherwise bad judges would make slaves of all of us.

  • But what about the politicians who are using the case to….
  • Make accusations at one another?
  • They are doing real harm to the country.
  • How?
  • By over-publicising the case, they could put ideas…
  • Into the heads of weak-minded persons, who…
  • Might want to seek attention for themselves, too?
  • Yes, by imitating the behaviour of an equally diseased person.
  • Imitative crime?
  • Sure! Especially when targeted against people in the public eye!
  • Such as Presidents.
  • It  is in fact a nightmare for every security service in the world.
  •  So, people like the NDC General Secretary, Mr Asiedu Nketia
  • “General Mosquito”?
  • They ought to be very careful…
  • Yes. Because  they might create unnecessary problems…
  • For the professionals trained to protect our bigwigs?
  • You’ve got it in one, Koo!.

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