The 2012 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Akufo-Addo may soon turn the tide on Justice Francis Yaonansu Kpegah, as the former’s lawyer hints of a possible defamation suit against the latter.
Justice Kpegah, a retired Supreme Court judge, last month dragged Nana Akufo-Addo to an Accra High Court, accusing him of impersonation. In a writ filed on March 18, 2013, the plaintiff said the NPP flag-bearer has been holding himself out as a lawyer when evidence available to him (Kpegah) from sources such as the General Legal Council proves otherwise.
But the General Legal Council has released a document which appears to have confirmed that Nana Akufo-Addo is a lawyer.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has also filed a supplementary affidavit to support his claim that he was indeed enrolled on July 8, 1975, to practice as a legal practitioner in Ghana, and has been a lawyer of good standing for the past 40 years.
In the light of the exhibits, Nana Akufo-Addo stated that Mr Justice Kpegah’s claim that he (Mr Justice Kpegah) had caused a discreet investigation to be conducted on Nana Akufo-Addo’s status, “is patently false and smacks of mischief, since the most cursory of investigations by the plaintiff would have revealed the undisputable fact that, for almost 40 years, I have been a lawyer in good standing known to the records of the General Legal Council of Ghana.”
Meanwhile, Godred Yeboah Dame, the counsel for Nana Akufo-Addo has told Joy FM’s Top Story Friday that it will be “worthwhile” for Nana Akufo-Addo to take legal action against Justice kpegah, if the court finally confirms that he is indeed a lawyer.
His upbeat could be informed by an extract from the Roll Book which included the signatures of Nana Akufo-Addo, the Judicial Secretary and the Chairman of the General Legal Council at the time.
“And as is apparent from the exhibits, I duly signed the Roll Book on July 8, 1975 together with the then Chairman of the General Legal Council, His Lordship the Chief Justice Samuel Azu Crabbe (of blessed memory) and the Judicial Secretary,” part of the deponent’s affidavit read.
Mr Godfred Dame said Nana Akufo-Addo is a man of international repute who had served as Ghana’s Foreign Affairs Minister, and Attorney General and Minister of Justice.
He said if Justice Kpegah has sought to “tarnish” his client’s hard earned reputation, “I believe that it will be within his right to sue for defamation”.
Meanwhile, a lawyer, Chris Ackumey said he is convinced that Nana Akufo-Addo is a lawyer, and has therefore called for calm to prevail over the issue.
Nevertheless, he said the exhibits attached to his affidavit to attest to the fact that he duly signed the Roll Book and collected his certificate would rather heighten the suspicion raised by Justice Kpegah.
He said since Nana Akufo-Addo claims the certificate is missing, he should have rather gone for a statement attesting to that.
“If the document goes to the public domain, as it is now, people will raise it and pick up issues with it and it will create larger suspicion, it will deepen the sea of suspicion… [People] would want to see an attestation or statement in relation to the fact that a certificate was awarded you by the awarding authorities and it is missing.”