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Chris Ackumey: Supreme Court Infringed On Dr. Atuguba’s Human Rights   
 
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28-May-2011  
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Chris Ackumey
 
 
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A member of the legal team of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Chris Ackumey has said that the Supreme Court's decision not to hear a case in which Dr. Raymond Atuguba is counsel is a violation of his (Dr. Atuguba's) fundamental human right.

According to him, the Supreme Court’s decision violates article 19 sub-section 5 of the constitution which states that nobody has got the right to turn away a person before the court and nobody can determine to anybody who should be his counsel.

Judges at the Supreme Court on Thursday May 19 declined to adjudicate a case in which Dr. Raymond Atuguba, one of four lawyers 'blacklisted' by the Judges and Magistrates’ Association is counsel for a cattle dealer who is contesting the citizenship of Bawku Central MP, Adamu Daramani Sakande.

The development follows a decision by the Judges and Magistrates’ Association that until the four lawyers provide proof that Judges and Magistrates receive, cases involving the lawyers will not be heard.

The court, presided over by Justice S.A. Brobbey, adjourned sitting indefinitely to await the decision of the General Legal Council (GLC) which was petitioned by the Judges and Magistrate Association of Ghana (JMAG) to investigate allegations of corruption by Dr. Raymond Atuguba and three other lawyers.

Other panel members on the case included Justices Julius Ansah, Rose. O. Owusu, Jones Dotse, Anin Yeboah, Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, B.T. Aryeetey, Sulemana A. Gbadegbe and Vida Akoto-Bamfo.

The four lawyers, Dr Raymond Atuguba, David Annan, Abraham Amaliba and Larry Bimi made the corruption allegations at a round-table discussion on the Judiciary and Ghana’s justice system in Accra, organized by the National Commission for Civic Education as part of its annual constitution week celebration.

The Judges and Magistrates Association’s have since referred the four lawyers to the General Legal Council to substantiate their allegations of corruption against judges.

Speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Friday, Mr. Chris Ackumey revealed that he would register his displeasure on the conduct of the Supreme Court against Dr. Atuguba in a news conference next week.

He said the press conference which comes off either Tuesday or Wednesday (May 31 or June 1) would address the act of omission and the infringement of the constitutional rights of Dr. Raymond Atuguba being denied hearing by the judges which constituted the panel of the Supreme Court.

Mr Ackumey believes that the action of the judges of the Supreme Court is a violation of the constitutional right of the Executive Secretary of the Constitutional Review Commission.

The NDC lawyer expressed shock at the Ghana Bar Association's outbursts at the allegations made by Dr. Raymond Atuguba and the other three lawyers about the judiciary.

He stated that “we are members of an association and we think that our leadership have to look at the issue not in a jaundiced manner or with jaundiced eyes but analyse it objectively”.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ackumey who has also been invited by the Complaints Unit of the Judiciary Service to substantiate his claims that he has evidence to prove that a judge in 2008, took a bribe of GHS 500 noted that, he would provide the needed evidence in a written letter.

He added that “I am not in to disgrace or embarrass anybody. What I'm just trying to do is that, since they are calling for evidence from the four lawyers who made the allegation; I am out of my way as a responsible citizen of this land going to provide the evidence so that at least the Chief Justice will be in position to know that it (judicial corruption) is not only a perception but actual so that steps can be taken to ameliorate the situation”.

He stressed that even though there are equally good judges in the country; corruption in the judiciary is common knowledge.

“Let us know that the problems exist. If it is the poor salary which is the problem, we can top up their salary as a measure to eradicate it” he stated. The other four lawyers who have been invited by the General Legal Council of the judiciary are also preparing to provide evidence to back their claims.
 
 
Source: myjoyonline.com
 
 

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