Transcript: When Francis-Xavier Sosu met General Legal Council

Lawyer Sosu says the Council has become lawless and intimidating young lawyers in Ghana[/caption] Find below unedited transcript lawyer Francis-Xavier Sosu attached to his writ at the High Court on Thursday seeking injunction against the General Legal Council. AY: Mr. Sosu, you were invited here by this committee because, I think early this year on Facebook, you appeared to have advertised yourself in such a way that we do not think as a lawyer it has to be done. Yes. How say you? FX: Well, I would say that I never had the intention of doing so. AY: You never had the intention of…. FX: …of doing so SA: But by accident….it was by accident? Well, if it is not intentional, then it was accidental. FX: My Lady, I thought I was only giving back information and didn’t know…. SA: For what purpose? Who? Who are you informing? Your client knows you had issued the writ or you had taken the step that he was hoping you would take on his behalf. After that, at that stage of matters, whose business is the rest, apart from you trying to do..working assiduously for your client? AY: And also this is not a public sort of… SO: ..interest.. AY: ..yes public interest …yes, it’s private. Somebody goes to court and says his fundamental human rights are…his privacy is being abused..then you go wayward. SA: Then you abuse his privacy even more by publishing… FX: My Lords, respectfully, I will apologise… SO: If it hadn’t been….you see another important test case…concealing liberties of the state..this is what you are doing… SA: Yes, you are making a statement…a self-serving statement. AY: You have also filed an injunction to restrict the military from carrying out any further development on the said structure pending the final determination of the case. The injunction is to be heard on 14th March at the Human Rights Division. SA:  (at the background): these pictures are also on Facebook. AY: This is definitely also important matter to this case. Counsel, Counsel, even what you do..human rights, public interest, corporate, commercial, oil, gas lawyers—these are all advertising (huh)—these are all—yes— AY/SA: And you put your picture there. SA: Your client’s picture there…look at the picture you posted there; your picture is there; you put your picture in the wing colours then you put the Honourable Attorney General’s picture—why? SO: Minister for Defence, then the CDS.. SA: Have they asked you to put their pictures there? Then alongside you, what did you intend to portray to the public? What was the motive? Saying it was unintentional but at this stage, what was the motive? FX: My Lords, with the greatest of respects, before the matter was referred to me, there had been a number of publications on the matter on TV3. AY: But had it gone to the court? FX: My Lord, respectfully, no, as at that time. SA: And therefore…and therefore…it shouldn’t be your client, neither you to put these on website. FX: My Lords, with the greatest respect, after the filing of the writ, because the story had earlier on been published on TV3—I don’t know whether by his own arrangement—the writ that had been filed had equally been published. SA: On Facebook page? FX: Not on my Facebook page on that day. It had gone…it had been reported on Joy FM, Citi FM SA: So what? So what? Do you put this on your website? You are a professional. FX: My Lords, I will apologise. SA: How did this get on your—-if nothing gets—has your Facebook account been hacked? FX: My Lords, with the greatest of respects… SA: Did you put this on your page? You didn’t? FX: My Lord, I did. SA: Yes, he did. The CDS, the Hon. Attorney General, Togbe Afede. I ean what is this supposed to mean? What a powerful David you are! And you are ready and poised to fight all these Goliaths! FX: My Lords, with the greatest of respects… SA: And the bombastic statement that goes with it! FX: My Lords, with the greatest of respects, as soon as I realised it should never have been the way it went… SO/SA: It should never have gone there. You don’t advertise yourself in anyway. SA: What’s the difference between this and a billboard? SO: You have learned ethics; we warned you, you don’t want to listen; you want to sell yourself. FX: My Lords, with the greatest of respects, on that same day, I pulled it down, that very publication. If you go to my Facebook page…. SA:  Yet the harm had already been caused. Yes, it goes to every friend of yours. SO: Yes! AY: Mr. Sosu, do you know that when (some cases) are pending, in appropriate cases, the (action he is pleading) should be taken in camera? FX: My Lord, I did…. AY: Why, why do you… SA: And that one came when? AY: D you think you are the only lawyer who has been called to the bar and who is doing human right cases? Do you know what some have done even at the peril of their lives? FX: My Lord, with the greatest of respects, if I may explain Patrick’s situation. My Lord, Patrick’s case was reported on GH One; I had… SA: He is busy trawling and trawling… SO: He is selling himself on TV stations, radio stations; that’s all he does—selling himself; he is the only person who knows human rights law in this country. This is the problem. I think enough is enough. Let’s punish him so that he can learn his lesson from this. AY: You see, you are lucky you have come to meet a regime which is a constitutional one—some people—you go and read the 1979 Law Report…Dagomba, Ofori Atta and others where Acheampong could lock up anybody including himself…and lawyers were in court and whatever…Yes…Mr.—–was in court when they came to arrest him. Do you remember that incident? SO: Yes. AY: Yes, just because he had commented that—-was a bogus law. Before he left he was arrested. An American Supreme Court Judge said we have more rights than them. His grandson is Ghanaian and he took our constitution and read and realised that we have more rights than them. So counsel, don’t be someone whose case comes here on regular basis as if you are the only lawyer… SA: He is now masquerading as the only lawyer who knows of Human Rights….So now you are acting like an ambulance ——– AY: He is more than that. SA: I was not surprised to hear your voice….to hear of you in connection with the pepper case. AY: He was saying if they need a lawyer, he is there. SA: What will be more than touting? You don’t understand touting? You don’t understand touting? AY: Look, when you came to the Supreme Court on the DNA Case, we congratulated you for been a bit meticulous because we wanted to know the truth. Was it not you? I presided; to the extent that we wanted to commit the woman and the daughter for contempt because they were evading the order to go for the DNA test. Eventually, it inured to your favour and the teacher was acquitted but then on the next day, it was on the television. SO: That’s right, all over the place. AY: Oh…why should a judge have given judgement and my name is all over the place? Please Mr. Sosu, you are going too far—and I am not happy. SA: You have gone too far! AY: Did you come to meet this as the standards set in the profession? SA: Did you have any of these when you were ..did you see any of these? Did you see any of these self advertisement? This is such a noble profession. You know nobility connotes downplaying yourself and simply letting the assiduous and quality work that you do come out—not because you are busy standing on the rooftops baring out how great you are—but other people say, “Ahh such and such a lawyer”. They open the Law Reports and such a fine case is there—that is how a noble lawyer is—not been a braggart, which is what you are! AY: You –you—when were you called to the bar? SA: Have you ever seen Mr. Okudzeto’s whatever in the public place? When you pass by Total House, do you see his signboard? When you get to that Total Junction, amongst the 1,001 signboards, do you see Okudzeto and Co. You see —–Chambers? Willie Fugar and Co? Do you? Have you seen any quality lawyer blaring themselves all over the place? You’re a disgrace! You’re a disgrace! And becoming increasingly so! What nonsense is this! Ah! AY: Look at the Attorney General’s future…. she has not been in office for 2 months! SA: I think when this one came, she had just been sworn in. Let me tell…Mr. (Quist/Quaye) was the Radio Lawyer but they had to give an undertaking that they would never publish his name. SA: If you didn’t know his voice, you wouldn’t know it was him. AY: They made a pact that they would not disclose his identity; that if they did, he would leave the place—and he was there so many years, educating Ghanaians on basic basic legal principles. SA/AY: An this was somebody who was an expert in his own right. SA: the extent that he had written a textbook that was used in our civil cases. And you—how many years are you in the bar? What are you in a hurry to do? AY: If you want to use the bar as a springboard for your political ambitions—you will soon—you went to the primaries in lost by 2… FX: I lost by 200 votes. AY: You see.. SO: In spite of the whole advert you were doing, you lost in your primaries? You didn’t even win in the primaries. FX: My Lord, the total voter population was 14,000. SO: That’s neither here nor there. FX:  I will sincerely apologise… AY: Let me tell you—this world is not going anywhere; just like the practice, you will have better clients; so you take your time. SO: How old are you? FX: 38. SO: How many years at the bar? FX: I have done 6. SO: Ahhh! And you are in a hurry like that? And you were called when? FX: When I was 32. SO; Thirty-two…I was in Assembly…by age 34 I was a Member of Parliament. FX: My Lords, I will sincerely apologise for my conduct. I will promise never …. AY/SO: No, no, they way you are going it has become a pattern …and it shows you don’t have any desire to stop…. FX: My Lords, with the greatest of respects… AY: When you won that case…it was news all over..the DNA case. SA: And I think the first one..the …the person who was… FX: Charles Antwi.. SA: The one who is currently a complainant before us. SO: Ah…Francis Agyare! FX: Francis Agyare. SA: Yes…it went to your head and you were busy selling yourself, “I did this, I did that.” Aren’t you a Christian? FX: My Lords, yes. SA: Don’t you have any sense of modesty…in the legal profession, you don’t… SO: So he goes to church? SA: Pardon? Yes, he goes to church. You know this is exhibiting. That is what you’re doing. You know quality lawyers –what happens is that many times, it’s even the judges who will refer you —somebody will come and ask them, “Oh can you refer me to a good lawyer?” And then the judge will send somebody to the lawyer. That is the highest acclaim. Not putting yourself on Facebook. How crass can you go! And inviting the public to comment as if they are judges who will determine the case. FX: My Lords, with the greatest of respects, I sincerely apologise for my conduct. SA: Ummmm…anyway, step outside and we would need to discuss. BREAK After Break AY: Yes, Mr. Sosu, you are supposed to appear before us on 27th … will be formally charged for touting. So you have to appear on 27th. We will read the charges to you and you will be required to plead accordingly. So 27th. You can go. FX: I’m grateful.

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Source: | Ghana]]>