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August 30, 2018 | Feature Article

What a Shame that Ghana Lawyers and Judges are Trained to Become Incompetent and Corrupt!

What a Shame that Ghana Lawyers and Judges are Trained to Become Incompetent and Corrupt!

Honestly, Ghana-trained lawyers and judges are no match for their White contemporaries and those Ghanaians born, schooled and trained in law in the civilized Whiteman’s land. I will prove this assertive claim in a minute. The law lecturers in Ghana tutoring students to become lawyers are to bow down their heads in shame for helping churn out corrupt and incompetent lawyers and judges.

In any country that their judiciary is conspicuously corrupt and incompetent as it is prevalent in Ghana, lawlessness, creation of human monsters, economic stagnation or retrogression, become the tormenting order of the day to cost the citizenry the opportunity of availing themselves of justice, human rights and decent standard of living.

In Ghana, it has been established beyond doubt that our judges are corrupt; they accept bribes of all sorts to twist justice in favour of the highest bidder who might otherwise have ended up being the guilty party. The prominent people in the society are assisted by our lawyers and judges to get away with blue murder. This becomes worse when such culprits wield political power or are associated with people in government. Shame on the Ghana judiciary!

The following are my reasons for taking Ghana lawyers and judges to the cleaners. A certain Ghanaian law student, a young female of course, who is currently holidaying in the United Kingdom in answering a question posed to her by a friend in London has the following to say, “I can’t stay in Ghana to practise law on completion of my course. In Ghana, the lawyers and the judges are corrupt unlike those in the United Kingdom, the USA and Australia where I do spend holiday and interact with some lawyers and visit their courts. In Ghana, court cases are intentionally delayed, constantly postponed, all with intent to make more money from the litigants. The lawyers of the plaintiffs and the defendants can arrange to drag the case through series of unnecessary postponements. They can arrange such that when the plaintiff’s lawyer turns up in court on an appointed day, the defendant’s will not show up and the vice versa. On the day that both will turn up, the judge will not appear in court. All this is an arrangement between the lawyers and the judge. This is how the lawyers and the judges make money, especially when the case is serious and its constant deferments can yield more money to the lawyers and the judges. We are taught these tricks during lectures and training as a means to make more money when you go out to practise as a professional lawyer”

She went on further to say that even more serious cases like murder, fraud and evasion of huge taxes are dealt with within a month or a few months once they have completed their investigations and the case is brought before the courts in the UK, USA or Australia. However, in Ghana, such cases and even minor ones will drag on for years even in the face of abundant credible evidence. She said she finds that attitude disgusting so she will never stay in Ghana to practise law but will travel to the UK, USA or Australia to further her course and practise her legal profession in one of the mentioned countries. She finds the attitudes of Ghana lawyers and judges very nauseating, unprofessional and disgraceful in this competitive global world where every country is seriously seeking development through attraction of skilled labour and foreign investors.

If indeed Ghana law lecturers do teach their students this nasty trick of making money as honestly explained by the lady, then shame on the lecturers, the lawyers and the judges. No wonder that Anas Aremeyaw Anas, Ghana’s ace investigative journalist, could easily ensnare some judges with GHC500 or a goat or some yams to twist justice in favour of those parties surely going to be found guilty based on the available credible evidence but were declared innocent or the cases against them thrown out after the judges had been secretly induced with bribes.

From my personal experience, I do believe what the Ghana law student has said. Once, I engaged the services of a Kumasi-based lawyer to defend me in a case brought before a Tribunal court in Konongo in the Ashanti region. I instituted a criminal case against someone for destroying my farmland demarcation pillars at Effiduase Circuit court. The relatives of this person who live within the Agogo area filed a countersuit against me in Konongo. I paid my lawyer the total fee he charged for representing me at both courts. However, each time he attended any of the courts, I had to pay him extra fee for his transportation. This was in the region of then 100,000 Old Ghana Cedis. This is about fifteen or more years ago.

Both courts kept deferring the cases to fortnightly. When he attended Effiduase court this week, it would be deferred to the next two weeks. Then the following week he would attend that of Konongo which would also be postponed to two weeks. It kept going in that order for months. I finally decided to cancel that of Effiduase since I took the person to court. However, that of Konongo went on for two years until I petitioned the President through the Ghana High Commissioner in the UK. When the Tribunal Chairman got to know about my petition, he finally directed us (the plaintiff and the defendant) to withdraw the case from court to resolve it at home. Why could he not do this but kept postponing the case to fortnightly for two years?

The day that my lawyer and the plaintiffs’ lawyer would appear in court, the Chairman would not be present. When my lawyer attended, the other lawyer might not attend. When the Chairman of the Tribunal and both lawyers attended, the Chairman would postpone the case.

In the end, I discovered that the plaintiff’s lawyer was the junior lawyer in the same chamber of my lawyer in Kumasi. Therefore, they had arranged to milk me by doing what they were doing. My brother-in-law who is a lawyer in Accra told me what they were doing, two lawyers from the same chamber representing opposing parties in the same suit was against the ethics of the law profession so I had better report them to the Chief Justice.

When I went to Ghana, I went to the office of my lawyer and lambasted him. I took the case from him to give to another lawyer, the junior half-sibling of my deceased father-in-law. He proved himself not much better. I do not want to go into the detail but had it not been my wife’s incessant appeals to me to hold my peace, I would have dealt with him drastically. Because of him probably sticking with the lectured character as described by the female law student, he ensured I lost the case by his purposeful depiction of incompetence by failing to submit a summary report on the hearing of the case to the judge as guidance prior to the judge preparing his verdict report.

I am not going into the details but when I lost the case, he charged me GHC15,000 to send it to the Appeal Court. I declined. I preferred to have the High Court ruling stand than to spend any more money on a case my own lawyers were obviously being my worst enemies, concluding from their actions. They were more interested in what they would earn than winning the case which I stood 90% chance of winning if my lawyers had acted professionally as a white lawyer or a foreign-born and trained Ghanaian lawyer would do.

There are other ongoing court cases where the obviously deplorable attitudes of the lawyers will be given considerations as to report them to the Chief Justice or not.

Once in France, I recommended my lawyer, Regis, may his soul rest in perfect peace, to many Ghanaians. He was such a good lawyer who knew what he was doing. He won many cases for his clients. One day, I was told when he went to court with one of his Ghanaian clients, after the court hearing, many spectators/audience that were in the courtroom approached him for his contact details to take him as their lawyer. You should be a good lawyer to earn your wealth than the unprofessional way Ghanaian lawyers and judges go about earning their living. Shame on them.

Finally, a few months ago, two lawyers on radio explained the corrupt ways Ghana lawyers earn their money. This goes to confirm exactly the expressed view by the female law student. One of them said, after completion of his law school, he went to court and within two appearances in court he was able to win his first court case. When he told his father who was a judge about his brilliant performance at winning his first case in two court appearances on the case, his father said, “You are stupid, if I had done that how could I have got money to cater for your schooling? You should let the case drag on for months or years. Because the more it drags on, the more you can ask for money from your client. If you charge your client a huge sum of money at the outset, they may not be able to afford it hence may not take you. Ask for a reasonable sum of money but as the case drags on, once the client has committed him or herself, then you keep asking for some payments for this or that each time you are going to court. That is how you can earn more money”

The other lawyer also expressed a similar view where he won his first two cases within weeks. His Senior lawyer also chastised him. He advised him to drag the cases in other to earn money. These two lawyers were on the radio to explain the extent of corruption within the Ghana judiciary. They finally advised that if you have a lawyer and he keeps dragging your case in court, you had better report him to the Chief Justice since he/she is doing that deliberately to fleece you of your money.

If this is the attitude of the Ghana, but not the Ghanaian, law lecturers, lawyers and judges, then I say, a big shame on you! Your attitude smacks of incompetence and corruption. With such a corrupt judiciary, how can the country be attractive to foreign investors and Ghanaians resident abroad but wishing to proceed home to invest in Ghana?

I shall be back again. I am on the back of the Ghana judiciary. They need radical transformation and reformation of character for the nation to move forward as a country and a people aspiring to prosper.

I throw a challenge to the Ghana law lecturers to prove the female law student wrong if her claim is false. Because of their unprofessionalism and corrupt indoctrination, the lady will proceed abroad to practise her profession.

Should the corruption within the Judiciary especially, and the Legislature and the Executive branches of government continue in the trend it is going, then it will only have to take a civil revolution to right things. The canker cannot be left as it is without taking the bull by the horn!

Rockson Adofo

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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