General News of Thu, 8 May 20030

Causing Financial Loss Law Should Stay - Gba President

THE PRESIDENT of the Ghana Bar Association Mr. Paul Adu-Gyamfi has stated that the conviction of one or two persons does not mean that the law on causing financial loss to the state should be changed.

He was of the view that the fact that the law had jailed some high profile people should not be the basis for asking for a repeal of it, noting that the same law had earlier sent some other people such as Mallam Isa and Victor Selormey in without much of an eyebrow being raised.

Mr. Adu-Gyamfi said this in Accra on Tuesday in an interview with Chronicle in reaction to a section of the public's view that the law on causing financial loss to the state should be amended.

He explained that article 31 of the Constitution stipulates that all property of the state should be protected and it was in the light of this that in 1993 the law on causing financial loss was passed and so if the citizenry thinks that there is no need to protect public property as a result of one or two convictions, then it is left to Parliament which passed the law to review it.

He was of the view that Parliament is mandated by the Constitution to pass laws and anyone who passes laws can repeal them.

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So, if in the light of what had happened, Parliament feels that the conditions under which the law was passed do not exist, then it is entirely entitled to have a second look at the law.

Mr. Adu Gyamfi noted that if 10 years after the law had been passed the issues which they sought to address have been remedied then they can have a second look and exercise their right to pass a new one.

On the recent ruling of the court, he said since the judge had expressed his opinion it is the right of every citizen that once judgment is delivered a person could appeal if he thought the judgement was wrong.

He said although he had not seen a copy of the judgement he still thought it is right so nobody should deny the convicted former public officials the right to appeal since they have that right under the Constitution.

Source: Chronicle

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