Throw out EC Chair – Lawyer appeals

Mr Maxwell Opoku-Agyemang, the lawyer who was sued by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) for professional misconduct, has asked the High Court to strike out the suit against him.

He has, in the alternative, asked the court to grant an order of interlocutory injunction to restrain the lawyer for the EC Chair, Mrs Charlotte Osei, Mr Thaddeus Sory, and other lawyers from his law firm from further defending her.

The motion on notice, which was filed on behalf of Mr Opoku-Agyemang by his counsel, Mr J. Opoku Agyei, will be moved on October 9, 2017.

The suit

Mrs Osei, on July 25, 2017, sued Mr Opoku- Agyemang, the lawyer for petitioners who are calling for her impeachment for defamation.

She is pleading with the court to direct Mr Opoku-Agyemang “to publish a retraction and an apology with the same prominence as the defamatory words on his Facebookpage, as well as one publication in the Daily Graphic’.

“An injunction restraining the defendant, whether by himself, his servants or agents or otherwise, from authorising permitting and/or causing to be published the same or similar words by Mrs Osei.

She is further urging the court to award costs, including legal fees, against Mr Opoku- Agyemang.

The EC Chair is also praying the court to award general and aggravated damages against Mr Opoku-Agyemang for publishing spurious and defamatory statements against her and following up to defend those words in the traditional and social media.

Affidavit in support

An affidavit in support of the motion on notice deposed to by Mr Opoku-Agyemang said it was clear the petition was filed by staff of the EC and for that reason he could not be held for defamation.

It said the suit was initiated by Mrs Osei in her personal capacity and not on behalf of the EC.

The affidavit in support further noted that Mr Sory and his law firm, [email protected], were not competent to issue the writ of summons and the statement of claim as lawyer for Mrs Osei because they were conflicted.

“That [email protected] is the law firm retained by the commission and Thaddeus Sory is the sole owner and head of chambers of [email protected],” the affidavit in support submitted.

Allegations

According to the affidavit in support, the allegations in the petition put the plaintiff in the performance of her duties at the EC and her personal interests against the interest of the EC and the Republic of Ghana.

The deponent argued that he was not responsible for the leakage and circulation of the petition in the media.

He further argued that Mr Sory had participated in meetings and was privy to happenings at the EC which he could use to prosecute the defamation suit against him (Mr Opoku-Agyemang).

Counsel said he would plead justification in the course of the hearing of the defamation suit against him, as well as the manner in which the services of [email protected] was engaged and retained by the EC.

The applicant said the engagement of the services of [email protected] was part of the dispute in the petition and for that reason it was imperative for the court to place an interlocutory injunction on the applicant.

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