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AG denies commissioning report on judicial corruption
From: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Isaac Essel          Published On: December 19, 2012, 19:10 GMT
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AG denies commissioning report on judicial corruption

Attorney General Dr Benjamin Kunbuor

Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Dr Benjamin Kunbuor has discredited media reports that said his office commissioned a research which findings suggested that peoples’ confidence in the judiciary has waned.

According to Dr Kunbuor, the report which he claimed was wrongly attributed to his outfit was a Baseline Survey commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on many thematic areas which included the confidence of the public in the justice system.

The draft report, according to the state-owned Daily Graphic’s report on Wednesday, claimed more Ghanaians are losing confidence in the ability of the courts to dispense justice as a result of frequent delays in case adjudication and the rising cost of hiring lawyers.

It said, 72 per cent of respondents sampled in the survey said although they had knowledge of the formal justice system, they were challenged by the delays and frequent adjournment of proceedings and the cost of initiating a legal process, including hiring a lawyer.

But Dr Benjamin Kunbuor stressed on Joy FM/MultiTV’s Top Story Wednesday: “I want to make it clear that the Attorney General has not caused any report to be published, neither has the Attorney General published any report.” Moreover, he said he finds it difficult commenting on the report because it “has not come to me yet” for validation.

He said the UNDP were yet to refer the research findings to the AG and the “many” other "beneficiary" institutions.

“We are not even in a position as the Attorney General to sit down and take a decision. It (AG’s office) would have to inform government that these are the findings of the justice sector; cabinet would have to take a decision on that matter, and we might even decide whether we agree with the findings or we do not agree with the findings.”

Early on, some had described the report as a diversionary and unnecessary ploy to discredit the judiciary before the NPP takes its election rigging allegations to court.

The chairman of the NPP’s legal committee and former Attorney general, Ayikoi Otoo was not happy with the timing of the report and criticised the Attorney General, whom the report was 'erroneously' attributed to, for publishing the draft report.

The Ghana Bar Association also raised similar concerns. The President of the Greater Accra Bar Association Frank Davies said the report is disappointing.

He told Top Story the report has the potential to “erode total confidence in the judiciary”, especially, in determining certain sensitive cases.

He wondered why the draft report was “hurriedly” published and what it connotes.

He said, often, there have been perceptions about judicial corruption but “no substantial evidence” has been adduced to back the claims.

Attorney General Dr Benjamin Kunbuor however said he was “really surprised about the type of statements that have been alluded to the Attorney General’s office”.

Nevertheless, he has asked all who disagree with the findings of the report to direct their concerns to the institution that commissioned the study, saying his office does not even have idea about the terms of reference for the researchers.

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