Pressure group to continue with case against judges
5/3/2012 8:01:19 PM -
Accra, May 3, GNA - The Forum for Governance and Justice (FGJ), a pressure group, has welcomed the withdrawal of the complaint filed by the Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana (AMJG) at the General Legal Council (GLC) against four lawyers, who made allegations of corruption of the bench.
However, it said, it would not withdraw the suit filed on June 10, 2011 against the AMJG by two of its members, Dr. Clement Apaak and Dr. Samuel Buame.
This was contained in a statement issued in Accra on Thursday by FGJ.
The four lawyers, Mr David Annan, Mr Abraham Amaliba, Dr. Raymond Atuguba and the late Mr. Laary Bimi, were banned by the AMJG from appearing in court on behalf of their clients for making allegations of corruption within the judiciary.
'Our decision, which we have communicated to our counsel, was reached at an executive meeting of the FGJ to consider a request by a joint committee of select members of the Judicial Council and the General Legal Council to mediate between the parties and, if possible, reach an out-of court settlement of the dispute and to make relevant proposals/recommendations that will avert such a situation in the future,' the statement said.
It said at the meeting with the joint committee, the Convener of the FGJ, Dr Apaak, who represented the Forum, indicated that the basis for the suit was much larger than the advocacy to revoke the complaint against the four lawyers, and therefore, he needed to consult the entire leadership of the FGJ.
The statement said: 'The outcome of the FGJ leadership meetingis that the case must proceed in court.
'Thus, while respecting the intervening role of the joint committee, which has contributed to the revocation of the ban on the four lawyers, the FGJ has decided to proceed with suit number AP.121/2011 based on principle and in the national interest.
'It is our belief that the outcome of our suit will have a positive impact on the rule of law, especially, the absolute independence of the judiciary.'
The statement said: 'FGJ said the ability of the AMJG to influence which lawyer a Judge or Magistrate should accept or not accept in his/her courtroom compromised the independence of the Judiciary.
'We also believe that in going forward with our case, we are carrying out our pledge not to abandon the principles for which Mr. Laary Bimi lived and died.'
The statement said to honour Mr Bimi and to continue his good work, the FGJ would soon provide details for the first Laary Bimi Memorial Lecture, to be held on August 29, his birthday, each year.
The FGJ is a non-partisan, non-profit organization, whose aim is to protect the right of the citizen and ensure justice and good governance.