Chief Justice swears in 85 Notaries Public

By
Hafsa Obeng, GNA

Accra, Oct 22, GNA –
The Chief Justice, Justice Sophia A. B. Akufo on Tuesday sworn in 85 Lawyers as
Notaries Public, in Accra, with the call on them to apply a reasonable amount
of skill and diligence in the performance of their duties.

“As Notaries Public,
in the performance of the duties entrusted to you, you must use a reasonable
amount of skill as well as ordinary diligence, else failure to exercise due
diligence may lead to unpleasant consequences.”

Under section one of
the Notaries Public Act 1960, Act 26, the Chief Justice is empowered to appoint
persons she considers fit and proper to discharge the duties assigned to that
office of Notary Public by law and by practice.

Justice Akkufo said
the convention had been that the person appointed as Notary Public must be a
lawyer of high moral character, and proven integrity and of no longer than 10
years and in good standing at the bar.

She said it was
expected that each of them would bring to bear on their new appointment, the
experience they have gathered over the years in their profession as lawyers and
officers of the court.

She said the said
Act enjoins every person so appointed to swear faithfully to execute the duties
of his or her office, adding that it was not an oath that they should take
lightly.

“The functions of
the Notary Public entails greater responsibility and skill than mere
oath-taking. A Notary Public is a person authorized by a state to administer
oath, certify documents and assess the authenticity of signatures and perform
official acts in commercial matters.”

She said a Notary
Public is also an officer of the law whose duty it is to prepare important
documents such as contracts, leases, powers of attorney, and articles of
partnership, wills, and other instruments.

“A person appointed
into such an important public office is expected to be qualified, experienced
practitioner, a person worthy of trust, integrity, and dignity. You would play
important roles in the lives of the people, by the prevention of fraud and the
protection of the public, by acting as official unbiased witnesses and
certifiers in respect of important documents”

Justice Akkufo said
they were required to include on each document, their name, signature and name
of notarisation as well as their notary seal or stamp.

She advised them to
avoid falling into bad habits, and as a matter of good practice maintain a
register of all Notarial Acts they do, so as to have a solid record of their
activities.

“Anytime you have a
change of name and address for any reason, you must notify the Judicial
Secretary, so that the Judicial Service would also have a current record of
you.

“You have sworn an
oath to faithfully execute your duties and I have great confidence in you that
you would not let me down.”

Mr Joseph Dinkiok
Kpemka, a Deputy Attorney General congratulated the lawyers for their
appointment, saying it has been years of sacrifice, high ethical standards,
dedication, and hard work noticed by the Chief Justice that has brought them
this far.

He said they would
not have been part if they had not set exemplary conduct in the past, and it
was this same conduct that was expected of them as they assumed this particular
responsibility.

“You are enjoined by
law to act by the statutory provisions bearing in mind that there are penalties
that could be applied in case of any misconduct.”

GNA

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