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15.08.2005 General News

Ansa-Asare Challenges Attorney - General


Accra, Aug 15, GNA - Mr Kwaku Ansa-Asare, Director of Ghana School of Law, on Monday challenged the status of the Attorney - General and Minister of Justice for establishing a Ministerial Committee of probe allegations made against him.

He said the Minister, Mr Ayikoi Otoo "has no power by himself to set up and inaugurate a Discip0linary Committee of whatever description to probe allegations of mal-administration and conflict of interest against me".

In a signed statement he sent to Ghana News Agency, Mr Ansa-Asare said he had sent a letter to the Attorney - General about "his lack of authority and the illegality of the steps he has taken in setting up the said Committee".

He said "the law already provides a remedy for any one, who has cause to complain about the professional conduct of a Lawyer to take the matter to the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council set up under the Legal Profession Act 32 of 1960".

Section 18 of the Act says: " Any complaint by a person relating to the conduct of a Lawyer shall be referred to the Disciplinary Committee and, if it appears to the Disciplinary Committee that an inquiry ought to be held into the complaint, they shall proceed to hold the inquiry." Mr Ansa-Asare said sustained media attacks on him resulted in the Attorney - General setting up a committee, which was called as a Constitutional and Administrative Ministerial Committee of Enquiry to probe allegations levelled against him.

He said according to the terms of reference of the Committee it was also required to investigate his role "as a practising Lawyer in a dispute over the importation of some rice by my clients from the US in 2000", before he became Director.

"In this regard, I wish to submit that there is no relevance at all between the rice dispute and my administration of the Ghana School of Law.

"The rice, which was imported into the country in 2000 became the subject matter of litigation in January 2001 between the importers, my clients on the one hand and the buyers, Unique Trust Financial Services and Madam Priscilla Amegashie on the other hand."

Mr Ansa-Asare said so far no one had deemed it fit to lodge a complaint with the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council against him and that the rice was purchased at a time when he was not a Director of the School.

He submitted; "it is not fair and proper to tack this rice dispute on to allegations of mal-administration of the Ghana School of Law as the official statement by the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice has tried to do.

"I acted as a Lawyer and if any misconduct is alleged, which is denied, it could only have been in my capacity as a practising Lawyer within the intendment of Act 32."

Mr Ansa-Asare drew attention to the court action he had already taken at the Fast Track High Court against a section of the media for defaming him and gave the assurance that he was prepared to appear before "a lawfully constituted body to answer any charge and vindicate myself".