Rockson Dafeamekpor, the Interim President of the newly formed Law Society of Ghana (LSG) has reacted to a media report suggesting that the Speaker of Parliament, Alban S.K. Bagbin has withdrawn his membership from the Ghana Bar Association (GBA).
In a press statement made available to Graphic Online’s Parliamentary correspondent, Nana Konadu Agyeman, Mr Dafeamekpor who is also the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for South Dayi in the Volta Region denied the media report that the Speaker told the LSG that he has withdrawn his membership from the GBA.
Rather, he said when the LSG called on the Speaker at his office last week, 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.”
“It must be placed on record that nowhere in the Speaker’s welcoming remarks during our [LSG] visit, did he ever state that he has resigned from the GBA,” he said.
Mr Dafeamekpor was reacting to the media report which suggested that Mr Bagbin has withdrawn his membership from the GBA.
When aides of the Speaker were reached by Graphic Online over the weekend, they also denied the Speaker said anything of that sort.
GBA President’s reaction
Meanwhile, the President of the GBA, Yaw Acheampong Boafo has told Graphic Online’s Kwame Asare Boadu that the association was unaware if Mr Bagbin has revoked his membership.
Mr Boafo said the GBA has not received any notification from the Speaker of Parliament about the revocation of his membership of the association.
“No, he has not told us anything. We only heard it was when the Law Society of Ghana (LSG) went to him that he said what has been reported in sections of the media, but he has never notified us,” Mr Boafo told Graphic Online.
The media report at the weekend had suggested that Mr Bagbin had said the conduct of the association had been problematic especially with its position on matters of national interest.
The LSG delegation, led by its Acting President Rockson Dafeamekpor, was at the Speaker’s office to congratulate him on his new position as the President of the Commonwealth Leaders Association.
The LSG is an association for lawyers and law students who seek to shape national discourse and fight against injustice in all forms.
In his reaction to the report, Mr Boafo indicated that there was nothing wrong for a member to resign from the GBA because there was freedom of association in the country.
“If you want to resign that is your own decision, but let me say that he has not sent a formal notice of revocation of his membership. We still consider him as a member,” the GBA President stated.
He also had a problem with the headline of the story.
“The headline of the story as against the body of the story is problematic because the news item has no link to the story,” he said.
Explaining, Mr Boafo made reference to the story, which said the Speaker stopped paying his dues when he saw that lawyers who went to the public tribunal were being victimized.
“The point is that, you can be a member of an association but not in good standing that is if you don’t pay your dues. But to say that you have revoked your membership, well, I can’t get it.”
He added: “The news item said he had stopped paying his dues which is totally different from not being a member.”
For now, the GBA President said, he could not verify whether Mr Bagbin had stopped paying his dues.
“I cannot say for now if he pays his dues unless the [GBA] secretariat finds out,” he added.
Born on September 24, 1957, at Sombo in the Upper West Region, Mr Bagbin studied at the Ghana School of Law where he passed out in 1982.
He had a stint with Akyem Chambers, a firm of legal practitioners, consultants and notaries public, as a partner. between 1989 to 1992.
He served as external solicitor of the Credit Unions Association of Ghana (CUA), Nii Ngleshie family of James Town, and a number of private business firms in Accra.
The Speaker had also been a partner of the Law Trust Company, a firm of legal practitioners, consultants and notaries public.