Ghanaian lawyer and an aide to ex-President John Dramani Mahama, Joyce Bawah Mogtari, has called the directive from the Ghana School of Law for students to submit their social media handles for monitoring as tyrannical and an invasion of privacy.
According to Bawah, the directive from the school is interfering with a right enshrined in the constitution.
Her comments come after Yaw Oppongg, Director of the School, speaking during the swearing-in ceremony of the School of Law Students’ Representative Council (SRC) executives explained that the request for social media handles will help many students willing to be called to the bar to maintain a good character.
“Everybody will have to provide their social media handles. We are going to look at it and you will be monitored in terms of conduct. We are required by law to make recommendations. We don’t want to stampede you.
“You are going to reapply beyond the pass and submit yourselves for all legitimate checks,” he said.
Joyce Bawah Mogtari skewered the request in a scathing attack on social media.
“Ghana School of Law must come again As lawyers, we are enjoined to protect the ideals of the Constitution and demonstrably so. Instructively, the first action before the Supreme Court for the enforcement of the 1992 constitution was initiated by lawyers (Kunyehia & Others v. Archer & Others [1992-1993] 2 GLR 525).
“It is therefore surprising that today, and in this age and time, the institution responsible for training lawyers in our beloved country is setting out to invade the privacy of its students by interfering with a right so sacrosanct under the Constitution. I do hope that the Ghana School of Law will reconsider this decision that so egregiously violates rights protected in our Constitution,” she said.
Bawa called on the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) to kick against the directive.
“The Ghana Bar Association must as a matter of urgency stand up against this. Their silence many hours after the news broke in itself is problematic. The Association cannot continue to fail in its mandate to members of the Association and the public in general.
“What we need is the reformation of legal education in Ghana to be equitable and accord all those willing and qualified to read law the opportunity to do so. We certainly do not need a backward, draconian and repressive Ghana School of Law.” she continued.