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Prof. Kwame Gyan: AG’s Actions Aligned with Legal Frameworks

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Godfred Yeboah Dame
Godfred Yeboah Dame

Professor of law and lecturer at the University of Ghana (UoG) School of Law, Kwame Gyan has stated emphatically that the Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame did not overstep his boundaries when he engaged the 3rd accused person (Richard Jakpa) in the case of the Republic Versus Cassiel Ato Forson and two others (The Ambulance Case).

Speaking on Asaase Radio’s flagship programme, “Town Hall Talk” on Friday, 31 May 2024, Professor Kwame Gyan, stated that by the very nature of the office of the Attorney General as provided in the statute books of the country, it is incumbent on the Attorney General to operate an open-door policy and receive any Ghanaian irrespective of their social standing or the offence they may have committed.

Open-door policy

Touching on recent developments about the alleged recording of a telephone conversation between the Attorney General and the 3rd accused person (Richard Jakpa) in the case of the Republic versus Cassiel Ato Forson and two others, Kwame Gyan said the recording was made simply because the Attorney General opened his doors to an accused person as is required of him.

“I had the privilege of teaching the Attorney General and I had the privilege of teaching one of his deputies.

I have also had the privilege of teaching lots of other people in government but the Attorney General’s doors should be opened to persons of different political persuasion and this particular situation that you have been talking about, this recording, and so on, if not because the Attorney General’s doors were opened, would this conversation had happened.

“If the Attorney General decided that he would not talk to anybody because he is the Attorney General, [what do you think could happen]? Now after this, they are going to cause the Attorney General to be very inward-looking because who do you trust? I have heard that more tapes are coming but the tapes I have seen, and the inquiries I have made, I see no overstepping of bounds,” Professor Gyan stated.

“In some cases, I rather see an Attorney General who was becoming too much of a justice person to the extent that an accused person who has been granted bail but could not satisfy his bail conditions could appeal to a Supreme Court Judge to beg on his behalf and the Attorney General intervenes and says let him go home, he is a Ghanaian so that the next day, he can come back and complete the bail conditions, this Attorney General…. You are saying he is what…. He does not believe in justice….?” Professor Gyan quizzed.

“An Attorney General who is prosecuting a person, the 2nd accused who has a medical condition requiring attention and the Attorney General exercises his powers under section 58 of Act 30 and enters a Nolle Prosequi and says because of your health, go home, don’t come to court any more…. you are saying he is a bad man…. please, what kind of country is this?” he further quizzed.

Unique office

Emphasizing the unique role of the Attorney General, Professor Gyan said the Attorney General in the exercise of his functions as has been enshrined in the 1992 constitution is technically not subject to all the rules of practice that may apply to a lawyer in private practice and for that matter, to disciplinary action from the General Legal Council (GLC) the statutory bodies that regulates the law profession in Ghana.

“Technically, the Attorney General and his staff are not amenable to the jurisdiction of the General Legal Council (GLC). So, [I contend] that the Attorney General is a Sui Generis (he is in a world of his own), so you don’t extend the totality of the inhibitions on private legal practice and private practitioners to the Attorney General.

“His role is such that he is like in-between, he is like the mid-field, it is not just about him getting people thrown into jail, he is a minister of justice, he sees to my interest, he sees to your interest,” Professor Kwame Gyan pointed out.

“There have been occasions that I have gone to the Attorney General on matters relating to business I was working on and sought his assistance to guide me in shaping an opinion so we can protect the interest of the state and protect the interest of the business. I am not the only person who has gone to him for help. Everybody goes there when they need his help,” the law lecturer added.

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