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19.07.2004 General News

GBA "Rubishes" Rawlings' Claim

By Larry-Alans Dogbey(Network Herald)

The Ghana Bar Association says it would not be pushed by any individual or group of persons into making speculative statements on matters it has no evidence on, as a tacit demonstration of its concern for human rights issues in the country.

It acknowledged that it is more than unfortunate that killers of the Over Lord of the Dagbon Traditional Area Na Ya Yakubu Andani II and forty of his subjects have not been brought to book two years since the heinous crime but found it pretentious that the former president should think they could do anything when it has no evidence whatsoever to enable it point accusing fingers or make definitive pronouncements on.

The President of the Association Paul Adu-Gyamfi made these submissions in reaction to recent accusations former President Rawlings that they were exhibiting double standards by only showing concern when its member are affected but remain silent when there is a clear case of human right abuse against a non member.

The former President had suggested that the Ghana Bar Association was being inward looking when called upon to express his views on the erection of the bust of the 3 slain High Court Judges in front of the Supreme Court of Ghana. He questioned why the Association had failed to pressurize the appropriate authorities to find the killers of the Ya Na as his PNDC regime did when the three High Court Judges and retired military officer were murdered.

Mr. Adu-Gyamfi told the Network Herald that like any civil society organization, the Association saw the heinous crime as a national tragedy and agrees with the position that failure to identify the culprits does not demonstrate a desire to ensure that justice takes its rightful place so that lasting peace could return to the area but emphasised that the Association is hopelessly incapacitated due to the non-availability of any evidence on the matter.

“Like the murder of the Judges, you realized we haven't come out to accuse anybody of being responsible. If the Bar has evidence of wrong doing on the part of anybody, then it would be irresponsible not to make it available.”

Moreover he said, “it is not every thing that the Bar Association talks about. There are so many cases that the Bar Association hasn't talked about or commented on. Even during the PNDC regime, there were several cases the Association didn't talk about.”

Then delving into history, Mr. Adu-Gyamfi recounted how on the contrary the Association has always been concerned with issues irrespective of those affected, but only coming out loud when it is convinced it was in possession of adequate evidence and facts to substantiate whatever statement it presents.

“The Bar challenged Busia, on his 'no court, no court' declaration. And it happened several times under the military regimes.”

Mr. Adu-Gyamfi challenged all those who claim to know the architects of the crime to make their evidence available to the necessary agencies to help “lay the matter to rest for peace and tranquility to prevail in the Dagbon Traditional Area.” He also suggested the establishment of a Special Hall of Fame in memory of the many people who became unwilling casualties of the PNDC regime where people like Major Sam Acquah who did things worthy of praise would be honoured since even though the late Major and the three judges were slain together, the three were honoured by the Judicial Council because they were part of their own.

“The soldier was left out because this is solely the Bar Association and the Judicial Council issue. We even had to write officially to their families for permission to put pictures of their charred bodies in the brochure.”

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