Kwesi Pratt Jnr, Editor of the Insight newspaper, has lashed out at the Ghana Bar Association for its “selectivity” in handling alleged misconduct by some of its members with regards to their comments before and after the 2012 election petition hearing.
The Bar Association, according to Kwesi Pratt Jnr., has been “hijacked by political zealots pursuing their narrow, partisan political interests in the name of the legal collective.”
Mr Pratt’s critical comments come on the back of a statement issued by the GBA ostensibly in response to Mr Tsatsu Tsikata’s critique of Justice Anin Yeboah – one of the nine Justices who ruled on the election petition – of being politically bias in his rulings on the petition.
Last week Saturday on TV3’s news analysis programme Hot Issues Mr Tsikata told show host, Kwesi Pratt Jnr, that Justice Anin-Yeboah, allowed his political affiliations to cloud his judgment.
Mr. Tsikata said Justice Anin Yeboah consistently took an opposing stance against the National Democratic Congress (NDC)’s arguments and position as far as the case was concerned, from the onset.
Mr Tsikata was the lead Counsel for the NDC, who were Third Respondent in the petition.
The Bar Association subsequently issued a statement to warn “all lawyers especially lawyers who instructed in the petition before the Supreme Court to remember that it amounts to misconduct to grant interviews to the media in a matter in which such a person is instructed as counsel.”
A former president of the Association, Mr Samuel Okudzeto, also told Joy News that Mr Tsikata’s comments must be condemned since it was not good for the peace of the country.
Former President John Kufuor also issued a statement to condemn Mr Tsikata’s comments.
Mr Tsikata has since stood his ground, insisting he made the comments in truth and did not owe neither former President Kufuor nor Justice Anin Yeboah any apology.
Speaking on Alhaji and Alhaji news analysis programme on Radio Gold on Saturday September 7, Mr Pratt said the Ghana Bar Association was not consistent in condemning misconducts by lawyers.
He claims some lawyers have done and said worse things than Mr Tsikata, but are yet to be condemned by the Bar Association.
“Even before Mr Tsikata has spoken, there were other lawyers who were lashing at the Supreme Court Judges, who were calling them names and calling the [election petition] judgement corrupt. Where was the Ghana Bar Association at that time?”, Kwesi Pratt asked.
He said the Bar Association deliberately went silent on comments by some lawyers belonging to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) but chose to pick on Mr Tsikata for stating the facts.
He wondered whether the Bar Association had heard a lawyer threatening one of the Supreme Court Justices – in reference to a statement attributed to the NPP General Secretary, Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie.