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Prince Kofi Amoabeng Talks Time Management, Ghana’s ‘Murderous’ Justice System

I am 72 years and I've been in court for four years and I think it’s enough. It means my life is being cut short, and I’m being murdered anytime I go to court

If you lived in Ghana in the 2010s, you’d have no problem remembering one of the top financial slogans in the country. When Unique Trust Financial Services launched ‘a loan in 48 Hours’ – it became their unique selling proposition. It was marketable, relatable and had a dash of hope that it quickly became a household name. You could ask a friend for a loan, and they would suggest that you go to UT rather – that is the powerful brand Captain Prince Kofi Amoabeng built. 

UT was poised for greatness, undoubtedly.

In a short while, it had achieved enviable popularity and was the go-to place for any form of loans – it was, however, notorious and ironically unpopular for the iron-clad fist it employed in retrieving loans. 

When The Accra Times’ ‘FRANK TALK’ sat down with PK Amoabeng to discuss the critical issue of time management in Africa and its profound implications for societal development and how the PK Foundation is looking at addressing it, Prince Amoabeng indicated that black people like to take advantage of the system to delay any form of accountability because they tend to misunderstand the concept of time.

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The conversation shed light on the cultural attitudes towards time, particularly within the context of African culture, its impact on various sectors like business and the judiciary, and why it’s become imperative for systemic overhaul. 

One of the key points highlighted in the interview was the cultural perception of time in Africa. Amoabeng emphasized that historically, African societies have enjoyed abundance and ease, which has led to a lax attitude towards time. However, he argued that this mindset is hindering progress in modern times, as punctuality and efficiency are essential for growth.

“In fact, because of abundance in Africa. By design, God’s design, not mine, the black man was put on the best part of the earth. Think about it where the black man is, forests, food, everything was free for thousands of years before now. Where everything was taken for granted,” he said.

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Amoabeng drew attention to the detrimental effects of time wasting, likening it to a form of murder. He believes that whoever wastes your time has somehow murdered you because time is essentially life. 

He further explained that every moment wasted represents a lost opportunity for productivity and progress.

On Ghana’s Judicial System and Time

Using this same analogy of time, he criticized the slow pace of Ghana’s legal system, citing personal experiences of prolonged court cases and advocating for timely justice delivery. 

He emphasised that the wheels of justice have grounded too slowly and could invariably account for justice denied. 

In 2020, the state opted to discontinue the pending suit against Amoabeng at the circuit court – where he was facing charges of stealing and money laundering following the alleged role he played in the collapse of UT bank. The state subsequently filed fresh charges on the same issue at the High Court. Four years later, the prosecution has still not concluded his case. 

“The Court Systems has become chambers of murder”

“I am 72 years and I’ve been in court for four years and I think it’s enough. It means my life is being cut short, and I’m being murdered anytime I go to court – they take some of my time off,” he stated.

In 2020, Afrobarometer surveyed the evaluation of the formal justice system in Ghana. One of the highlights of the report revealed that Ghanaians didn’t find the court system friendly, nor did they find it convenient for people in low-income households.

“Ghanaians say high costs, a bias in favour of the rich and powerful, and long delays are the three most important barriers that prevent citizens from using the formal justice system. While most Ghanaians endorse the legitimacy of the courts, they also see court officials as corrupt and untrustworthy and believe people are treated unequally under the law,” according to the Afrobarometer survey.

This, together with his experience of the court system for the past four years has led him to believe that “The court systems has become chambers of murder.”

According to him, certain rules about our courts must be amended to salvage time and productivity. Referring to kangaroo courts that were rife in pre-revolution Ghana, he cited that, “people paid them with their lives and Ghana moved on” and while he is not in any way insisting on one now, he wishes for justice to be quickened as that symbolises development. 

“When you do things that save people’s lives, that is the true meaning of development.”

He also indicated that the Chief Justice’s cause to reform the legal system by leveraging technology would be a tough one for her. He claims it would fail if she doesn’t receive enough support from Ghanaians because talking could be easy.

“I Don’t think it’s going to be easy. She’s going to have all sorts of problems, that’s why she needs our backing and the full support of the executive and the general public because anything that she does, interested stakeholders will put spokes in it and make sure that she doesn’t succeed, successful and it’s happened before – where we had a law that said judges are picked by computer and all those, still eventually our problem didn’t get solved,”  Amoabeng indicated.

However, Amoabeng was reluctant to pledge his willingness to support the chief justice and her bid to change the face of the judicial system – he perceives that all cases should be time-bound and rules strictly adhered to, else she risks having all others come in with their parochial interests to stifle the system. 

When asked if he was going to turn in some suggestions to help amend the ailing court system, he hinted that he would only if feedback would be given, citing the lack of it during the UT closure period. 

READ ALSO: Bawumia Begins ‘Issue-Based’ Nationwide Campaign Tour from the Eastern Region

“When UT was closed down, we tried getting Bank of Ghana, I wrote to the governor of BOG, I wrote to the head of the economic team; till today, no one has answered – so writing to offices in Ghana doesn’t mean anything,” he added. 

Furthermore, Amoabeng emphasized the need for radical changes in systems and mindsets. He emphasized the importance of discipline and respect for time, asserting that these qualities are more crucial than financial investments in improving efficiency.

“Yeah, but the issue about time management is not about funding; it is about the discipline of the mind. All I’m saying is it doesn’t take raw materials; it doesn’t take boats for the president to attend appointments on time. I went to some top appointing minister’s office, and the man I was going to see was my son’s junior in secondary school. He knows it, but he made me wait for one hour only to be told that I should come the next day,” he added.

A systemic overhaul is needed, and that involves a radical shift from what we have normalized as Africans. We ought to rid the system of avenues such as goro boys at the ministries and agencies who have created chaos to exploit from – through intentionally backed initiatives such as the PK Amoabeng Foundation.

Speaking to Amoabeng, he explained that, he doesn’t ascribe to the various sloganeering and motivational campaigns on the continent, because many do not understand the true identity of who an African is. He views the African as a spoilt kid living life like there’s no tomorrow. He believes that only a revolutionised mindset can alter our DNA as Africans and that is exactly what his Leadership Foundation is set out to achieve. 

“We need a revolutionised mindset, and that’s the vision of PK Amoabeng Leadership Foundation. We need to change our mindset – the only way to change our mindset is to show us who we are and understand who we are.” – PK Amoabeng. 

Watch the full interview below

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