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08.10.2003 General News

GBA reiterates call for peace between JAK and JJ

GBA reiterates call for peace between JAK and JJ
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Accra, Oct. 7, GNA - The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) on Tuesday asked Ghanaians and civil society organizations to join the Association in its efforts to reconcile President John Agyekum Kufuor and Ex-President Jerry John Rawlings without any delay. Mr Paul Adu-Gyamfi, National President of GBA, announced this at a press briefing on the Association's resolutions passed at its Annual Conference held at Elimina, recently.
He said the GBA "notes with serious concern the mistrust, animosity and unhealthy relations existing between His Excellency President John Agyekum Kufuor and Ex-President Rawlings, which needed to be tackled". "If the two cannot sit together and take decisions together then it means that there is something wrong."
He said GBA expected the two to cooperate, sit together and hold meetings and share ideas concerning the nation, adding, "the nation would be happy one day, when we are told that ex-President Rawlings had called President Kufuor on telephone just to wish him a happy birthday". Mr Adu-Gyamfi called for amendment of Article 82 (2) of the 1992 Constitution on the membership of the Council of State to include any person, who has held the High Office of President or Head of State as provided for under the 1969 and 1979 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
Chief Justice George Acquah was commended for his efforts at fighting corruption in the Judiciary but the GBA said there was the need for an effective monitoring system to ensure accountability of judges and the performance of their duties.
He appealed to the Government to review all aspects of funding of the Houses of Chiefs by empowering them financially to enable them to carry out their judicial functions and ensure that each House of Chiefs had a fulltime resident Legal Counsel.
The President of GBA called for immediate amendment of Article 128 (1) of the 1992 Constitution to indicate the maximum number of judges to be appointed to the Supreme Court to enhance and sustain people's confidence in the Judiciary.
The GBA affirmed its support for democratic constitutional governance and called on the Military in Africa to be loyal to their respective state and should not compromise their integrity.
The GBA President, therefore, urged members of the Legal Profession in Africa to ensure that they did not lend support and encouragement to any military adventurists to subvert democratically elected governments in Africa.
"It is sad to say that most of our members in Africa normally lend their support to military adventurists by drafting draconian laws for the particular country."
Mr Adu-Gyamfi reiterated the need to dispense justice to all manner of persons and urged the Government to equip the Legal Aid Board to expand its structures overtime to all the districts in the country.
The GBA, Mr Adu-Gyamfi said, recognized the importance of discipline within the Legal Profession and urged the Council of the Bar to grant them the authority to discipline its members as "the absence of such powers had led to laxity on the part of many members".
The Association called on Ghanaians, including organized labour, in spite of its reservations about the funding of the National Health Insurance Scheme, to support the scheme in the interest of the suffering masses.

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