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General News of Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Source: citi fm

NDC, NPP legal teams breaching GBA's code of conduct

Lawyers for the two leading political parties in the country; the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the opposition, New Patriotic Party (NPP) may be breaching the code of ethics of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) with their comments in the media about the NPP’s petition at the Supreme Court challenging the validity of the 2012 election results.

They are also likely to be sanctioned by the disciplinary committee of the GBA if found culpable.

The NPP has filed a petition at the Supreme Court contesting the results of the 2012 Presidential election which saw President John Mahama of the NDC emerge as the winner of the December polls.

According to the NPP, the elections were rigged in favor of President Mahama and some of the rules governing the exercise were not followed by some officials of the Electoral Commission which affected the results of the Presidential elections.

The legal teams of the two political parties have since been engaging media discussions and interviews on issues related to the case.

The Public Relations Officer of the GBA, Mr. Tony Forson in an interview on Citi FM’s Eyewitness News on Tuesday noted that part five of the GBA’s code of ethics states that “a Lawyer commits misconduct if he gives an interview in a case in which he is involved.”

He explained that although there is a rule which indicates that when a matter is in court, it should not be discussed in public, the public can however be educated “on what is going on…if you tell the public what a petition is, there is nothing wrong with it. If you tell the public that in the petition before the Supreme Court, the petitioners are seeking A, B, C as their release, there is nothing wrong with it but you don’t go into the merits of what they are saying whether or not they have a good case before the court or not, that is entirely wrong.”

Mr. Forson added that the disciplinary committee of the GBA is mandated to sanction any Lawyer who breaches this provision in its code of ethics “and the GBA is up and doing and what we know ought to do, we will do it without fear or favour.”

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