Court overrules GLC 3-year suspension of Francis-Xavier Sosu

By Clement Edward Kumsah
Francis-Xavier Sosu

The Human Rights Court in Accra Presided over by Her Ladyship Justice Gifty Agyei-Addo, has set-aside the orders of the General Legal Council suspending Human Rights Lawyer, Francis-Xavier Sosu, from practice for three years.

 The court also on Wednesday, 11 July 2018, set-aside the one-year mentorship handed to Francis-Xavier Sosu.

The court found the charges of Touting and Personal Advertisement as grave misconduct not in accordance with law.

Her Ladyship further ruled that the Disciplinary Committee of GLC exceeded their jurisdiction because the offense and punishment were not defined.

This follows the hearing of an Application for Judicial Review filed by Francis-Xavier Sosu on 3 November 2017.

The Council in 2017 slapped a three-year ban on Francis-Xavier Sosu for advertising his services on Facebook and for allegedly charging excessive legal fees.

Dissatisfied with the GCL’s decision, Francis-Xavier Sosu went to court to quash the suspension.

Background

The lawyer was investigated and found guilty of professional misconduct by the GLC.

“The disciplinary committee of the General legal Council formally charged Lawyer Sosu under Rule 2(4) of the legal profession (professional conduct and etiquette) Rules, 1969 L.I. 613 and that he; while acting as Council for Torgbui Afede XIV, in a matter between Torgbui Afede and the Chief of Defense Staff, minister of interior, Attorney General and another took to Facebook with pictures of the parties and comments on the case to the public with his firm’s name, address and telephone numbers attached, with the primary motive of personal advertisement and touting,” portions of the statement said.

It added: ” He was further charged under Rule 2 (4) of the legal profession (Professional conduct and etiquette) Rule, 1996 L.I 613 that he; while acting  as Counsel for Reynolds Yeboah, in the matter between Patrick Reynolds Yeboah and M.DEX company Limited in Accra, Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipal Assembly, Accra,Ghana, took to Facebook posting the writ of summons in the said case and made comments to the public with the firm’s name, address and telephone numbers attached, with the primary motive of personal advertisement

It noted: “ Lawyer Sosu was convicted on his own plea of guilty on both counts and was sentenced to a period of three years suspension commencing June 2, 2017 and ending the 1st day of June 2020. He is to be mentored by a senior and for a period of one year commencing 2nd June 2020 and ending 1st June 2021. The senior to mentor him shall lodge periodic reports on him to the general legal council’s disciplinary committee at the end of every month during the mentorship”.

Rules of the general legal council do not permit lawyers in Ghana to undertake any form of advertisement.

Sosu has been involved in several high profile human rights cases in the country including the case of Charles Antwi, the man who attempted to shoot former President John Mahama at church.

He also served as counsel for a teacher who was sentenced for several years for a crime he did not commit.

Lawyer Sosu having assisted Mr Francis Agyare, in Human Rights Litigation in Accra, charged him GHC 50,000.00 which was excessive and an overestimation of the services rendered him when he represented to him that he was offering pro-bono legal services.

He was also charged under Section 19 (5) of the Legal Profession Act that he, having been duly notified, failed to appear before the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council on 9th June 2016.

Lawyer Sosu was convicted on his own plea of guilty on both counts.