Nene Amegatcher speaking during his vetting
A Supreme Court justice nominee, Nene Abayaateye Ofoe Amegatcher, has said that the 1992 Constitution must be amended to allow Ghanaians with dual citizenship to take up ministerial or other positions of trust to contribute their quota to the development of the country.
According to Nene Amegatcher, who is also the former president of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), a Ghanaian with one Ghanaian parent and another parent from abroad should not be denied the opportunity to serve the nation in any position of trust if the person so desires.
Nene Amegatcher who made the suggestion during his vetting on Friday by the Appointments Committee of Parliament said that one cannot control which parents he or she would be born to and so to make it unlawful for such people to hold positions of trust in Ghana is unfair. Besides, it’s tantamount to trampling on their rights.
Nene Amegatcher did not agree with suggestions that the indemnity clause in the constitution should be repealed, saying when the indemnity clause is removed it would open old wounds and disturb the peace of the nation.
Nene was also confronted with a newspaper publication attributed to him which indicted judges in the country for being corrupt.
According to the publication, the former GBA president was said to have indicated that 90 per cent of judges in the country are corrupt, but he denied the entirety of the publication and explained that what he said was that sometimes some of their clients come to tell them that they have paid bribes to judges to influence their rulings.
The Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joseph Osei-Owusu, asked the nominee whether he was aware that some clients have been complaining about lawyers who charge exorbitant fees for their services and also ask their clients to pay extra money to be used to bribe judges. The nominee responded in the affirmative and said that national executive members of the GBA have been receiving such complaints from clients.
He said that the national executive members of the GBA have always been educating lawyers on ethics of the profession and that the GBA executive members are seriously monitoring to find out those doing that in order to bring them to book.
The former GBA president also agreed with the committee members that the quality of training for LLB degree had taken a nose dive and it would be appropriate to pull the whole system down for reconstruction otherwise the future of the country would be bleak with regard to the legal profession.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr