How Jerry Rawlings allowed cousin’s execution to demonstrate equality before the law
London, Nov. 18, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Late Ghanaian Jerry John Rawlings once allowed the execution of one of his cousins while in office to demonstrate that no one is above the law
National Secretary of Ghana’s main opposition party, National Democratic Congress party NDC, the party founded by the late president, Asiedu Nketia has recounted a period under ‘the Rawlings regime’ where the former president’s cousin was executed for mistakenly firing a gun at someone.
Mr. Asiedu Nketia said the late JJ Rawlings’s cousin was a security officer watching over a particular center where food was being sold during the 1983 famine when the incident occurred.
According to him, Rawlings’s cousin’s gun mistakenly fired at a woman who joined in the long queue to get food for her family.
“During the 1983 period when there was a food shortage in the country, we all queued up to buy kenkey. We were all declared equal so regardless of your societal status or political party, we all lined up and patiently waited for our turn. At that time, there was the awareness that every Ghanaian should be equal before the law. A gun belonging to Rawlings’s cousin who was part of the security at the venue mistakenly fired at a woman, thereby killing her in the process,” he stated on Kofi TV.
He added, the late Jerry John Rawlings, in a bid to prove that everyone is equal before the law, did not take the issue lightly as he took drastic actions against his cousin which led to his execution
“Rawlings ordered for his arrest and he was arraigned before court but because everyone feared Rawlings, his cousin was released. Rawlings ordered the re-arrest of his cousin and this time around he was prosecuted. His cousin was found guilty and sentenced to death. He was executed to demonstrate to Ghanaians that everyone is equal before the law,”
Meanwhile, personalities across the world have eulogized the late president Jerry John Rawlings for championing several anti-corruption campaigns during his reign.
Some are also of the view that his reign was not a democratic one as it was saddled with intimidation and violence.