Former President, John Dramani Mahama has backed calls by some aggrieved law students and their sympathizers for reforms in the country’s legal education system.
He expressed regrets at the treatment meted out to the students by the police as they embarked on a demonstration exercise dubbed #OpenUpLegalEducation on Monday.
Speaking to Citi News after the demonstrators called on him to give him a copy of their petition, he said he was ready to spearhead the conversation on reforms in the legal education system.
“It just happens that by coincidence we had an interaction with the Ghana bar association this morning and we have embarked on a number of interactions with professional groups, civil society organizations, and faith-based organizations. Actually, the issue that you are concerned about came up in our discussion and we expressed our opinion and said that we are happy to open a conversation with regards to reforming the legal education system”.
“I expressed my regrets at the treatment that you have been subjected to, and to extend my sympathies to those who have been injured and the ones who have been put in detention. You are our children and as young people, as you are, I believe that everybody should have the opportunity to pursue the career of their dreams and all avenues should be opened to make it possible for young people to realize their full potential”.
Hundreds of law students in the country hit the streets on Monday to demand reforms in the country’s legal education system.
The protest dubbed #OpenUpLegalEducation was expected to end with the protesters marching to the Jubilee House to present a petition to the President.
However, the planned peaceful protest by the aggrieved law students turned violent.
Though the reason for the violence is unclear, Citi News understands that a number of the protestors were picked up by the Police.
Water cannons were fired on the law students while warning shots were also fired as students tried to march to the Jubilee House.
Some protesters were also reportedly injured by rubber bullets.
Citi News also understands that those who were picked up were manhandled as they were forced into police trucks.
The protestors were however prevented from getting to the Jubilee House.
They subsequently presented the petition to John Mahama, Ministry of Justice, Ghana Bar Association and the Canadian Embassy.
The demonstration was on the back of the recent failure recorded at the Ghana School of law where only 128 students out of the 1,820 candidates who sat for this year’s entrance exams passed.