UNI Statement on Martyrs’ Day: ‘When Law Becomes a Tool For Injustice’

UNI Statement on Martyrs’ Day: ‘When Law Becomes a Tool For Injustice’

UNITED FOR NATIONAL INTEREST 1stJUSTICE FOR ALL PRESS SERIES Date:           Friday, 30th June, 2017. Venue:        International Press Cente

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UNITED FOR NATIONAL INTEREST

1stJUSTICE FOR ALL PRESS SERIES

Date:           Friday, 30th June, 2017.

Venue:        International Press Center, Accra.

Theme:       When Law Becomes a Tool For Injustice.

To the Press.

STATEMENT READ BY MR. EMMANUEL KORSI SENYO FOR AND ON BEHALF OF UNI DURING THEIR 1ST JUSTICE FOR ALL PRESS SERIES

Mr. Chairman, Coalition members, Executives and fellow members of United for National Interest, lovers of freedom and justice, the media, ladies and gentlemen.

It is out of great joy that we as a group have invited you here to this 1st Justice For All Press Series. We are motivated by the saying of the Civil Rights advocate, Martin Luther King Jr., who once said “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” It is our hope to use this series to reveal the manifold injustice in our legal system particularly with the current regime that regulates legal education and legal practice in Ghana.

It is instructive that today, the 30th June, 2017 also marks the 35th Anniversary of Martyrs Day Celebration for the main organ of Justice in this Country, the judiciary.  It is a solemn event in the legal calendar of Ghana where a special memorial service is observed to remember the killing of our Three High Court Judges which sad event occurred on 30 June 1982. These judges are considered as martyrs of justice. Their statutes stand today before the Supreme Court with the inscription “MARTYRES OF RULE OF LAW”.

We believe the significance of even celebrating a day like this is to remind the Judicial Service and the entire nation that never again should Ghana travel that path that leaves pain in our hearts.

As we mark the “dead” martyrs’,therefore, we must also remember the living heroes and Apostles of Rule of Law. As a Society, it is important to note that we make nonsense of the painful death of these martyrs’ if the custodians of justice turn to be a tool of injustice.

It is important to note, without justifying any act of lawlessness, that some of the silent reasons for mob attacks, attacks on judges and Police Officers and even the recent attack on the late Major Mahama which took Centre stage in this Country occurs when people lose faith and confidence in the justice system. When Law becomes a tool for injustice, people resort to all kinds of lawless ways to assert their rights and interests. The only institution that can protect the Rule of Law is the Judiciary and we wish to use this opportunity to call on the Chief Justice to demonstrate her true leadership in the pursuit of law and justice without fear or favor.

In the recent case of the General Legal Council suspending a Renowned Human Rights Lawyer, Francis-Xavier Sosu, we as a group have taken steps to expose the hypocrisy and the discriminatory posturing of the General Legal Council by Petitioning the Council for review of their decision. We note with caution that the matter is on appeal and as an individual and private citizen of Ghana, I have also issued a writ before the Highest Court of the land to Challenge the Constitutionality of aspects of the operations of the General Legal Council. To this end I will not make any further comments on the substance of those cases.

However, we as a group are deeply worried about the operations of the General Legal Council. It is difficult to comprehend how a Council put in place by law, to regulate lawyers could be so lawless and arbitrary in its operation. As Ola Rutimi will put it in his book “The gods are not to blame,“If crocodiles are eating their own eggs, what wont they do to the flesh of frogs

If the General Legal Council can so much abuse their powers in dealing with lawyers, how safe are we, ordinary citizens.

We are by this Conference calling on the General Legal Counsel to investigate all the Lawyers we have already petitioned against to show their fairness in their application of rules of Touting. We demand that the member of the committee, Mr. Sam Okujato against whom a similar petition has been filed be removed as a member of the Committee and investigated on same allegations as before it.

In our petition, we sought to suggest that the content of Mr. Sam Okujato’s website and the careful use of certain words and phrases amounts substantially to touting and personal advertising and same is in gross breach of the ethics of his profession and a lawyer of his stature should know better especially when he lectures in the specific field of ethics. Let us be bold to defend forever the freedom and justice that we enjoy as a Country without discrimination. (This is the evidence of breach of the profession – “Crème de la crème”. What does this SUGGEST TO THE ORDINARY MAN WHO VISITS THE WEBSITE?)

We wish to state again that if the General Legal Council refuses to investigate Mr. Sam Okujato who is one of their own, we will be left with no other option than to resort to the Human Rights High Court with an Application of Mandamus to compel them to do their public duty as required by law.

In our view and as many lawyers have agreed with us, the time for us to shift some attention to the Judiciary is now in an effort to strengthen the foremost bearers of Rule of Law and the hope of a secured society as we all envisage.

Taking into consideration the above facts and with absolute regard for the ethics that regulate the profession, and the freedoms and rights enshrined in the 1992 Constitution, we are of a firm view that:

  1. That the 3-year suspension of Lawyer Sosu is harsh and excessive.
  2. That the 3-year suspension of Lawyer Sosu is discriminatory and gagging.
  3. That the 3-year suspension of lawyer Sosu invariably translates into DENIAL of justice to THE POOR AND VULNERABLE that he represents.
  4. That the 3-year suspension of Lawyer Sosu has no benefit whatsoever to sympathizers and supporters of JUSTICE AND FREEDOM.
  5. That the 3-year suspension of Lawyer Sosu ONLY goes to curtail accessibility to Justice to the poor and vulnerable and promotes injustice in a democratic era.
  6. That the 3-year suspension of Lawyer Sosu ONLY seeks to benefit a few IRRESPONSIBLE INSTITUIONS that he continues to challenge and same is an affront to public safety advocacy.

Accordingly we hereby DEMAND as follows on this OCCASION OF MATYRES DAY;

  1. Immediate review of the said ban in accordance with section 25 of the Legal Professions Act, 1960 (Act 32).
  2. The General Legal Counsel as a matter of urgency must investigate all the petitions and complaints we submitted to it as a group.

 

  1. That Mr. Sam Okujato immediately resigns or recuses himself from the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council as he is also now a subject of investigation.

Mr. Chairman, fellow collaborators and believers of the course of freedom and of justice, ladies and gentlemen, THANK YOU FOR YOUR KINDEST ATTENTION.

 

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Korsi Senyo (Convenor) – 0560114495

KwasiHulety (Public Affairs) – 0206311983

Mensah Selorm (Public Affairs) – 0549199090