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27.10.2005 Crime & Punishment

Ansa-Asare Case: Latest

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Accra, Oct 27, GNA - Justice Joseph Bawa Akamba, Chairman of the Committee of enquiry, which is investigating allegations of abuse of office against Mr Kwaku Ansa-Asare, Director of the Ghana School of Law (GSL), on Thursday advised legal practitioners, who appeared before the Committee to uphold the dignity of the profession through their conduct. "This is an honourable profession so let us not allow our emotions to control us," he said.
Justice Akamba made the remarks at the sitting of the Committee in reaction to an incident that happened during its previous sitting on Wednesday.
At the last sitting, Mr Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, Editor-in-Chief of "The Statesman", had confronted Mr John Opoku, a Former Deputy Registrar of the GSL after they had both appeared before the Ccommittee. The confrontation was sequel to remarks that were made by Mr Opoku to the effect that Mr Otchere-Darko had manipulated his way into being called to the Bar.
At the sitting today, Mr Opoku insisted that he did not register Mr Otchere-Darko to re-sit his examinations as "The Statesman" Editor said. He said the letter, which Mr Otchere-Darko brought to him (Mr Opoku) dated November 3rd 2003 from the Registrar of the GSL to authorise him (Mr Opoku) to register Mr Otchere-Darko was fraught with inaccuracies.
Mr Opoku, who was being cross-examined by Nana Asante Bediatuo, Counsel for Mr Otchere-Darko, said the General Legal Council (GLC) and the Board of Legal Education would have given a final approval of students that were to be called to the Bar by November 3rd 2005.
He said since those to do that particular re-sit were to be called to the Bar along with the rest of their colleagues, the letter was in effect null and void.
Mr Opoku said any letter of that nature had to be issued by the GLC, and signed by the Judicial Secretary and not the Registrar of the GSL, adding that the letter did not state who called for the remark. He said the letter only stated that the examiners had passed Mr Otchere-Darko.
Mr Opoku said he was not up to any mischief to disgrace anybody. He said he was only interested in ensuring that administrative inconsistencies that pertained at the GSL were corrected. Mr Opoku noted that in his previous evidence to the Committee, he only cited his refusal of Mr Ansa-Asare's orders to register Mr Otchere-Darko for his re-sit examinations as one of the reasons for which he believed the GSL Director dismissed him from the School.
During cross-examination by Mr Biadela Mortey Akpadzi, Counsel for Mr Opoku, Mr Otchere-Darko said it was not true that he never approached Mr Opoku to register in order to re-sit his examination on the Law on Taxation.
He said on November 3rd 2003, he had a letter from the Registrar of the GSL informing him to register in order to re-sit the examination. Mr Otchere-Darko said he went to Mr Opoku to process forms for his referral.
Mr Otchere-Darko said it was not true that he had contacted Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mr Norbert Kudzeho, a member of the GLC, to help him out concerning his law school examinations.
This was after Mr Akppadzi had put it to him that he sought the assistance of the two persons concerning the examinations. Mr Akpadzi said Mr Otchere-Darko had said on a radio programme that he had talked to Nana Akufo-Addo concerning his examinations.
Mr Otchere-Darko said on the said programme, he had made the statement that "even my cousin Nana Akufo-Addo advised me not to petition but to repeat the class".
Nana Bediatuo said it was unfair for Mr Otchere-Darko to bear the brunt for administrative lapses at the GSL. Sitting continues on Tuesday November 1 2005.