Home / GENERAL NEWS / Why Ken Agyapong stiffly opposed 2006 US court ‘subpoena’ against JJ Rawlings

Why Ken Agyapong stiffly opposed 2006 US court ‘subpoena’ against JJ Rawlings

In 2006, six years after Jerry John Rawlings had exited power after close to two decades, it emerged that he had been summoned by a US court over extra-judicial killings during his time as military ruler.

The report emanated from a Daily Guide publication that said a Chicago Illinois court had issued a subpoena for Rawlings to appear before it.

According to the report, Madam Victoria Acheampong, the daughter of General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong had filed a writ in Chicago Illinois Cook County court against Rawlings over the execution of her father in the 1979 coup.

Kennedy Agyapong, a second-term Member of Parliament at the time, representing the Assin North Constituency at the time became one of the most vocal opponents of talk about government allowing JJ to be tried outside the country.

Due to indemnity clauses in the 1992 Constitution and by virtue of being a former president, Rawlings could not be tried at home hence talk of his trial via courts outside Ghana.

For Agyapong, the issue of allowing JJ to be tried outside will be a case of surrendering our sovereignty as a country and also showing a lack of faith in our own systems – especially the judiciary.

In an interview with David Ampofo, Agyapong submitted his opposition stating: “I was critical about it because, if you cannot try ex-president here, why would you even give chance to America to try him?

“We are a sovereign country. What is wrong, we should identify it, that this is wrong and we take measures to correct it. We should not hide behind anyone, if we want to try ex-president Rawlings in America, what do we gain out of it? I am against these kinds of things.

“If it is Ghana and you feel you have enough evidence against him, fine, but why would you take him to America? It means you don’t have confidence in your own systems, that is why I was critical about the whole thing,” he stressed.

Within days, the office of the former president at the time indicated that the subpoena was a hoax.

Another local newspaper, the Daily Express, subsequently published a story from the court officials who confirmed that there was indeed no such court process in their system.

Agyapong is still an MP, now representing Assin Central Constituency and is gunning to become a presidential candidate on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

JJ Rawlings died in 2021 at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.

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