President Akufo-Addo has reiterated his government’s commitment fearlessly fight corruption in the country and has called on members of the judiciary to support the cause.
Akufo-Addo was speaking at the Bar Conference held in Sunyani on Monday.
“We all know that if we do not get a hanger 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 galamsey phenomena, we will have no nation to speak of. I am fully committed as the President to doing all in my power to confront these twin challenges and in these endeavour, I ask for support from the association. I need your support to ensure the success of this battle,” he opined.
He noted moves by his government to set up the Office of the Special Prosecutor is an attempt to take politics out of prosecution of present and past public office holders needs the active support of the Bar to succeed and demonstrate his willingness to address corrupt activities in the country.
According to him, all cases of corruption and misappropriation of public funds will be independently and thoroughly investigated for the law to take its course. The President announced these known in address to the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) at their Annual general Conference in Sunyani on Monday.
The 5-day conference is to afford members of the GBA to take stock of their activities over the year, share experiences and chart the way forward. It was on the Theme-“Saving the Future Generation from the Scourge of Corruption and Environmental Hazards: The Role of the Legal Profession”.
President Akufo-Addo said he was convinced of the constitutionality of the creation of the office even though he was aware he did not have the last word when it comes to the final pronouncement on matters of constitution and therefore will be putting it before Ghanaians for final determination.
He observed the success of the office of the Public Prosecutor will depend on integrity and the commitment of GBA to the fight against corruption. The president called for effective collaboration between the Bench, Bar and the executive to ensure speedy prosecution of those involved in illegal galamsey activities.
“I therefore call on all, the Bar, Bench and the Executive to enter into a grand alliance to fight and defeat the canker in the supreme interest of the Ghanaian people” he emphasized.
Nana Addo pledged to address issues of remunerations, conditions of service and logistical resources the judiciary and the Ministry of Justice to enable them execute their mandate.
The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Gloria Afua Akuffo for her part, appealed legal practitioners in the country not to defend the corrupt but rather expose them. This according was the surest way to check corruption and restore hope in the country.
She lamented the increasing perception of corruption in the judiciary and the devastating effects of illegal mining in the country and called members and the law enforcement agencies to be professional in the discharge of their duties to propel the country’s development.
She called on the GBA to make the courts functional and effective by ensuring members take the ethics of the profession seriously.
The Chief Justice, Her Ladyship Justice Sophia Akuffo, in an address to open the conference, urged lawyers to adhere to the highest form of professionalism in the national fight against corruption. She noted the developmental agenda of the country can only be realized in an atmosphere of peace and unity and therefore called on Ghanaians both in public and private institutions to collaborate, eschew laziness and push for socio-economic development of the country.
The Chief Justice disclosed of plans to fully automate the courts and install solar plants to supply constant electricity for efficient justice delivery. She highlighted systematic and human challenges as the main the problem confronting the judiciary and pledged her outfit’s readiness to address them.
The conference brought together over 1200 legal practitioners across the country.