[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t is becoming obvious that the General Legal Council (GLC), realizing that they do not have a case on appeal against the renowned Human Rights Lawyer, Mr. Francis-Xavier Sosu is attempting to rely on some technicalities to delay the hearing of the matter.
[ads1]Following the Council’s decision on 1st June, 2017 to suspend Lawyer Sosu for 1 year on charge of overestimation of legal fees and 3 years on another charge of Touting and Advertising, Lawyer Sosu filed an appeal against the said decision at the Registry of the High Court, Human Rights Division on 7th June, 2017. The appeal was immediately followed with an application for Stay of Execution and/or suspension of the decision of the GLC pending the determination of the Appeal.
It is revealing, however, that even though the application for stay was filed on 13th June, 2017 and served on the GLC on the same day, the GLC waited until the afternoon of last Friday, June 30, 2017 to file their affidavit in opposition only to allege that the appeal is defective and that the Court of Appeal does not have jurisdiction to hear the application.
This affidavit in opposition was filed at a time that it was obvious that Lawyer Sosu would never be served before the hearing of the application on the morning of July 4, particularly because July 3 was a holiday.
My search disclosed that Lawyer Sosu coincidentally was going to file a supplementary affidavit at the court registry when he got served with the GLC’s affidavit upon request.
In response to the said affidavit, Lawyer Sosu filed a further Supplementary affidavit on the morning of July 4, 2017, the ONLY immediate option left to him and ensured that it was served on the GLC and their lawyers.
At the hearing, Justice Coffie (JA), noted that there were two applications but giving the fact that the subject matters were the same, it was necessary to consolidate both.
Lawyer for GLC Kizito Beyou noted that because civil form 6 had not yet been issued, the court had no jurisdiction to make such orders.
The lead Counsel for Lawyer Sosu, Lawyer Samuel M. Codjoe insisted that the court had jurisdiction in respect of the applications filed before it.
The Court ruled that giving the fact that the matters before it were similar and raised similar issues and questions of law, the two applications be consolidated and argued together.
On the substantive application, when the Lawyer for Mr. Sosu moved the court, the GLC lawyer interjected and asked that the Court be informed that Mr. Sosu’s last process filed was in the morning of 4th July, 2017. After giving the reasons why the only practical time available was the morning of 4th July, the Lawyer for the GLC insisted that he needed time to respond to some factual depositions of Mr. Sosu in his further Supplementary affidavit.
We can also confirm that till date, the General Legal Council has not served Mr. Sosu with any ruling or Order suspending him even though they have published it on their websites and shared same across various social media.
The matter is now adjourned to Tuesday, 11th July 2017 at 12:00 for the consideration of the application.
Though it is completely pre-mature, Lawyer Sosu’s appeal has raised serious legal and constitutional matters. One very crucial one is the fact that the charges of “grave misconduct in a professional respect” has not been defined by any law in Ghana.
Our second critical observation is the clear arbitrariness in the regulation of a professional body like lawyers. For now, not being lawyers, we wait to see what the court and the Law Lords have to say about these serious issues.
We will keep our eyes on this matters and update our cherished readers.
Reporting for Awake News, Efo Korsi Senyo, Court of Appeal, Accra | firstname.lastname@example.org