General News of Monday, 11 September 2017
President Nana Akufo-Addo has appealed for the support of members of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) to help guarantee the success of the “battles” against corruption and the illegal mining phenomenon.
He said, “if we do not get a handle on corruption, we will not be able to develop our nation. By the same token, if we do not win the fight against environmental hazards, especially the battle against the galamsey phenomenon, we will have no nation to speak of.”
The President made this known when he delivered his remarks at the National Conference of the GBA, in Sunyani, which is being held on the theme “Saving the Future Generation from the Scourge of Corruption and Environmental Hazards – The Role of the Legal Profession”.
With the Office of Special Prosecutor is in the offing, President Akufo-Addo noted that the Office is an attempt to take the politics out of prosecutions of past and present public officers, (i.e. echoes of so-called witch-hunting), and, thus, needs the active support of the Bar to realize its goals.
Whilst expressing his satisfaction about the constitutionality of the creation of the Office, he noted that “I do not have the last word when it comes to pronouncements on matters constitutional. But it would certainly be remiss of me if I did not satisfy myself on the constitutional aspect before I put it before the Ghanaian people.”
President Akufo-Addo further added that it will be members of the Bar who will provide the personnel for the Office, stressing that much of its success will depend on their integrity and genuine commitment to the fight against corruption.
In the same vein, the President appealed for the co-operation of the Bench and Bar to ensure speedy prosecutions of those allegedly involved in illegal galamsey activities.
“It is important that deterrents are quickly dispensed to reinforce the abhorrence of the Ghanaian nation about the illegal galamsey activities, which threaten our very survival and future,” he added.
The President concluded, “Mindful of each other’s prerogatives and duties, I am calling for us, the Bench, the Bar and the Executive, to enter into a grand alliance to fight and defeat the twin scourges in the supreme interest of the Ghanaian people, and in the fight against corruption, for my part, I shall lead by example.”
President Akufo-Addo also assured Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo and the State’s lawyers in the Ministry of Justice, that his government, within the constraints of our public finances, will do its very best to address issues of remuneration, conditions of service and the logistical needs of the Judiciary and the Ministry of Justice.
“We are in it together – the great, noble adventure of self-government, popular government, free government. Let us put our shoulders to the wheel so that future generations will appreciate our contribution to the making of a successful, democratic Ghana which guarantees the liberties of our people, the institutions of good governance, the cohesion of our society, the wellbeing of the masses, and the peace and prosperity of our nation. The Black Star has a tryst with destiny. Let us work together to make it happen,” he said.