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Neo
15th July 2011, 05:00 PM
The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) has resolved not to shield four of their members who recently made comments to the effect that there was widespread corruption in the judiciary.

Since the controversial comments were made, the association has restrained itself on the matter and in the process received bashing from some pressure groups for not coming to the rescue of their four members. But upon careful reflection, the GBA came out strongly to condemn the four for making unsubstantiated allegations against judges.

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“The Association condemns in the strongest terms the unsubstantiated allegations of corruption levelled against all judges by a group of lawyers,” a release jointly signed by Frank W. K. Beecham, National President and Peter R. Zwennes, National Secretary, said yesterday.

The four legal practitioners are Dr. Raymond Atuguba, Executive Secretary of the Constitution Review Commission and lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana, David Annan, a National Democratic Congress apologist, Abraham Amaliba, a private legal practitioner and Laari Bimi, chairman of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE).

Their comments sparked huge public debate compelling the Association of Magistrates and Judges (AMJ) to report the four lawyers to the General Legal Council for sanctions.

The General Council of the GBA, at its 268th meeting held on Thursday, June 23, 2011, said it “considered, among others, the recent allegations of corruption levelled against Judges” before making the resolution.

The GBA said, “The association reiterates its stand, maintained at all times, that it would not shield any judge engaged in corruption and would assist the Judiciary in combating corruption on the bench.

“The Association calls upon the lawyers namely, Dr. Raymond Atuguba, Mr. Abraham Amaliba, Mr. Larry Bimi and Mr. David Annan to submit to the Judicial Council the names of the alleged corrupt judges and the evidence against them.

“In the event that the said lawyers are unable to substantiate their allegations, the Association would advise them to render unqualified apology to the Judiciary.”

The GBA assured the lawyers and the public that it would encourage genuine complaints against corrupt judges and would lend its assistance and support to the prosecution of such complaints.

They also took a swipe at another member of the bar, Chris Ackumey, for violating laws of the land and rules of conduct and etiquette, saying, “The association notes with grave concern the open confession by a member of the Bar, Mr Chris Ackumey that he had engaged in the corruption of a Judge. “Mr. Ackumey, a practising lawyer, was in blatant violation of the laws of the land and Rules of Conduct and Etiquette at the Bar, not to mention the solemn oath he took on admission onto the Roll of Lawyers.”

The GBA added, “The Bar deplores and condemns the conduct of Mr Chris Ackumey. The Association proposes to take the necessary legal steps for the prosecution of Mr Ackumey and the institution of disciplinary proceedings against him.”



Source: William Yaw Owusu