The President of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), Mr. Yaw Acheampong Boafo, has unequivocally stated that the GBA is not affiliated with any political party and does not exist to advance the interests of any entity.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra, Mr. Boafo condemned partisan attacks on the legal profession and the judiciary, emphasizing the Association's commitment to resisting any efforts to sow discord within these institutions.
The press conference served to address various issues that arose during the Association's Annual General Meeting, held at the University of Cape Coast from September 10 to 15, 2023.
The meeting centered around the theme, “Ensuring High Standards and Integrity in Public Life: The Role of the Legal Profession and Subsequent National Issues.”
Key topics discussed at the press conference included corruption, illegal mining, infrastructure deficits in public basic schools, partisan politics and its impact on the legal profession and the administration of justice, indiscipline, the use of intemperate language in the media, political developments after the GBA Conference, the recent Occupy Jubilee House Demonstration, and the Akosombo Dam Spillage.
Mr. Boafo firmly asserted that allowing politicians to exploit lawyers to denigrate the legal profession and the judiciary would be “self-destructive” and detrimental to all parties involved.
Regarding corruption, Mr. Boafo urged the swift passage of the Conduct of Public Officers' Bill to instill a culture of accountability and integrity among public officers. He called upon the government and parliament to collaborate to make this bill a reality and urged an end to “lip service.”
Mr. Boafo noted that corruption, bribery, embezzlement, and procurement breaches were rampant within the public service.
He emphasized the urgent need to tackle these issues, as corruption had become normalized and Ghana's standing on the Transparency International Corruption Index and the Index of Public Integrity was unsatisfactory.
The GBA President suggested a return to teaching children the values of honest labor, decency, and integrity, as well as encouraging the condemnation of unjust enrichment and questionable wealth among public servants.
Regarding illegal mining, commonly referred to as “Galamsey,” Mr. Boafo highlighted the devastating impact it was having on Ghana's environment, water bodies, forests, and the livelihoods of many families.
He called on the government, political leadership, and other stakeholders to exhibit the necessary political will and integrity to decisively address the issue.
Mr. Boafo also emphasized the importance of dealing with those involved in illegal mining, regardless of their status or political affiliations.
The GBA remains dedicated to upholding the principles of the legal profession and fostering a more ethical and accountable society, as articulated by Mr. Yaw Acheampong Boafo during the press conference.