Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Dame

The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) has jumped to the defence of the Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, for using the Bar Conference to criticise attacks on the judiciary by former President Mahama.

According to the spokesperson of the Association, Saviour Kudze, the comment by the Justice Minister was only an admonishment to lawyers.

On Monday, September 12, the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, asked the legal fraternity to disregard what he describes as attempts by some characters to discredit the performance of the Electoral Commission in the last general elections.

Mr Dame said the 2020 flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has developed the habit of criticising the judiciary unnecessarily.

He, thus, described Mr Mahama’s attitude as deplorable and unbecoming of a former head of state.

The AG’s comment did not sit well with Aide to Mr Mahama, Joyce Bawa Mogtari, who asked the public to “ignore the rants of ‘baby’ Godfred Dame.”

But the Ghana Bar Association says the AG’s comments should not be twisted.

“The Attorney General is the official leader of the Bar and, at an annual conference like this, he addresses lawyers and I think that is the best platform to admonish lawyers because it is expected that most lawyers would be at the conference.

GBA defends use of its conference by Attorney General to criticise Mahama
Spokesperson of GBA, Saviour Kudze

“He did not use the conference to talk about only the former president. His concern is that ‘you are lawyers; the former president who is a non-lawyer made this statement. I thought you would have at least said that Mr Candidate, Mr leader of party, former president, you shouldn’t have said so,’” Saviour Kudze noted.

What did Mahama say?

The former president, speaking at a gathering at the NDC’s Lawyers’ Conference on Sunday, August 28, said it will take a new Chief Justice to repair the ‘broken image’ of the Judiciary.

According to him, the current leadership of the Judiciary lacks what it takes to redeem its sunken image, hence the need for a new Chief Justice.

GBA defends use of its conference by Attorney General to criticise Mahama
Former President John Dramani Mahama

Mr Mahama explained that a perceived independent Judiciary is a vital element in safeguarding the country’s democracy.

The NDC’s 2020 Presidential Candidate however noted that the current Judiciary has become an item of ridicule and mistrust, and therefore the need for a new Chief Justice to restore public confidence in the courts.

“There is, therefore, the urgent need for the Ghanaian Judiciary to work to win the trust and confidence of the citizenry and erase the widely held perception of hostility and political bias in legal proceedings at the highest courts of the land.

“Unfortunately, we have no hope that the current leadership of our Judiciary can lead such a process of change.

“We can only hope, that a new Chief Justice will lead the process to repair the broken image that our Judiciary has acquired over the last few years,” Mahama said.

This critique is what has necessitated a response from the Attorney General.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.