Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has described the recent action taken against his integrity by Justice Francis Yaonansu Kpegah as not only frivolous and vexatious, but one unworthy of hearing by the High Court.
He said Justice Kpegah should be punished for his frivolities in instituting the action.
This was contained in a legal response to the issues raised by the retired Justice of the Supreme Court against him; an action which made disturbing headlines and whose motion would be heard on April 23, 2013, according to a notice of motion filed on behalf of the 2012 flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) by Davies & Davies Legal Practitioners & Notaries Public.
In an affidavit supporting his position, Nana Akufo-Addo rubbished the allegation of the retired justice which sought to imply that he is not the bearer of the name which appears in the General Legal Council register of legal practitioners in the country and is therefore an impersonator.
Abuse Of Process
While further regarding the position of the retired justice of the Supreme Court as an abuse of the process of the Court, Nana Addo added that it is devoid of a reasonable cause of action.
“I am further advised by counsel and verily believe same to be true that the Plaintiff’s action fails to canvass facts necessary to form the basis of any issue worthy of a proper hearing by this Honourable Court”, the supporting affidavit stressed.
While rubbishing the position of the retired Supreme Court justice in paragraph 5 of his pleadings that he (Nana Akufo) “was impersonating one W.E.D Akufo-Addo who was called to the Middle Temple on 22nd July, 1971 and is on the Roll of Lawyers in Ghana as No. 1190”, the NPP leader wondered why in another breath of the same pleadings the plaintiff claimed that “the person I am impersonating is not W.E.D Akufo-Addo but rather a certain W.A.D. Akufo-Addo who is also on the same Roll of Lawyers with the same No. 1190.”
The foregone, according to him, smacks of frivolity and founded on mischief, since “I cannot be impersonating two persons with the same number on the same Roll of Lawyers in Ghana.”
Picking what he regarded as another instance of contradiction, Nana Akufo-Addo stressed “that in paragraph 15 of his statement of claim, plaintiff concedes the fact that I, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was called to the English Bar (Middle Temple) in the same year as the person(s) bearing the no. 1190 on the Roll of Lawyers in Ghana, that he claim I am impersonating.”
The defendant/applicant points out that he is William Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo but has always been known as Nana Addo Dankwa-Akufo-Addo, adding that he has been constantly been referred to in his professional life as Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
“Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and William Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo are one and the same person.”
Regarding his professional career in the supporting affidavit, Nana Akufo-Addo stated that he studied law in England and was duly and specially admitted to the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, one of the four inns of the Court in England, on January 13, 1969 as William Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Continuing, he explained that on July 22, 1971, after passing the English Bar examination, “I was duly called to the Utter Bar of the Middle Temple and have since been a properly qualified member of that Honourable Society, as admitted to by Plaintiff in paragraph 15 of his statement of claim”.
Post Call Programme
Dismissing the allegation of impersonation, Nana went on to state that upon his return to Ghana, he undertook the post-call law programme required of lawyers who have qualified abroad and was duly called to the local bar on July 8, 1975, as William Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, exhibit of which he attached as Exhibit “NADA 2” being a certificate of the General Legal Council.
“That I have since 1975, been on the Roll of Lawyers in Ghana, always been a lawyer in good standing and was even appointed validly to the office of Attorney-General of the Republic in accordance with Article 88 of the Constitution and other laws of Ghana,” he went on.
There are several lawyers in the country who he stated do not use the whole of either the names they were christened with or their names as appearing on the Roll of Lawyers in Ghana—a practice which he noted is not unlawful.
The affidavit concluded on a fiery note thus: “The instant action is brought in utter bad faith, inspired by mischief of the deepest dye and a gross abuse of the process of this Honourable Court, and accordingly ought to be struck out” with punitive costs, he added.
The retired Supreme Court justice who provoked a national conversation about the motive for his action, had cynics wondering whether it was politically motivated given the timing.
It is coming on the heels of the commencement of a petition brought against the Electoral Commission by Nana Akufo-Addo, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey at the Supreme Court.