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06.08.2018 Feature Article

When things begin falling apart…

When things begin falling apart…
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Folks, I am in a terrible mood to poke ribs; and I have chosen the ribs of the General Legal Council of Ghana and the authorities responsible for conducting exams and scrutinizing the credentials of those wishing to enter the Ghana School of Law to be trained.

As a side-kick, I aim at the incompetent government of the old dog (Akufo-Addo) under whom jitters are occurring everywhere. Corruption here, corruption there; the old dog barking with his artificial teeth lacking the power to bite.

Such dentures will bite deep at their owner's own risk, which the old dog knows and fears. Thus, he sticks to barking loud, barking louder, and barking the loudest everyday to announce his presence only, not to bite. Who cares about such presence, anyway, when it's all about attending ceremonies and barking all the more?

Now, to the real issue. News reports about the leakage of exam questions for candidates seeking admission into the Ghana School of Law this year hit Ghanaians as a huge shock; and they passed comments condemning happenings and urging for a probe into it. Nothing from officialdom has happened thus far, whether in the form of reaction to the occurrence or what punitive measures will be taken to forestall recurrence.

The General Legal Council hasn't reacted; neither has the Akufo-Addo government, which raises eyebrows, especially because of the pinpointed malfeasance therein that we have seen but which they pretend not to be there.

Where is Sam Okudjeto, the octogenarian rabble-rouser who recently stepped beyond bounds to damn Kwaku Azar for instituting legal action against the General Legal Council on matters of the sort now disgracing it? And the Supreme Court ruled against the applicant!! Such characters of Okudjeto's type and malfunctioning state institutions of the judiciary's type can't help us move Ghana out of the woods.

Now that this rot has surfaced, has Okudjeto yet bowed his bald head in shame? The incident clearly goes to substantiate the claims made by Kwaku Azar and others that the processes/procedures for selecting candidates for training at the Ghana School of Law aren't "sacrosanct" as currently established and used (even though it has been so for decades) and must be revised/reviewed/overhauled.

We will not belabour issues here anymore but go all out to say that this leakage of exam questions speaks volumes to confirm the rot in the system. Why hasn't the General Legal Council reacted thus far to set the records right or to tell us what it intends to do in allaying concerns/apprehensions, even when the leakage hurts its own integrity?

This is the first time in history that such sordidness has occurred; and it has done so under none other's watch but that of the old dog (Akufo-Addo), a so-called lawyer who practised law in Ghana for 40 years before becoming the lameduck President of Ghana under whom all kinds of corrupt activities are going on despite his fulsome noise to fight that vice in his tenure.

Folks, I want to hit harder. I am not surprised that the government hasn't reacted to the scandal because it is headed by someone (the old dog himself) who got enrolled as a lawyer in the early 1970's without providing any concrete evidence of his being trained and certified as a lawyer.

Evidence from the affidavit filed by Godfred Dame (now the Deputy Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, who represented Akufo-Addo in the matter raised by Justice Kpegah) had it that Akufo-Addo had told Bart-Plange that he had lost his law qualifying certificate after passing through the Inner Temple. Yet, he got "baptized" and enrolled.

Folks, Bart-Plange (who was then the Acting Executive Secretary of the General Legal Council) stated that fact in the document that Akufo-Addo has boasted of as a confirmation of his being duly enrolled. And a signature of the President of the General Legal Council at the time was appended as a mark of authentication?

No other lawyer in Ghana's history has ever had to go that way. Take note, folks, that what I am saying here is on record at the High Court that heard the case and ruled against Justice Kpegah.

That case was manipulated and ended abruptly for technical reasons, but the lessons learnt from it remain with us.

And what has happened in this case of the exam leakage bespeaks a lot more worrisome aspects of the rot existing in our legal system in Ghana. And we know how lawyers have placed themselves as the be-it-all-and-know-all in our circumstance but who end up compounding our problems instead of solving them when given the baton of office.

Folks, it must be said here again that what is unfolding hasn't ever happened under any government led by the non-United Party group. Not under the much-maligned NDC one but under those led by the NPP braggarts.

Under Kufuor (who himself claims to be a lawyer but cannot point us to where he ever practised law, and damned as such by Akufo-Addo at the NPP Congress in Sunyani in 1995 that chose him to lead the NPP at Election 1996 in the teeth of Akufo-Addo's dissension), there was a scandal on procurement of textbooks and other resources at the Ghana Law School that was adroitly handled and swept under the rug.

Should it be so too for this exam leakage in the sight of the General Legal Council under an Akufo-Addo (the old rabid dog barking all over the place and pontificating about his incorruptibility and desire to root out corruption from Ghana)?

The thrust of my stance here should be clear: If the government and its analogous appendages are stressing the importance of REFORMS to clean up the system (which has, for instance, led to the implementation of the free high school education programme and what-not by Akufo-Addo), why aren't they enthusiastically supporting moves by concerned citizens against the rot in the system for things to be done right? A paradox of sorts!!

I pause here but will return...
By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
(E-mail: [email protected] )
Sunday, August 5, 2018

Michael J.K. Bokor, Ph.D.
Michael J.K. Bokor, Ph.D., © 2018

The author has 1325 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: MichaelJKBokor

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