Claims of Bar Association being an “elitist institution” baseless – Akufo-Addo

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The President, Nana Akufo-Addo has described as ‘baseless’ and ‘unsubstantated’ claims by certain political actors in the country that the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) is an elitist organization.

President Akufo-Addo said he completely disagrees with the attempt to label the GBA as a highbrow organization.

The GBA, President Akufo-Addo indicated, is rather “an institution that has championed the course of good governance in Ghana since its establishment and it is one of the non-governmental organizations that needs the support of all its members and the country as a whole to bloom in order to do more for the nation.”

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“I hear other people are talking about it [The Ghana Bar Association] being an elite organization. I don’t know what they understand by elite.

“I know that it is an organization that is concerned about the welfare of the people, the quality of their governance, (an organization) which has always been prepared and its leaders have been prepared to make the sacrifices that were necessary to make sure that we have a modern and respectable form of governance in our country. This cannot be an elite organization,” he added.

The President made the assertion Tuesday, October 4, 2022, when he addressed a delegation of the GBA led by its President, Yaw Baafo, at the Jubilee House, when they paid a courtesy call to thank the president for attending the 2022 ‘Annual General Bar Conference’ in Ho, Volta Region, in September.

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The President further observed that the GBA is an organization that speaks truth to power, one that concerns itself with the issues that affect the ordinary people of Ghana, and that all attempts to paint her black must be resisted.

“It (The Ghana Bar Association) is an organization that speaks to the interests of the people of Ghana for accountable governance and that is an organization that deserves the support of all right-thinking lawyers in the country,” the President stated.

Speaker’s elite claim

At a recent meeting with the leadership of the Law Society of Ghana (LSG), a new association of lawyers, formed essentially, to rival the constitutionally recognized Ghana Bar Association (GBA), the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Kingsford Somana Bagbin, lamented that the GBA has become an “elite organization” and he would like to see a change, especially with respect to the views of the GBA on national and political issues.

LSG clarification

In a statement released by the Law Society of Ghana after its meeting with the Speaker, the LSG’s acting President, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, explained that nowhere in the Speaker of Parliament’s remarks during his engagement with the LSG, did he say he had resigned from the GBA.

“It must be placed on record that nowhere in the Speaker’s welcoming remarks during our visit did he ever state that he has resigned from the Ghana Bar Association (GBA).

“In his remarks, he expressed in strong words his revulsion about the state of the GBA and wishes to see a change for a better Bar Association committed to the aims, objectives, and ethics as captured and practiced globally,” the LSG’s acting President’s statement read.

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