Feature Article of Saturday, 13 April 2013
Columnist: Ata, Kofi
Mr William Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo was called to the English Bar
By Kofi Ata, Cambridge, UK
I can confirm on authority that Middle Temple in the UK has confirmed to me in an e-mail that, Mr William Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo was called to the English Bar on 22 July 1971.
This was following my telephone request to them on March 21, 2013 which I was asked to put into writing by e-mail and did so that very day (as per my e-mail of April 21 below). Having not received any acknowledgement, I telephoned the following week and was told that my request had been referred to the appropriate officer for a response but he was on annual leave so I should expect a reply after Easter. I called again on Thursday April 4, 2013 and I was informed that the officer was involved in scholarship interviews that week and could not respond until after the interviews but would certainly receive a reply by the afternoon of the following Wednesday.
Having not heard from Middle Temple as promised, I decided to send a reminder on Wednesday April 10, 2013 (see my e-mail of April 10 below) and finally received a brief reply the next day (April 11, 2013). Since the officer who replied indicated only the Christian or first name and no title, I rang Middle Temple to verify the full name and title of the officer. I spoke to Mr Richard Chapman and explained the purpose of my call. He explained to me that Middle Temple have a tradition of not signing full names or sometimes sign with only the position. When I made him aware that I intended to make the information public, he asked me not to publish the name of the staff member since she is a junior member of staff who was asked to respond to my enquiry.
At the request of Middle Temple, I have deleted the name of the member replied to my original e-mail request but used only her initial. I have also deleted my e-mail address to avoid receiving any hate mail from supporters and opponents of Nana Akufo Addo.
Anyone who doubts me can contact Middle Temple in London on (+44) 020 7427 4800.
I am still in contact with Middle Temple to confirm certain information regarding this matter, so please keep reading. I will make it public through Ghanaweb if Middle Temple responds to my request.
From: Members To: ‘Kofi Ata’ Sent: Thursday, April 11, 2013 9:36 AM Subject: RE: Mr William Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo
Dear Mr Ata,
Thank you for your enquiry.
The Middle Temple does not have a member by the name of Nana Akufo Addo. We do have a member called William Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and I can confirm that he was called to the Bar by this Inn on 22 July 1971. I am unable to disclose any other information as we can only confirm information which is in the public domain.
Best wishes, S
From: Kofi Ata Sent: 10 April 2013 20:05 To: Members Subject: Fw: Mr William Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo
PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL
Please find below my original e-mail request regarding the above subject matter which was sent to you on 21 March 2013 as advised after a telephone enquiry that day.
Despite two telephone follow up calls thereafter and assurance last week that it would be responded to by the afternoon of 10 April 2013, I have still not received acknowledgement of my request by return, though it was confirmed to me on phone that the e-mail request was received and had been referred to the appropriate officer for action.
The story has been raised by the Ghanaian media again and this time, a letter is alleged to have come from the Middle Temple to Mr William Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo that he was called to the English Bar. Please find a link to a story to that effect which appeared today on Ghanaweb.com for your perusal.
I will appreciate if you could kindly respond to my request and confirm if Mr William Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo (DoB 29 March 1944. He is now known as Nana Akufo Addo.
Below is also a link to Mr William Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo’s 2012 presidential campaign website which states that, he was called to the English Bar (Middle Temple) in July 1971.
I hope you will kindly respond to my request as a matter of urgency to clear the air and also to avoid the name and reputation of your August body becoming part of this story in Ghana.
My kind regards
Mr Kofi Ata, Cambridge.
—– Forwarded Message —– From: Kofi Ata To: “[email protected]” Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2013 4:10 PM Subject: William Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo
PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL
I am British of Ghanaian origin living in Cambridge. I occasionally post articles on Ghanaian media websites, especially, Ghanweb.com. I am not a journalist and do not get paid for my articles but as a contribution to socio-economic and political development in my country of origin.
Just this week a strange story emerged in Ghana with regards to a very successful Barrister and politician, Mr William Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, who is the leader of main opposition party in Ghana (National Patriotic Party) and the party’s candidate in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. He is now known as Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, born on 29 March 1944.
According to media reports in Ghana, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court has sued Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo at the High Court in Accra for impersonation and for practising as a lawyer when he is not qualified. This is not only strange but also bizarre because Nana Akufo Addo (for short) is not only an accomplished Barrister but also served as Attorney General and Minister for Justice as well as Foreign Minister of Ghana.
According to Nana Akufo Addo’s website and Wikipedia, he trained as a lawyer in England and was first called to the English Bar (Middle Temple) in July 1971. I am trying to establish the veracity of this information but unfortunately I could not find any membership information on your website that would confirm this. I made a telephone call to your office and I was advised to put my request by e-mail.
I will be most grateful if you could kindly assist me to confirm his training and being called to the English Bar as reported on the internet so that I will make it available to the Ghanaian public and kill the story. I suspect the suit may be politically motivated since the retired Supreme Court Justice is believed to be a strong supporter of the ruling party (National Democratic Congress) and Nana Akufo Addo is challenging the results of the December 2012 presidential election at the Supreme Court.
Below are some media links on reports on this matter.
http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=268417 http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=268411 http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=268403 http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=268285 http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=268255
I will appreciate your kind response and assistance on this important matter.
Mr Kofi Ata