Help build law-based state - President Akufo-Addo to GBA, judiciary

BY: Naa Lamiley Bentil
President Akufo-Addo with some members of the GBA
President Akufo-Addo with some members of the GBA

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on members of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) and the judiciary to support the fight against crime and indiscipline in the country.

"I invite you to see and appreciate that many of the problems that plague our country have something to do with the malfunctioning of the law," the President stated.

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Speaking at the 2018 GBA Annual Conference in Koforidua, yesterday, the President said lawyers had a major role to play in curbing the menace of indiscipline plaguing all facets of the nation's development.

"Our work matters. It affects profoundly the ordering of the state,” the President, who is also a member of the GBA, stressed.

“Promotion of the rule of law is at the heart of this Association’s vocation. Its members must be the natural champions of a law-based state, whose establishments should be solid enough to sanction effectively vigilantism, bank frauds, cyber frauds, sharp practice, illegal mining, unlawful exports of fertilisers and oil products, identity thefts, stealing of public funds, bribery and corruption, criminal cartels and criminal behaviour in general," he charged.


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Deficit

President Akufo-Addo said Ghana had since the past 25 years made enormous progress in its political arena with a smooth transfer of power from one democratically elected government to another.

"One apparent restraint to our progress, what we may term the missing link in our governance system, which hampers the rapid economic development we seek, is the deficit in the application of the rule of law,” he observed.

He pointed out that that deficit affected everyday life as it broke rules and regulations in many aspects of ”our lives, and wanting to, and, indeed, circumventing the laws that are meant to guide our society” .

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“It has to do with driving recklessly and breaking all the traffic regulations and trying to bribe the police when you are pulled up. It has to do with not getting the proper permit to build a house and it has to do with looking the other way when something wrong is going on,” he pointed out further.

Challenges

President Akufo-Addo observed that a bad headline could be traced to a law and order problem.

" In our country, currently, the problems confronting our banking sector are dominating the headlines, as they should. The story of every bank that has had problems, be they indigenous Ghanaian banks or international banks, like Barings Bank, Lehman Brothers, Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), each one can be traced to someone or some people breaking the law or trying to cut corners by flouting regulations"

He further stated that the effects of those acts of lawlessness had been, invariably, the loss and threat of loss, of innocent depositors’ savings and jobs.

"When a building being constructed collapses and lives are lost, the cause can, in many cases, be traced to someone or some people breaking the law, or cutting corners.

When a road that was built barely a year ago develops potholes, someone or some people have been breaking the law or cutting corners. The story of environmental degradation occasioned by illegal mining, what we call galamsey, is a clear case of people breaking the law,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo acknowledged the profound contribution lawyers could make in fostering law and order in the Ghanaian society and urged them to put their shoulder to the wheel for Ghana to build a law-based state.

GBA President

The President of the GBA, Mr Benson Komla Nutsukpui, called on the government to adequately resource the Office of the Special Prosecutor and other anti-corruption agencies to fight the menace.