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27.03.2006 General News

Attorney Gen. is incompetent -Gabby

By Ghanaian Chronicle

The Editor-In-Chief of The Statesman newspaper, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, lashes out at Attorney General(A-G) and Minister of Justice, Ayikoi Otoo and described him as a highly incompetent person.

Mr. Otchere-Darko accused the A-G of indulging in what he termed “extra-occupational pre-occupation,” with the proceedings of the Justice Akamba Committee, saying his attitude in all the brouhaha was very unfortunate.

The statesman editor who was speaking at an Accra based private radio station argued that the Justice Akamba Committee, had not gone into allegations bordering on his professional qualification, made by Mr. John Opoku, former deputy registrar of the law school, since the latter had taken the General Legal Council (GLC) and the director to court.

He therefore described the high publicity given issues concerning before the committee as unwarranted and blamed the Committee, which he described as the A-G's committee, for opening the flood gates for all sorts of 'spurious allegations' to be made on its platform.

Responding to questions on the controversy surrounding his passing out from the Ghana School of Law (GSL), and his qualification as a lawyer, he said the Justice Akamba Committee had cleared him, even though only half a page of the report, a copy of which he claimed he had, had been devoted to his issue.

Asked if he was suggesting that the A-G was in league with The Chronicle, regarding the publicity given the testimonies before the Justice Akamba Committee, and subsequent coverage of court proceedings by the paper, the Editor-In-Chief went to town.

“He is highly incompetent and I think he should advise himself,” he shot out, adding, “And I hope the President should advise himself as well!” Meanwhile, when The Chronicle reached him on phone for his reaction to the allegation against him by Mr. Otchere-Darko, the A-G, sounding shocked, stated that the committee's sittings were public and therefore it would be illogical for anybody to accuse him of any interference with its work.

He however promised to read the publication before reacting fully, if necessary The publisher of The Chronicle newspaper, Nana Kofi Coomson, had recently described the Foreign Minister, Nana Akufo-Addo as having been an incompetent A-G, when he appeared on Metro TV's Good Evening Ghana, scoring for him 3 out of 10.

Mr. Otchere-Darko, widely believed to be the media manager of the foreign minister, and part of his inner circle, had sent a TXT message, describing the Coomson's analysis as 'interesting, but predictable.'

The Justice Akamba Committee, was a 5-member body set up by the A-G and subsequently adopted by the General Legal Council (GLC), to investigate Mr. Kwaku Ansa-Asare, Acting Director of GSL (now on leave) following various allegations of impropriety leveled against him from several quarters.

Mr. Ansa-Asare has initiated a libel suit against The Chronicle and two other media houses, over publication of the proceedings of the Justice Akamba Committee in its September 14, 2005 edition, in which the name of the Editor-In-Chief of The Statesman had appeared in one of two stories.

The Statesman, had in its Friday, March 24 edition published a story under the title, 'Gabby is a qualified Lawyer- Akamba Committee exonerates GLC decision.

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