Metamorphosis Of Historical Jurisprudence in Policy Implementation Towards Mitigating Daylight Robberies in Ghana

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The philosophical orientation surrounding the study of law in emerging economies is yet to be fully inculcated into pragmatic policy implementations and executions. Is it therefore surprising that citizens in these emerging economies continue to wallow in deep anguish emanating from staccato activities of miscreants who destabilize the serenity and serendipity of societal norms? A nation whose laws are flouted with impunity would soon be save-havens of emigrant recidivist!

Historical jurisprudential study operates on the pinnacle that knowledge of the past is pre-requisite in appreciating present prevailing laws. According to this school of thought, legal growth in any given society resonates with historical roots of such laws. Just like the Biblical Ruth who knew her roots, a nation’s law rests on the social pressure culminating in the rules of conduct which it enjoins. Even though my jurisprudential law lecturer, Dr. Ernest Owusu Dapaa intimates there are two proponents of historical jurisprudence (Friedrich Carl Von Savigny & Sir Henry Maine), I rather see the two embalmed in the philosophical disposition of Montesquieu whose quote constitutes the ‘locus classicus’ surrounding the content of this epistle.

In Montesquieu’s “The Spirit of the Laws”, he posited that law matches surrounding circumstances, including climate, terrain, quality of soil, mode of cultivation and food acquisition, occupations, political system, “the religion of the inhabitants, their inclinations, their wealth, their number, their commerce, their mores and their manners.”  “Laws should be so appropriate to the people for whom they are made that it is very unlikely that the laws of one nation can suit another.” Savigny credits Montesquieu with establishing that law is tied to the unique circumstances of the people, and, consequently, diversity of law among communities is to be expected.

Against this backdrop, the writer is bamboozled as regards policy enactments cognizance of the fact that laws should be so apt to the people that it succinctly details the people’s unique circumstances. The unique circumstance of Ghanaians now is that daylight robbery is now the “new-normal”, one of which occurred yesterday at Adedenpo, a suburb of Jamestown in Accra around 11:00am where robbers shot into a bullion van, killing a police constable (RIP!). This is not the first time this has occurred. In fact, on 27th February, 2018, daylight robbery occurred at North Kanashie, 28th March, 2019 at Wakiki in Accra, similar incident happened with a mobile money merchant, 12th April, 2021 another daylight robbery happened in Takoradi and the most recent being the 14th June, 2021 unfortunate incident. Historically, a prophet who predicted daylight robbery in Ghana someday would have been described as “Lucifer’s choirmaster” but here it is today. One wonders the motivation of these miscreants in boldly engaging in these day light robberies knowing the prevalence of security personnel and even public surveillance. But are these miscreants to be blamed? Having we empowered the president of Ghana in Chapter 8 of constitution 1992 to preserve the safety and homeland of Ghana? When the chameleon brings forth a child, is not that child expected to dance? As we have made you the commander in chief of the Ghana Armed forces, are you not supposed to act likewise Mr. President? Can the horns be too heavy for the cow that must bear them, Mr. President? I listened to my good friend, Adams Bonaa in an interview yesterday (14/6/21) who sought to rather blame the IGP, James Oppong-Boanuh concerning the recent impasse but I vehemently dissent; who contracted the respected IGP?     

So what should H.E Nana Addo-Dankwah Akuffo Addo do under the circumstances? I suggest stakeholders within the banking fraternity must be engaged now concerning the extent of implementation of providing fortified armored vehicles in carting currencies. The banking industry plays a crucial role in Ghana’s development and when these attacks are not curbed, these banks are exposed to plethora of threats and this will not only impede development of the capital market, but also augment cost of borrowing in the soonest possible time. Is Ghana safe for investors’ attraction?

Owing to the multifarious inextricable association between law and society, the writer believes Law ought to grow with the growth of society, and strengthens with the strength of the people, and if we never envisaged enacting laws and empowering institutions to mitigate daylight robberies, these occurrences should awaken our interest.

Ephraim Awinbugri Armstrong(0240818815/[email protected]),

LLB(Finalist),

Presbyterian University College of Ghana(PUCG-Ghana)

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