Fui Tsikata writes to Ghana Bar Association (GBA)

Anthony, as promised in our conversation earlier this evening,
I set down my concerns about the statement issued on behalf of the Bar Association dated 12 January 2021 regarding events in Parliament on 7 January and the allegation that a Supreme Court Judge sought to influence the vote of a Member of Parliament with inducements.

In the first place, it is not clear to me whether the National Executive is seeking to reflect the consensus or dominant opinion of members of the Bar or sees itself as offering leadership without particular regard to the views of its members.

I am afraid that the statement will only serve to reinforce the rather widespread view that the GBA is not a credible, non-partisan or principled voice in matters on which there is a divide between the major political parties in Ghana.

Is the National Executive aware of the allegation, in a sworn affidavit, that agents of someone who is now in Parliament beat up court bailiffs attempting to serve a court order on him? Is that a matter of concern and, if so, have you discussed it?

Is the National Executive aware that an application in the Supreme Court to lead evidence to establish a likelihood of bias against one of the Judges was dismissed and that, without such evidence being permitted, the objection to the Judge sitting on the case was also dismissed? Is it the view of the National Executive that this is consistent with elementary principles of natural justice? Or is it not a matter of concern?

Several passages of the statement are devoted to condemning allegations against the judiciary as “distasteful and offensive”, which appears to prejudge the issue as to whether or not there has been “distasteful”, “offensive” or “demeaning” conduct on the part of any members of the judiciary.

We run the risk of being irrelevant where sorely needed independent voices are sought if this statement exemplifies the direction in which the National Executive is taking the GBA.

Fui Tsikata

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