Read your own constitution; GBA tells disgruntled lawyer

The Ghana Bar Association has described as beating a dead horse, arguments that it did not obtain the express permission of all its members before bringing a matter to the Supreme Court.

Per the constitution of the Association, the power to go to court or take a decision on behalf of the membership is vested in the elected leadership as well as the Bar Council, Public Relations Officers of the GBA, Tony Forson has told Joy News.

He was reacting to comments by a Tema-based lawyer, Mr Mathias Kwasi Yakah who is asking the GBA to withdraw the suit before the Supreme Court which among others is seeking clarification on a provision in the constitution bordering on the appointment of judges to the Superior Courts.

He argued that the GBA leadership did not obtain the mandate of the members of the Association and warned of a consequential “historic embarrassment”.

But Tony Forson said that concern should be disregarded, adding that claims by Mr. Yakah that the Bar is in court to challenge the appointment of Justices Yaw Apau and Gabriel Pwamang to the Supreme Court shows that Mr. Yakaha did not even read the writ filed in court.

On the capacity of the leadership to go to court without the mandate of the entire members, Mr. Yakah was advised to read the constitution of the Association he claims to be a member of.

“If he is a member then he has not read the constitution of the GBA…20 members of the Bar council made up of regional presidents and regional secretaries, plus former presidents came to this decision.

“Never in the history of the GBA that the GBA has to come back to ask for any mandate. The mandate is implied in the constitution for the Bar council and the National Executive Council to take any decision in between congress. So discard that notion totally.”

Asked if the GBA will withdraw the case as requested by Mr. Yakah, he indicated, that would be impossible because Mr. Yakah’s position was “totally wrong”.

The GBA was also accused by Mr. Yakah of not concerning itself with important national issues especially those affecting its members such as the astronomical increases in court fees and the rights of the accused in criminal trials.

But Mr. Forson explained that the Association’s membership in the Greater Accra met and discussed the issue, and the national executive council placed the concern before the Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho and the leadership of Parliament.

He is, therefore, surprised the lawyer would resuscitate an issue which has been “flogged and dead”, thereby wasting “everybody’s time”.


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