HABEAS [CORONA] CORPUS!
By CAMERON DUODU
K1 – Koo, wonders will never end!
K2 – What now? Not another tall story?
- Ha, have you ever caught me saying something I couldn’t prove was true?
- All right, all right. Narrate on!
- I shall do better than that! I shall let you read that for yourself! (Hands over mobile phone).
QUOTE:“Show visuals of dead victims on TV –Bagbin”
“Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, believes [that] if bodies of victims who have died from COVID-19 are shown on TV, the public will no longer doubt the existence of the disease… He said [that] based on what he has gathered from people he has interacted with, there is very little belief that there is such a disease in the country. Contributing to deliberations on the Floor of Parliament after an update to the House by the Health Minister, the Nadowli Kaleo MP called for the use of what he calls ‘the shock therapy’ to increase awareness of the pandemic in the country.
“The important thing is that the people we are leading, they want to see. In fact, I want to see on television, some evidence of death, because when you state that this number of people are dead but they are not seeing anything like that …..! I believe in shock therapy. We need shock therapy to wake them up from slumber and make them know COVID-19 is real.” UNQUOTE.
- But Koo, how can a whole Deputy Speaker of Parliament say a thing like that? I mean… How can you prove that a dead body that you’re seeing on TV is that of a Covid-19 victim, instead of that of a hypertension victim?
- Or the victim of … of ….bobbiting?
- Hahahahahaha! Tu bra!
- Better still, of what doctors call priapism?…
- Hahahahahahaha! Tu more bra!
- I bet Mr. Bagbin will regret this statement for the rest of his life?
- Well, he was telling the House what he had heard! That’s what MPs are supposed to do, isn’t it? Represent the views of their constituents?!
- Actually, It’s not only in Nadowli-Kaleo that the people don’t believe in the existence of Covid-19. The local authorities had to close Obuasi market the other day because the hawkers in the market refused to observe social distance. They said they hadn’t seen any evidence of any sickness that should visit such economic hardships on them.
- What evidence did they want?
- Well, when you get malaria, your urine turns yellow, doesn’t it?
- And as they were mainly women, I suppose they expected Covid victims to get pains like what you get when dysmenorrhoea strikes at your pelvis?
- Hey! Don’t make fun of a horrible illness like that! Have you never had a girlfriend?
- Ah, were you not the one who brought in bobbiting?… And ppp….
- Okay! Okay! I see you won’t raise this discussion above the sexual level?
- Go’way you! You started it all.
- No, you did!
- You did!
- You did!
- All right, let’s get serious. Do you know Mr. Bagbin is a lawyer?
- It was his lawyer’s mind that was working when he asked for the dead bodies of Covid victims to be displayed on TV. You see, there is a very popular order that is often requested of judges by lawyers….
- Yes, they ask the court to make an order for habeas corpus…..
- Ha – doesn’t that apply to politicians who have been detained without trial?
- It can be requested on behalf of ANYBODY whom the police have arrested and kept in custody without being charged before a court after a stated number of days.
- Habeas corpus? It sounds like Greek to me.
- It is a Latin phrase, in fact. Literally it means, “Bring the body!” (or “let’s have a body.”) The lawyer goes to court. He says my client (name stated) was arrested so many (stated) hours ago and has not been seen since. I pray your Lordship to make an order for him to be produced before you so that we can ascertain, primarily, that he’s alive and well…
- Ah? And the police will comply?
- Yep! Or they will be in contempt of court.
- Yep – it’s a right that’s inscribed in the constitutions of all democratic countries. It is for the police to go to court and ask the court not to grant him or her bail. They must state the reason for denying him bail…..
- Lawyers must love it! You just go and say, they’ve caught my man. They haven’t brought him to court. And you get paid?
- Hmmm! It’s an important law, because flouting it is one of the easiest means of establishing a dictatorship in a country. For the police can then deny that the person is in their custody. The next thing you hear, his or her body is fished from a lake….! Then, it’s the body of the lawyer who was seeking an order of habeas corpus on behalf of the dead person….
- That sort of thing used to happen in places like….?
- Gambia under Yahya Jammeh. Uganda under Idi Amin. Even Kenya under Daniel arap Moi….
- But never in Ghana, I hope?
- In Ghana, under the Nkrumah Government, they used to deport people rather than kill them. Have you heard of Alhaji Ahmadu Baba?
- So you are suggesting that Mr. Bagbin’s sub-conscious mind is playing tricks with him?
- Not me oh, I beg! Produce bodies! Covid or whatever! Not so?