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General News of Sunday, 2 October 2022

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

I haven't paid dues for 10 years - Betty-Mould slams 'partisan' Bar Association

Former Attorney General, Betty Mould Iddrisu Former Attorney General, Betty Mould Iddrisu

A former Attorney General, Betty Mould-Iddrisu, has disclosed that she hasn't been honouring her financial obligation to the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) of which she is still a member.

Her refusal so to do, she explained was premised on the partisan nature of the umbrella body for all lawyers in the country.

In an interview with Accra-based TV XYZ earlier this week, she addressed issues around Ghana's justice delivery system - tasking the bench to accept criticism and the GBA to get its acts together.

"I have never had much faith in the Ghana Bar Association because its lost its capacity to withstand external influences. We saw them at critical times during the previous regime because it is obvious they are favouring one political party or the other.

"I will pay my dues when I feel the GBA will be fair, a true arbiter of the interest of all lawyers in Ghana,” she emphasized.

With respect to the Judiciary, she tasked them to take a recent critique by former president John Dramani Mahama in good faith and to work towards cleaning up their image and better serving the people of Ghana.

“Article 125 of the Constitution says quite clearly that the administration of Justice is vested in the people of the Republic of Ghana and it is the judiciary who is to administer that.

"If you don't listen to the people, how on earth can you administer justice for us? They need to listen to us. This should be a wakeup call,” she stressed.

She also scolded current Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame for using the recent Bar Conference in Ho to attack Mahama for his views on the Judiciary and the need for reforms.

“Very unfortunate for a young Attorney General, Godfred Dame to come out with such statements about our former President. He was disrespectful and very upsetting to me, having held that position before.

"I forgive him because I am a Christian and its an act of charity...” Betty Mould told IDEAS Exchange show host Eric Ahianyo on Thursday, September 29.

“I chaired that conference of NDC lawyers John Mahama addressed. And all of us enthusiastically support his remarks about the perception of Ghanaians waning confidence in the judiciary.”

She cautioned Dame further that being Attorney General and by extension leader of the Bar does not give anyone the right to use a Ghana Bar Association meeting to create such chaos.

In his address at the recently held Bar Conference in Ho, Dame stressed that it was worrying that National Democratic Congress, NDC, lawyers had failed to call Mahama to order despite having made the comments at a party event.

"Non-lawyer Mahama made the comments at a meeting of the legal committee of his party, none of the lawyers raised a finger to contest the wrong and dangerous propaganda by the former president. By their silence, they became abettors of the propagation of hate against the judiciary," Dame submitted.

He reiterated the fact that lawyers needed to be the loudest and strongest defenders of an independent judiciary and by extension defenders of the most crucial arm of government.

"I find it worrying because lawyers ought to be the loudest and strongest defenders of the independence, integrity and importance of the judiciary rather than serving as tools for its destruction," he added.

Mahama told a gathering of NDC lawyers at a conference in Ada that a judiciary needed to be trusted by the public at all times because such trust had wide-ranging implications on the security of the state.

He took aim at the current Chief Justice stating that it would take a new CJ to carry out needed reforms in the judiciary because of growing lack of trust in their work.

The NDC has strongly stood by his views whiles the NPP have slammed it as unwarranted and needless.

You can also watch this episode of People & Places here:



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