July 4, 2017
The Court of Appeal has adjourned the case brought by Human Rights lawyer Francis Xavier Sosu who is challenging his suspension from the bar for professional malpractice.
The General Legal Council which handed down the suspension was represented in court by Kizito Beyuo who pleaded for the adjournment.
He said the GLC is unable to respond to fresh allegations contained in a statement handed to him just before the day’s court session began.
He explained some of the allegations were against officers of the GLC who need to be contacted before a response can be put together.
Justice F.G Kobieh granted the request and adjourned proceedings to July 11.
Lawyer Sosu was handed a 3-year ban on June 1, for overcharging a client as well as advertising his services.
*GENERAL LEGAL COUNCIL DELIBERATELY DELAYING THE APPLICATION FOR STAY/SUSPENSION OF THEIR DECISION FILED BY HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER FRANCIS-XAVIER SOSU* It is becoming obvious that the General Legal Counsel realizing that they do not have a case on appeal against the renowned Human Rights Lawyer, Francis-Xavier Sosu is attempting to rely on some technicalities to delay the hearing of the matter. 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 Tounting 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 same was served on the GLC on the same day, the GLC waited until the afternoon of *Friday, 30th June, 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 application was filed at a time that it was obvious that Lawyer Sosu would never be served with same before the hearing of the Application on the morning of 4th July, particularly because 3rd July was also a holiday. Our search disclosed that Lawyer Sosu coincidentally was going to file a Supplementary affidavit at the 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 4th July, 2017, the ONLY immediate option left to him and ensured that same was served on the GLC and their lawyers. HEARING 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