Tag Archives: Ghana

Ghana: Death threats for lawyer defending Denkyira-Obuasi suspects

August 5, 2017

Denkyira Boase Arrests 1

The lawyer defending four of the suspected lynchers of Major Maxwell Adam Mahama says he has received several threats for taking up the case. Lawyer George Bernard Shaw says the threats range from verbal abuses to death wishes on him.

He said he had his first brush with the verbal abuses at the Cape Coast High Court, where he was verbally attacked for representing the suspected killers in court.

Speaking on TV3’s Hot Issues on Saturday, the British-trained lawyer said his windscreen was at one-time smashed with stones by some unknown persons while leaving the court.

The lawyer is representing four suspects including the Denkyira-Obuasi Assemblyman, William Baah, who is accused of organizing the youth to lynch the erstwhile army captain. He insists they are innocent until proven otherwise, beyond all reasonable doubt.

“I do not stand for evil, I stand for justice.” He told host Winston Amoah that the threats against him went to the extent of some men of God praying for him to die.

https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Death-threats-for-lawyer-defending-Denkyira-Obuasi-suspects-566592

https://yen.com.gh/96592-i-received-numerous-threats-lawyer-defending-major-mahamas-killers-claims.html

http://dailyguideafrica.com/lawyer-furious-verbal-abuse/

https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Ghanaians-are-insulting-me-Lawyer-of-Mahama-s-killers-550350

https://yen.com.gh/94534-mahama-lynch-perpetrators-lawyer-laments-medias-abusive-representation-him.html

https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Lawyer-furious-over-verbal-abuse-in-the-media-550230

Ghana: Stop begging for Fundamental Human Rights -Lawyer Sosu

August 4, 2017

Respected Human Rights Advocate, Lawyer Francis Xavier Sosu believes the biggest hindrance to human rights in Africa is ignorance.

According to him, Africans have been reduced to begging for their rights because they do not understand that they are entitled to it.

“The reason why we keep begging for those rights is because we do not know that they are fundamental human rights,” he said.

It is typical for communities to send high profile delegations to the Presidency to beg for development or plead with a visiting leader for development projects.

TV screens in Africa are constantly awashed with citizens begging for one amenity or the other with the media dedicating a significant portion of airtime and space to drawing attention to the flagrant disregard of this right.

http://www.radiogold905.com/?p=22558

https://www.myjoyonline.com/world/2017/august-5th/yohra-calls-for-peace-before-during-and-after-kenya-elections-2017.php

http://dailyheritage.com.gh/?p=9497

Ghana: Appeals Court Dismisses Sosu’s Motion Against Ban

July 27, 2017

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an application for a stay of execution pending appeal by suspended human rights lawyer, Mr  Francis Xavier Sosu, over his suspension from legal practice by the General Legal Council (GLC).

The General Legal Council is body set out by law to regulate legal education and legal practice throughout the country

Mr Sosu filed the application seeking to put on hold his three-year suspension from the legal practice pending the final determination of his appeal at the courts.

In his ruling the court presided over by Justice Henry Anthony Kwofi said that it was unable to grant the application because it lacks the jurisdiction to do so.

He said the court was of the view that Mr Sosu should have filed the notice of appeal at the GLC registry and not the registry of the Appeals Court.

https://www.peacefmonline.com/pages/local/social/201707/321948.php

http://www.radiogold905.com/?p=22182

http://www.pulse.com.gh/news/francis-xavier-sosu-suspended-lawyers-case-thrown-out-id7052936.html

http://www.ghananewsagency.org/social/appeals-court-dismisses-sosu-s-motion-against-ban-120100

https://www.primenewsghana.com/general-news/court-dismisses-sosu-s-ban-appeal.html

Ghana: Embattled Lawyer Francis-Xavier Sosu honoured with humanitarian award

July 16, 2017

Celebrated human rights and public interest lawyer, Francis-Xavier Sosu, has been presented with a humanitarian award by the Marshal UK & The Vine Complex Ghana on Saturday July 15, 2017, in Accra.

The special award recognises the need to give back to society  and is conferred on groups and individuals making positive impact in Ghana and abroad.

Although the renowned human rights Lawyer is currently in court fighting a three-year ban by the General Legal Council for touting and breaching regulations on legal fees, he has been a strong force in the fight for justice for vulnerable Ghanaians – sometimes taking up cases free of charge for people who cannot afford legal fees.

sosu-plaque

The citation reads in part:

Brief Profile Lawyer Francis-Xavier Sosu

“Lawyer Francis-Xavier Sosu grew up as a destitute street child, was adopted by Village of Hope, and found God’s grace. It’s through benevolent people that he became a Lawyer and he specifically chose Public Interest And Human Rights Law so he could give back to Society.

“He has since become an Ambassador of Hope to many street children and destitute persons in general both in Ghana and abroad. Lawyer Sosu has been featured internationally through Fox 13 TV in the USA, and impacted several young children in the USA by sharing of his life story. Today, Francis-Xavier Sosu is a renowned Human Rights and Public Interest Lawyer, Social Protection and Child Rights Activist in Ghana. He holds BA (Hons), Sociology, LLB (Hons). BL, and an LLM (Oil and Gas Law). He is the Managing Partner of F-X Law & Associates (Human Rights Law Firm in Accra)…”

http://www.myjoyonline.com/news/2017/July-16th/embattled-lawyer-francis-xavier-sosu-honoured-with-humanitarian-award.php

http://www.pulse.com.gh/news/francis-xavier-sosu-embattled-lawyer-receives-humanitarian-award-id7005794.html

https://www.primenewsghana.com/general-news/banned-lawyer-francis-sosu-honoured-with-humanitarian-award.html

Ghana: Court sets July 26 to rule on suspended lawyer’s case

July 11, 2017

The Court of Appeal has fixed July 26, 2017, to rule on an application for stay of execution by suspended human rights lawyer Francis Xavier Sosu.

The court presided by a single judge Justice Henry Kwofie set the date after lawyers for both Francis Sosu and the General Legal Council (GLC) made their respective oral submission.

Arguing their case, lawyers of the General Legal Council, who are opposed to the application said the applicant did not file any notice of appeal at the registry of the GLC which implied that there was no notice of valid appeal for a stay of execution.

They also stated that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter since the notice was wrongly filed.

READ ALSO: Court adjourns suspended lawyer’s case

But the lawyers for the applicant argued that the GLC had no registry and therefore filed their notice of appeal at the high court.

The lead lawyer Samuel Cudjoe said that even though he admits that the process was wrongly filed, the GLC is not a court hence the decision to file the appeal at the high court.

http://www.pulse.com.gh/news/francis-sosu-court-sets-july-26-to-rule-on-suspended-lawyers-case-id6977004.html

http://www.graphic.com.gh/news/general-news/suspended-lawyer-sosu-moves-stay-of-execution-motion-at-court-of-appeal.html

http://www.ghananewsagency.org/social/court-sets-date-for-sosu-s-application-119471

https://www.peacefmonline.com/pages/local/news/201707/320264.php

Ghana: Appeals court adjourns Francis Sosu suspension case

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.

http://www.myjoyonline.com/news/2017/July-4th/appeals-court-adjourns-francis-sosu-suspension-case.php

https://citifmonline.com/2017/07/04/xavier-sosus-stay-of-execution-plea-adjourned/

https://yen.com.gh/95217-court-appeal-adjourns-hearing-suspended-lawyer-francis-sosus-stay-execution.html

http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Court-adjourns-Sosu-s-case-to-July-11-555299

http://www.myjoyonline.com/news/2017/July-5th/general-legal-councils-advertising-restrictions-on-lawyers-challenged-at-supreme-court.php

https://www.peacefmonline.com/pages/local/news/201707/319362.php

*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

Ghana: Lawyers advertising on social media is distasteful – CJ nominee

June 16, 2017

The Chief Justice nominee, Justice Sophia Akuffo, says she is against the practice of lawyers advertising their services on social media.

She described the practice as “distasteful” which she said amounts to “touting”, which is abhorred by the bar.

There has been intense debate about legal practitioners advertising their services on social media following the suspension of renowned human rights lawyer, Francis-Xavier Sosu.

The General Legal Council handed Mr Sosu a three-year ban for overcharging a client and another year’s suspension for advertising on social media.

Both legal practitioners and the general public have since discussed the subject with some arguing that the ban was too harsh and unfair.

Some have called for a review of regulations against advertising since the law against the practice dates back to the 1960s and must reflect the technological advancements of the day.

http://www.myjoyonline.com/news/2017/June-16th/lawyers-advertising-is-distasteful-cj-nominee.php

https://citifmonline.com/2017/06/16/im-against-lawyers-advertising-on-social-media-sophia-afuffo/

http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Lawyers-advertising-on-social-media-is-distasteful-Sophia-Akuffo-549062

https://www.primenewsghana.com/general-news/i-don-t-support-lawyers-marketing-themselves-on-social-media-cj-nominee.html

http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Akuffo-s-touting-comment-unacceptable-prejudicial-Group-549513

http://citifmonline.com/2017/06/22/general-legal-council-dragged-to-supreme-court-over-draconian-rules/

Saturday, 17th June, 2017

Press Release

From: *UNITED FOR NATIONAL INTEREST.*

To: *All media Houses*

*CJ NOMINEE OUT OF TIME ON ISSUES OF SOCIAL MEDIA & LEGAL PRACTICE IN GHANA.*

It has come to our Notice that the Chief Justice Nominee, who presided over the ban of renowned Human Rights Lawyer for three years for among other things alleged to have advertised himself on face book justified same during her public vetting in parliament on 16th June, 2017.

She is reported saying among others that :

“Personally, I believe that dignity of the bar is as important as the dignity of the judiciary, and the idea of lawyers touting themselves on social media is personally distasteful to me.”

She also added that: “But that aside, the law is there clearly against touting because touting is an improper conduct on the part of the lawyer,”

Again she said “Self-advertisement is one of those frowned on in many jurisdictions, there are some that permit it, but I have not studied the scope of those permissions. But Facebook, Twitter… at the moment will not fall in the permissible areas. You can have a website and put yourself on it…” We note with concern the following:

1. the justifications given by the CJ Nominee when the matter is sub judice by way of Lawyer Sosu’s appeal and yet to be heard has the potential to prejudice Lawyer Sosu’s appeal and highly unacceptable.

She knew very well that the discriminatory decision they took against Lawyer Sosu was on appeal. The least she could have said was that the matter was on appeal and she could not share her opinion on it particularly when she presided over that decision. She should have also told the world which kind of “quality justice” was dispensed to Lawyer Sosu.

2. In a democracy like ours, rule of law and due process must be the preferred options. Article 23 of the 1992 Constitution guarantees the right to administrative justice of all persons including Lawyers. The Nominee and the General Legal Council are not above the laws of Ghana. Quality Justice requires adherence to all the tenets of Rule of Law. The Personal views of the CJ Nominee is not what governs the professional conduct of lawyers. By the Legal Professions Act out of which professional regulations were derived, even when a person is alleged to have misconducted themselves, the professional body would have to be the first adherents of the rules of Natural Justice. In the case of Lawyer Sosu, led by the CJ Nominee all those rules were breached. They were complainant, prosecutors and judges in their own court. How can justice and fairness be done in these circumstances.

3. There is no doubt that the rules on Touting and Advertisement are all outmoded and needs review. When those rules were enacted, information technology had not reached this height. Websites with social networking applications had not developed and besides those rules are clearly inconsistent with Article 19(11) of the 1992 Constitution because they are not specific and no specific sanctions provided. It’s application against Human Rights Lawyer, Francis-Xavier Sosu is very selective and discriminatory contrary to Article 17 of the Constitution. If the rules will not be amended then all Lawyers must be banned. We have already Complained to the General Legal Council against some senior members like Sam Okudjato and several other lawyers and hope same rules will be invoked.

4. It is very clear that from the responses of the CJ Nominee she is outmoded on issues of social media and it’s influence on legal practice in Ghana. She is not in tune with the modern trend and that can be problematic to the legal fraternity. All standards of definitions of social media includes website. It cannot be said that websites are allowed when the existing laws do not allow it. Guidelines for websites cannot amend a legislative instrument. The General Legal Council must do the right thing.

5. Social media are websites with applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.

6. Most lawyers in Ghana have websites which are interactive and allows for social networking. Websites are linked with Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, and other internet applications depending on choice. We as a group would advice the nominee CJ to google law firms or lawyers in Ghana and she will be amazed the amount of information available contrary to her view. The Office of the General Legal Council owns a website, but when it’s Notice of Ban of Lawyer Sosu was ready, it was sent through whatsapp, a social media facility. Today, lawyers share laws, cases, and vital information through whatsapp and even some courts have ordered service of writs by substation through whatsapp and Facebook in Ghana and other jurisdiction

From the foregoing we as a civil society group that demands fairness and accountability would like to call on the CJ Nominee to revise her notes on Information Communications Technology.

We believe there may be other considerations other than Legal that was the reason for this ban.

It is in this light that we call on on the General Legal Council, the Ghana Bar Association, the International Bar Association, and all other lovers of freedom and justice to join in the fight against selective justice and systemic injustice.

In the service of Ghana and humanity *Korsi Senyo* (Convenor) 0560-1144-95