General News of Saturday, 1 July 2017
A group calling itself United for National Interest has lambasted a member of the General Legal Council and its Disciplinary Committee, lawyer Sam Okudzeto.
The group is calling for his immediate resignation as a member of the legal council that slapped Human Rights lawyer, Francis Xavier Sosu with a 3-year ban for misconduct.
Addressing the press today Friday, 30 June 2017, Convenor for the group, Emmanuel Korsi Senyo mince no words by slamming the lawyer and accusing him of flouting the ethics of the profession.
Lawyer, Sam Okudzeto, has defended the three year ban slapped on Lawyer Francis-Xavier Sosu by the General Legal Council.
Mr. Okudzeto, who is a member of the disciplinary committee of the council says Mr Sosu contravened the laws and regulation governing the practice of law in the country, and deserved the punishment to serve as a deterrent and to maintain the integrity of the profession.
But the group believes the lawyer does not have the moral right to make such claims since he has been accused of same offence. According to him, a petition has been presented to the council to investigate all lawyers who have been accused of similar offence including lawyer Okudzeto.
‘’We demand that the member of the committee, Mr. Sam Okudzeto against whom a similar petition has been filed be removed as a member of the committee and investigated on same allegation as before it.’’
Emmanuel Korsi Senyo in his address said, the content of Mr. Okudzeto’s website and the careful use of certain words and phrases amounts substantially to touting and personal advertising and same in gross breach of the ethics of his profession and a lawyer of his status should know better especially he lectures in the specific filed of ethics.’’
The group has threatened to seek redress at the law court with an application of Mandamus to compel the legal council to do their public duty as required by law.
Mandamus is a judicial remedy in the form of an order from a superior court, to any government subordinate court, corporation, or public authority, to do (or forbear from doing) some specific act which that body is obliged under law to do (or refrain from doing), and which is in the nature of public duty.
Lawyer, Francis-Xavier Sosu who is famous for championing human right cases was suspended after being found guilty of advertising his services and overcharging a client. However, the group says, the 3-year ban of lawyer Sosu is harsh and excessive, discriminatory and gagging.
‘’The 3-year suspension of lawyer Sosu invariably translates into denial of justice to the poor and vulnerable that he represents. The 3-year ban has no benefit whatsoever to sympathizes and supporters of justice and freedom. The suspension only goes to curtail accessibility to justice to justice to the poor and vulnerable and promotes injustice in a democratic era. The 3-year suspension only seeks to benefit a few irresponsible institutions that he continues to challenge and same is an affront to public safety advocacy.’’
‘’Accordingly we hereby demand as follows on this occasion of Martyrs Day; the immediate review of the said ban in accordance with section 25 of the legal Professional Act, 1960 (Act 32); The General Council as a matter of urgency must investigate all the petitions and complaints we submitted to it as a group. That Mr. Sam Okudzeto immediately resigns or rescues himself from the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council as he is now a subject of investigation,’’ he concluded.