For the time being, no space for 499 ‘failed’ law students – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has lamented the current challenges that students seeking legal education in the country are saddled with at the moment.

He expressed hope that solutions to these challenges would be found to ameliorate the difficulties.

“I myself, I think that the idea of more and more lawyers in the system is good for the health of the nation. We have a country that is governed by the rule of law. It means we need to have lawyers in virtually all aspects of our national life guiding the development of the country so that the rule of law really makes sense,” he said on Accra-based Peace FM Thursday October 21.

Earlier in the week, the aggrieved 499 law students who were denied admission, despite passing the 2021 Ghana School of Law entrance exam appealed to him to intervene.

The students said their supposed failure was a travesty of justice, a situation that should be corrected immediately.

At a press conference in Accra on Monday October 18, they said “on 15th October, 2021, we petitioned the Office of the President, appealing to His Excellency to use his Executive authority to come to our aid, in our quest for justice and to vindicate our fundamental human rights as enshrined in Chapter 5 of the 1992 Constitution of our dear country. As we speak, we are yet to receive a response from the high office of the President.

“We are nonetheless confident that President Akufo-Addo, who, for all intent and purposes, has proven to be a renowned human right lawyer and freedom fighter, would rise to the occasion and do justice to our legitimate grievances. We appeal to the President, who also happens to be a member in permanent good standing at the bar, to cause his official Representative on the GLC, the Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame Esq, who is clothed with powers under the Legal Profession Act, 1960 (Act 32), to order the General Legal Council and for that matter the Ghana School of Law, to comply with their own rules of engagement and within the confines of the law, by admitting the remaining 499 candidates who passed the entrance exams.

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“This, respectfully, is not too much to ask for, Your Excellency. It is the reason why we voted for you, and we humbly beseech you to do exactly that,” the said.

The students subsequently, hit the principal streets of Accra on Wednesday, October 20, to register their displeasure over what they describe as maltreatment and injustice meted out to some of their colleagues.

They submitted a petition to Parliament and the Presidency after protesting in the streets for hours.

Among other things, they requested for the immediate admission of the 499 candidates into the Ghana School of Law.
They also called for the decentralization of the legal education in the country.

Asked what will happen to these 499 students, the president admitted that nothing can be done as there is no space for them.

“For the time being, there is no space in the law school for them. This is the problem. There are several others before them who have also fallen into the same pit. Maybe this group have decided to be more vocal than their predecessors,” President Akufo-Addo added.

“It is unfortunate. I cannot pretend that this is a happy coincidence for me at all. On the contrary I’m very disturbed by it. I’m hoping that soon the cooperation of the various stakeholders; the General Legal Council, Chief Justice himself, attorney general and myself, we will find a solution to this.”

By Laud Harris Adu-Asare||Ghana