Folks, for far too long, the superordinate body overseeing legal practice in Ghana—the General Legal Council—has come across to some of us as worn out and ineffectual. Yet, it is behaving as if there is nothing wrong with its very status and modus operandi. For those who don’t know what it is, they may continue to uphold it as the be-it-all-and-end-it-all for the legal regime in Ghana. I see it as a dead horse to be pooh-poohed or pushed out of the way.
Over the years, it has either condoned impropriety or failed to assert its authority in determining the fate of so-called lawyers seeking enrollment into the Ghana Bar. Where it has acted on cue, it has left ugly traces behind for it to be ridiculed.
Of course, it is the authority that either robes or disrobes those trained or not seeking recognition and the blessing to practiae law in Ghana. How the Council is constituted or how it functions isn’t known to many. But the Council has a lot of cobwebs in its cupboard, which turns my crank, especially within the context of the news report of what it has done to the “prominent Human Rights lawyer, Francis-Xavier Sosu”.
As reported, it has banned Sosu from practising as a lawyer for three (3) years, There is more to this ban, though. Here is why: “… the Council also reached a decision to ban the lawyer for another 3 years for advertising himself on social media in respect of his recent cases involving Patrick Reynolds who was paralyzed by a fallen billboard believed to belong to M. DEX Advertising Company, and his human rights action against the Attorney General, Chief of Defence Staff and another.
The “Council found him guilty of professional misconduct, contrary to the code regulating legal practice in the country…
“Details regarding the specific offence committed by the famous lawyer are scanty but a source told Myjoyonline.com, one of his clients, Francis Agyare filed a complaint at the Council accusing Mr. Sosu and his law firm F-X Law & Associates of attempting to swindle him.” (See http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Francis-Xavier-Sosu-banned-from-practicing-as-Lawyer-544032).
A wayward stance by the General Legal Council at this point to act against lawyer Sosu, I daresay. He has been cherry-picked for this nonsense for many reasons that aren’t far removed from political jingoism, especially in view of his political persuasion:
“Mr. Sosu contested the parliamentary primaries at Madina Constituency on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) ahead of the 2016 elections.”
Evidence exists that other lawyers have done worse things than Sosu is being punished for. Any informed Ghanaian can cite many examples. I have a clear instance on the NPP’s Atta Akyea who was sued by the businessman whom he swindled. I won’t belabour this point anymore because it is in the public domain and because Atta Akyea is part of the mafia in the legal profession in Ghana, which explains why the case against him hasn’t been determined to date and why he is now in Akufo-Addo’s government and still practises law.
Now comes my main beef. Since when has the General Legal Council found its footing to act this way? Does it know how Akufo-Addo alone got enrolled into the Ghana bar in 1971 on a Saturday without providing any law qualifying certificate to confirm his status as a trained and qualified lawyer?
The Acting Executive Secretary of the general Legal Council Bart-Plange’s testimony is on record that Akufo-Addo had told him that he had lost his law qualifying certificate. Yet, he was enrolled to practise law in Ghana for 40 years until now that he is the President of Ghana.
Where is credibility anymore for the General Legal Council?
What did the General Legal Council do about Gabby Otchere Darko who was deeply involved in impropriety at the Ghana Law School (or is it Ghana School of Law) over exam malpractices and bribing his way through to be passed as a trained lawyer? The records are there for reference!! Why would the Council enroll him despite that dirt? And there are many like him parading themselves today as “lawyers of repute”. I see them as lawyers of disrepute!!
What it has isolated lawyer Sosu for is more of a mere political mischief than a course of action justifiable by legal propriety.
Shame unto the General Legal Council of Ghana. By this very senseless move against lawyer Sosu, it has added more to the effluence emanating from its quarters to destroy its credibility and relevance. No respect remains for it. No wonder that the justice delivery system in Ghana is a huge failure.
I piss openly on this useless white elephant!! Shame… shame… and more shame for this selective injustice against lawyer Sosu!!
Dr. Michael Javis Borkor, New York