Feature Article of Saturday, 20 April 2013
Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.
By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Friday, April 19, 2013
Akufo-Addo’s filing of a supplementary affidavit at the High Court concerning the law suit brought against him by retired Supreme Court judge, Justice F. Y. Kpegah challenging his qualification as a lawyer is no laughing matter as we have insisted all along.
Contrary to what his followers insulting us may believe, the suit has substance and will definitely add to the woes nagging Akufo-Addo, sending him into a tail-spin and an excursion into the religious realm. We have been informed of his encounter with about 300 graduates of Junior High Schools at an all-night prayer session. What for?
The problems facing him are not meant for God to solve. They are mundane issues to be solved with good arguments, concrete evidence, and self-confidence, not a flight into sentimentalism and the transcendental. Heaven helps those who help themselves. What Akufo-Addo can do to redeem himself is in his own hands, not God’s. After all, after declaring that the “Battle is of the Lord’s” before Election 2012, and after God had already fought that battle to draw the line between him and the one installed in office on January 7, 2013 as Ghana’s President, what is there again for God to do for him but to sustain his life till the day God calls him unto himself to account for his stewardship on earth?
I have said it several times and will continue to do so that only an Akufo-Addo can redeem an Akufo-Addo. Now, in the context of Justice Kpegah’s suit, only a WILLIAM ADDO DANKWA AKUFO-ADD can redeem this NANA ADDO DANKWA/DANQUAH AKUFO-ADDO.
That is why the suit that Justice Kpegah has hung around his neck cannot just be treated with contempt and disdain as his followers have been doing all along, extending their misplaced anger to those of us commenting on issues.
By hiding behind the smokescreen that his followers have mounted for him and remaining silent, he isn’t helping his own cause.
The documents that he filed as affidavits in support of his motion for the case to be dismissed were clearly questionable—as we have already pointed out. Probably, some flicker of hindsight must have re-awakened him to reality. How can such an accomplished lawyer not know how to cut his steps only to fall into this kind of trap?
Again, even though he is allowed to amend his motion or file new ones and adduce whatever supporting affidavits he deems useful, we wonder about a few nagging aspects of what he has just done.
What did he have up his sleeves to instill so much confidence in him when he filed his motion with supporting affidavits for the case to be dismissed? Or, are the new affidavits better materials than the NOTES that he had been issued by E. Bart-Plange Brew (Acting Administrative Secretary in 2007) and the Under Treasurer of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple?
And he has replaced his lawyer, Frank Davies (Chairman of the Greater-Accra Regional branch of the Ghana Bar Association) with Godfred Yeboah Odame because of a conflict of interest. But did he not know the designation of Davies before making him his lawyer, in the first place?
This shift has rather raised the speculation that because Frank Davies is a member of the General Legal Council, he needn’t be his lawyer anymore—in case he needs to call him as a witness to corroborate his claims that he was indeed genuinely enrolled by the General Legal Council and had lost his qualifying and enrollment certificates.
Certainly, the document that he has had from the General Legal Council, signed by Bernard Bentil (Administrative Secretary of the General Legal Council) is dated April 12, 2013. It was in response to the letter (numbered AAPC/GYD/MO/2013/0351, and dated April 11, 2013), requesting a certified copy of extract from the General Legal Council’s roll book.
It is an extract from the Roll of Lawyers (dated July 8, 1975), purportedly signed by Samuel Azu Crabbe (former Chief Justice, according to Akufo-Addo’s supplementary affidavit) and Chairman of the General Legal Council. It also shows a signature for WAD Akufo-Addo with the certification: “Received my Certificate of Call and Qualifying Certificate this (something written here looks like “8” but is closer to an oval shape than “8”) day of July, 1975” and ‘LEGAL PRACTITIONER’ written underneath.
The second note is also said to be an extract of records from the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple (signed by one J.B. Morrison, Under Treasurer). Interestingly, the certified true copy of the extract from the roll book and the one from the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple are on the same page!! One would expect that what was issued by the Middle Temple would be a separate document and the one by the General Legal Council too a unique one. But both are conjoined, signed by different people, and with similarities in handwriting all over the page, raising red flags because they are where they don’t belong!! As we revealed, which the XYZ News reiterated today, he had already responded to Justice Kpegah’s suit, providing supporting affidavits and creating the impression (through his lawyer, Frank Davies) that all was well with him. He even went to the extent of asking the court to “punish” Justice Kpegah, which we ridiculed.
Having observed proceedings at the Supreme Court hearing the NPP’s petition to know how technicalities are influencing the over-ruling of objections by the judges, I am convinced that the only reason for which the Fast Track Court will dismiss the case will be based on nothing but technicalities.
That is why Akufo-Addo has been adroit enough to state in his motion calling for the dismissal of the case that Justice Kpegah had brought the matter to the wrong forum (the High Court) instead of the General Legal Council. His reason was that the matter involved the “status of a lawyer.”
Do you see, friends, how Akufo-Addo is pushing the button? He has trust in the General Legal Council to redeem him. But we have qualms too. The very General Legal Council whose own credibility is on the line because of the manner in which it has sought to cover Akufo-Addo up? First, through the NOTE signed by Bart-Plange Brew which created doubts about Akufo-Addo in paragraph 2, where the NOTE says that the signatory had been informed about the loss of Akufo-Addo’s qualifying and enrollment certificates (when all that Bart-Plange should have done was to refer to the records of the General Legal Council to confirm whether Akufo-Addo had been issued a qualifying certificate dated July 8, 1975 so as to replace his “lost” certificates instead of that NOTE)? Second, through the inconclusive meeting that the Council members held immediately Justice Kpegah filed the suit to determine the matter in favour of Akufo-Addo but for the stiff opposition from some of the members? The General Legal Council isn’t any more credible in this matter, which is why the court has to sit on the case for us all to know what Justice Kpegah has to reveal and what Akufo-Addo has to counteract it. We will be given the chance to monitor proceedings and know once-and-for-all what we have to know about Akufo-Addo’s professional stature as would be revealed through evidence.
Then, we can determine for ourselves whose part of the story to believe. Nothing short of this approach will solve the problem.
Meantime, we are scrutinizing new pieces of information in our custody and will come out soon with our findings. Public interest in the case is still high and we will be doing a world of disservice to the public if we don’t continue to release what we gather about the case concerning Akufo-Addo. Those who can’t take it anymore should leave it.
I shall return…
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