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General News
Sam Okudzeto: Indemnity Clause must go 3/1/2011
Renowned lawyer and past president of the Ghana Bar Association, Mr Sam Okudzeto has called for the Indemnity Clause to be expunged from the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.

“So far as I am concerned, there is no constitution in the world where there is a permanent clause in a constitution to indemnify anybody. So far as I''m concerned that clause should be done away with”.

According to the renowned lawyer, there is the need for a clean Constitution which does not protect anyone.

Section 34 of the transitional provisions in the 1992 Constitution indemnifies all coup makers and their functionaries against any liability for acts and omissions committed during their administration.

In an interview with Asempa FM news correspondent Dominic Kissi Yeboah at the opening of a five-day conference of the Constitutional Review Commission in Accra, Mr. Okudzeto noted that it is a complete misconception for anyone to say that if the Indemnity Clause is expunged from the Constitution, it will mean the Chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council, former President Jerry Rawlings, whose administration ushered in the present 4th Republican Constitution can be sent to court with the possible outcome being a firing squad.

He said Ghanaians and victims of the revolution have forgiven ex-President Rawlings when they appeared before the National Reconciliation Commission, adding that “President Rawlings sent me to prison twice; I have forgiven him. When I see him I go there, I greet him and embrace him. Let us forget about this petty personal issue; the constitution is bigger than any individual” and that "the constitution is not him, he did not make it”.

Lawyer Okudzeto explained that attempts by some people to personalise the constitution for an individual will not be the right approach. “Irrespective of the political opinions that we hold, I think we should all forget about this”.

Meanwhile, Alhaji Bature, Managing Editor of the Bilingual Free Press noted that the excesses of the PNDC administration led by ex-President Rawlings notwithstanding, he returned the country to constitutional rule.

The five-day conference constitutes the final leg of the exercise by the Constitution Review Commission to solicit public views on possible amendments to the supreme law of the land.

Story by Adwoa Gyasiwaa/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana.

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