However, it condemned the attempt to create a link between the personal dissatisfaction of journalists with the work of the Attorney-General and the continued employment of three lady lawyers as State Attorneys.
A statement issued in Accra and jointly signed by Mr Frank W. K. Beecham, National President and Mr Peter R. Zwennes, National Secretary said “Members of the GBA work and serve in various capacities and are held to very high professional and ethical standards, which are also laid down by statute.
“Thus unlike many other professions in the realm, a breach of our ethical rules are a breach of the law”.
It was in reaction to a newspaper publication that demanded the removal of Mr A.B.K.Martin Amidu, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, on numerous grounds, including the claim that he had sabotaged the Government by retaining in the Attorney-General’s Department, three lady lawyers who were related or married to ‘opposition’ politicians.
“In effect, the publication asserts, rather alarmingly, that the right to serve Mother Ghana as a public or civil servant should be linked to and affected by either whom your father is or whom you are married to.”
It said “We recognise that legal work for the Republic requires a lot of sacrificial service and selfless work. If a lawyer fails to meet the standards set by law and the relevant regulations governing the office that he or she holds, that lawyer should be dealt with in accordance with those regulations”.
“However, in the absence of any proof of professional incompetence, ethical misconduct or breach of the applicable regulations, we find it deplorable, unacceptable and highly immoral to demand that any public or civil servant (including members of this Association) should be removed from office, on no other ground but the vacuous claim based on what their family relations are.”
The statement pointed out, that as lawyers their prime objective was to uphold the law.
“This objective is the same for State Attorneys, Corporate lawyers, military and police lawyers, and private legal practitioners.”
“The Attorney General of Ghana is the principal legal adviser to the Government. The Government’s concerns are for the people of Ghana and thus the Attorney General is the protector of peoples’ rights.”
“It is not the business of the learned Attorney General of the Republic to have persons imprisoned or cause them to lose their life or property without due process.”
“Indeed the State, in protecting peoples’ rights, has empowered the Attorney General to prosecute cases based on the evidence and material available (irrespective of political colouration) and leave it to the court to decide whether or not a case has been made out against the alleged offender.“
“The Attorney General must therefore be satisfied that there are sufficient facts to support a prosecution before putting a case before the court. He cannot or ought not to prosecute any person because a member of the public makes an allegation against such a person. The right to prosecute or not is solely that of the Attorney General.”
“It is therefore unfair to accuse the Attorney General, merely because someone thinks he ought to prosecute persons of a different political persuasion.”
“We must remind all and sundry of the constitutional provisions that (i) impose on State authorities a duty to be fair and candid, (ii) frown on the exercise of State power in a manner that is arbitrary, capricious or biased either by resentment, prejudice or personal dislike and (iii) prohibit State acts that are not in accordance with due process of law.”
“The GBA would want to assure its members of its total support in all of such situations, if they should occur,” the statement said.