9th June, 2017
TO ALL MEDIA HOUSES
For Immediate Release:
THE BAN ON LAWYER SOSU MUST BE REVERSED AS IS AN AFFRONT TO JUSTICE
We, like any other Ghanaian, woke up June 3, 2017 with another sad news that a 3-year ban has been placed on Mr. Francis-Xavier Sosu, a Human Rights Advocate by the General Legal Council on the bases that Lawyer Sosu has been found guilty on two counts of “overcharging a client; touting and person advertisement on social media”.
We, the leadership of United for National Interest (UNI) wish to register our disagreement with the General Legal Council on the 3-year ban.
We see this ban as a total violation of the fundamental human rights of Mr. Sosu; violation of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana; discrimination at the highest level and calculated attempt by the Council to deprive the young human rights fighter his means of livelihood.
This decision will deny justice to several vulnerable People that he is currently representing against the State in medical negligence, domestic violence and abuse, military brutality, unfair and unlawful terminations, and several human rights violations in this country.
We as a civil society organization has followed Lawyer Sosu’s dedicated and spirited fight against injustice and breaches of fundamental rights of the vulnerable. He was the same lawyer for the victim in the Dr. Ali Gabas case, Felix Nyaaba, Charles Antwi and most recently represented Eric Asante at the Supreme Court to secure his acquittal. He is lawyer protecting the interest of the Mawako “pepper” victim and over the years represented several hundreds of remand prisoners through the Justice For All program.
From our checks, Lawyer Sosu charged NO fees for all the above mentioned cases and many more cases that he continues to do.
However in the case of Francis Agyare it is clear that there was a written agreement, which he fulfilled. In Agyare’s own confession on Joy fm, he said he wanted to withdraw the complaint after he received the money but the General Legal Council “convinced” him against it.
This ban looks like a deliberate attempt to prevent the young Human Rights Lawyer from demanding accountability of the system and his fight in the interest of the vulnerable.
OVERESTIMATION OF FEES
Since the news broke, we have heard several commentaries and heard Mr. Agyare grant interviews in which he has publicly admitted that he agreed to pay 25% fees.
Having carefully read the accounts by Mr. Francis Agyare and heard Mr. Agyare on Joy Fm Super morning show, on Thursday, June 8, 2017 we are convinced that no complaints of over charging was ever made by Mr. Agyare to the GLC.
To think of the fact that Mr. Agyare’s Petition was first filed in November, 2014 before he was paid his compensation in 2015 and on his own volition without any compulsion went ahead to pay Lawyer Sosu’s firm in accordance with their agreement, it shocks our sense of fairness and justice that Lawyer Sosu would be punished for overestimation of fees.
Also, our frantic search has not revealed any law in the Council’s Professional Regulations making “over charging or estimation” a grave professional misconduct and with a prescribed sanction.
It is therefore very strange for the Council to ban Mr. Sosu on grounds of overestimation of legal fees for 1 year.
TOUTING AND PERSONAL ADVERTISEMENT
We have also noted with great concerns that there is no identifiable complainant who has filed a complaint against Lawyer Sosu at the General Legal Council on the issue of touting and personal advertisement.
It is therefore very surprising how GLC can be its own complainant and judges in the same case which led to Mr. Sosu’s ban for 3-years.
We have also seen several law firms and lawyers including some members of the General Legal Council advertise through websites. A google search of names like Sam Okudzeto, a senior lawyer, Council of State member and a member of the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council shows his personal Advertisement as far back as 2012 on US Embassy websites. Many lawyers share professional profiles on LinkedIn, Lawyers.com and many social media pages including Sam Okudzeto.
We therefore see this action by the GLC as very selective, targeted, ill-motivated and an affront to justice and fairness and wish to call on the Council to reverse its decision.
This decision is Oppressive and we must all resist oppressors rule as we are admonished by the 1992 Constitution.
We are also calling on the President of Ghana, H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo, who is also a known Human Rights adherent, Former Presidents of Ghana, the Speaker of Parliament, Ghana Peace Council, Ghana Bar Association, International Bar Association, Amnesty International and other International Human Rights bodies to intervene in this act of injustice perpetuated against Mr. Sosu, whose works in this country are quite obvious.
United for National Interest (UNI):
It is a non-partisan movement which seeks to represent the voice of the masses on key national issues by putting the interest of the nation first.
We stand to fight and promote issues of national interest and fight against all “forces” that work directly or indirectly against the progress of our nation.
We stand for justice, and to foster unity, peace and development of our nation.
– Korsi Senyo, Convener | Tel: 0560-1144-95 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
– Kwesi Willington, Spokesperson