Forty years ago today, the USA faced the most difficult constitutional challenge to its existence second only to the December 7,1941 incident at Pearl Harbor.
What began as a caper soon metastasized into a soap opera of spellbinding debauchery with far reaching ramifications on the political stability of the nation and by the time the dust settled, president Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th chief executive of state was forced out of office and escaped conviction and jail time by inches ,the Attorney General and several top White officials exchanged the executive suits for the jail houses all due to the rule of law that takes no back seat to any personality regardless of office.
For the purposes of historical recollections I thought I should take my readers through the events more so when Sierra Leone as well as the USA will be holding general elections in November this year with some elements of similarities but different outcomes, as the former will be decided by the logic of lawlessness, and wanton criminal violence because of Ernest Bai Koroma’s inordinate ambition to remain in power at any cost. The later in characteristic fashion will be decided by the rule of law as both John Locke and Montesquieu proposed in their concepts of political governance which have it that power belongs to the citizens and that those who exercise it are merely custodians and not masters.
In any case ,a backdrop of the extraordinary event that almost resulted into the near impeachment of a sitting president of the United States of America.
In any case ,a backdrop of the extraordinary circumstance which led to the near impeachment of a sitting chief executive of the United States of America forms the basis of this write up.
Like Ernest Bai Koroma,Mr.Nixon faced re-election in 1972 and all the polls showed him ahead of his challenger George McGovern one of those ultra guy supporting liberals in the mold of Barack Obama either for cynical expediency or tactical considerations or sheer paranoia on the part of some of his re-election team members embarked in a well orchestrated political dirty tricks against the Democrats which bordered on outright criminal conducts. They broke into the headquarters of the Democratic chairman Mr.Obrien’s office in the Watergate complex and planted listening devices.
A SECURITY GUARD’S EFFORTS LED TO THE FINAL DOWNFALL OF A SITTING PRESIDENT.
A security guard by the name of Frank Wills on routine patrol of the complex discovered something unusual and immediate summoned the Metropolitan Police department to the scene who upon arrival caught five men who came to be known as “WHITE HOUSE PLUMBERS” in the chairman’s office ,and charged them to court for at first simple burglary .All throughout the sordid state of affairs, Mr.Nixon Like Ernest Bai Koroma on January 20,1969 stood on the steps of the US capitol and swore to uphold and defend the constitution of the United States of America against all enemies foreign and domestic himself engaged in the most egregious exercise o debase the very constitution he swore to uphold and defend.
At the sentencing of the defendants ,one of them sent the judge a note indicating there was more to what was heard in court that involved higher ups in the government.
A ROBUST FEARLESS PRESS AND INDEPENDENT JUDICIARY FORCED RICHARD NIXON TO ACCEPT MEA CULPA FOR SUSTAINED LAW BREAKING AND AIDED IN HIS REMOVAL FROM OFFICE.
By 1973,the press was ankle deep in their investigations of Richard Nixon’s in the saga thanks mainly to Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward,who unlike Sierra Leone “journalists”like Sylvia Blyden and Kabs Kanu are never part of the “Brown Envelope” mentality and therefore conducted themselves in the most professional manner bringing much needed credibility and integrity to the investigations .Also, unlike the corrupt Umu Hawa Tejan-Jalloh corrupt and morally bankrupt supreme court afflicted by cravenness ,The Warren Burger Supreme Court made sure they followed where the evidence led and in the final analysis ,sided with the constitution against a once powerful and proud imperial president which culminated in the unanimous ruling against him that became his Waterloo in the political drama that finally drove him from office without a single shot fired.
So ,with the application of the rule of law ,the citizens prevailed.
NEXT EDITION IN THE EPISODE OF THE RULE OF LAW WILL SEEK TO QUESTION BOTH ERNEST BAI KOROMA AND JULIUS MAADA BIO ABOUT WHERE THEY STAND IN THAT REGARD.