Bad political leadership cause of problem at AG’s department, says former AG

Former Deputy AG, Kwame Osei Prempeh

Former Deputy AG, Kwame Osei Prempeh

A Former Deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Kwame Osei Prempeh, says the problem at the AG’s department emanates from bad political leadership.

According to the former deputy Attorney General under the Kufuor administration, government’s directive to reform the Department is ill-conceived if it is focused on payment of Judgement Debts.

On Tuesday July 30, 2013, President John Mahama directed the AG to immediately carry out reforms to improve justice delivery.

A Deputy Minister of Information and Media Relations, Murtala Mohammed, told journalists the reforms included training of government lawyers, development of a scheme for increased funding for the department, development of processes for automatic tracking of cases, attitude of lawyers towards cases, among others.

The Deputy Minister also said “there are cases…[which] government lost because lawyers who are supposed to represent government from the Attorney General’s Department failed to turn up, and we can attribute this to some Judgement Debts that [were] paid”.

But Mr Osei Prempeh said the inclusion of payment of Judgement Debts as a reason for the reform makes it “ill conceived”.

“The AG’s Office has been there for a long time, the state has incurred debts, why is it that over the last five years it has become an issue?”, demanded the former Attorney General.

He said bad political leadership at the Department has been the reason for the payment of huge judgement debt payments.

“If government wants really to revamp the department, it needs to look at the leadership of the place”, said Mr Osei Prempeh.

He was of the opinion that currently, the AG’s department is staffed with some of the best lawyers in Ghana.

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