By Frank Amponsah
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said the banking crisis that has led to the collapse of some indigenous banks is a clear act of violation of the law by some people in their quest to cut corners to have their documentations certified.
He said such acts of lawlessness, abuse of power, bribery and corruption have caused many innocent depositors to lose their savings and some workers to lose their jobs.
Making references to other countries, the president enumerated that “the story of every bank that has had problems, be they indigenous Ghanaian banks or international banks, like Barings Bank, Lehman Brothers, Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), each one can be traced to someone or some people breaking the law, or trying to cut corners by flouting regulations.”
President Akufo-Addo was speaking at the 2018 Annual Conference of the Ghana Bar Association, on 10th September, 2018, where he stated in his address that one apparent restraint to Ghana’s progress, which the missing link in the country’s governance system, which hampers the rapid economic development we seek, is the deficit in the application of the rule of law.
“It affects everyday life. It is about breaking rules and regulations in many aspects of our lives, and wanting to, and, indeed, circumventing the laws that are meant to guide our society,” he said.
He said: “It has to do with driving recklessly, and breaking all the traffic regulations and trying to bribe the police when you are pulled up. It has to do with not getting the proper permit to build a house, and it has to do with looking the other way when something wrong is going on.”
The President told members of the legal fraternity that, “it has to do with sharp practice and unethical behavior by some lawyers, which jeopardize the administration of justice and the interests of ordinary people. It has to do with judicial corruption, which, a priori, constitutes a violation of the judicial oath.”
The President urged Members of the Ghana Bar Association to be the natural champions of a law-based state, whose establishments should be solid enough to sanction effectively vigilantism, bank frauds, cyber frauds, sharp practice, illegal mining, unlawful exports of fertilizers and oil products, identity thefts, stealing of public funds, bribery and corruption, criminal cartels, and criminal behavior in general.
“The employment of technology to the practice of law and the administration of justice will help facilitate the nation’s ability to reach these goals,” he added.
He also averred that the degradation of the environment, pollution of the atmosphere and water bodies, petty bribery and corruption, bribery and corruption on a grand scale are clear cases of people braking the law, adding that “When a road that was built barely a year ago develops potholes, someone or some people have been breaking the law or cutting corners. The story of environmental degradation occasioned by illegal mining, what we call galamsey, is a clear case of people breaking the law,” he added.