Ghana Bar Association is not an appendage of any political party
The Ghana Bar Association is not an appendage of any political party neither does it exist to further the cause of any entity, Mr Yaw Acheampong Boafo, President of the Association, has said.
The Association has, therefore, condemned in no uncertain terms, partisan attacks on the legal profession and the judiciary.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra, Mr Boafo said the Association would resist all attempts to foment disaffection against the judiciary and the legal profession.
The press conference was to address issues arising from the Association’s Annual General Meeting held at the University of Cape Coast on September 10 -15, 2023 under theme: “Ensuring High Standards and integrity in Public Life: The Role of Legal Profession and Subsequent National Issues”.
The press conference discussed issues on corruption, illegal mining, infrastructure deficits in public basic schools, partisan politics and the legal profession/ administration of justice, indiscipline, and use of intemperate language in media space, political staging post GBA Conference, recent Occupy Jubilee House Demonstration and the Spillage of the Akosombo Dam.
The GBA President said nothing would be gained when a group of lawyers allowed politicians to use them to denigrate the legal profession and the judiciary, adding that would be “self-destructive”.
On corruption, Mr Boafo called for the swift passage of the Conduct of Public officers’ Bill to instill the culture of accountability and integrity among public officers.
“We call on Government and Parliament to work closely together in making it a reality. Enough of the lip service.”
Mr Boafo said the public service was riddled with bribery, embezzlement, and corruption.
“Procurement breaches are rife, serving as a steady flow of questionable wealth for some public officers. Corruption permeates all levels of the public sector and social arrangement. Scandals by political and public officers and civil servants are commonplace. There is even the fear that corruption has become normalised.”
The GBA President said the Annual Auditor General’s Report, with its attendant public hearings and revelations therein, although not new, still made sad commentary on the state of corruption, plundering, embezzlement and mismanagement of the public purse in the country.
“We cannot be proud and satisfied with how Ghana recently ranked on the Transparency International Corruption Index and the Index of Public Integrity. We cannot like this. Things must change…. The GBA proposes that as a people we go back to the basics.
“Let us teach our children the cultural and social norms, values and virtues of honest labour, decency and integrity.
“We must stop defending and covering up for persons, especially those in the public service, who suddenly become rich and acquire properties without questioning how they came by them.
“We must all condemn this phenomenon where appointing authorities decide not to appoint men and women of real competence and proven integrity to public and political office and instead make such appointments on grounds of personal preference or partisan or sectional interest or on consideration of patronage or even by how much financial resources an appointee contributed to the electoral victory.”
On Galamsey, the GBA President noted that the phenomenon was wrecking an incalculable toll on Ghana’s forest and water bodies and the livelihood of many families.
The Association, therefore, called on government, political leadership and key stakeholders to show more political will and integrity in decisively dealing with the illegal mining menace.
“Galamsey is controlled and funded by a network of corrupt public officials, politicians, traditional rulers, and wealthy and powerful business interests.
“The government must be honest and bold and fish out this evil axis of powerful interests engaged in the wanton destruction of our environment and deal with them decisively irrespective of the status or political background of individuals involved.
If we refuse to act, the ravenous gluttony of our elite will ultimately destroy us as a nation.”