Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Conduct of 2 lawyers referred to GBA for disciplinary action

Saturday, September 7, 2013 (Page 17)

THE conduct of two lawyers purported to be contemptuous has been referred to the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) for disciplinary action.
A letter dated September 4, 2013 and signed by Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby, on behalf of the Ghana Institute for Public Policy Options is urging the GBA to refer the conduct of Messrs Tsatsu Tsikata, and Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, to the General Legal Council for disciplinary action.
Mr Tsikata, who was the lead counsel for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the just ended presidential election petition publicly accused Justice Anin Yeboah, one of the justices who sat on the election petition of being persistently biased towards the NDC during the hearing.
The Executive Director of the Danquah Institute and a member of the Communication team for the petitioners, Mr Otchere-Darko, described the court’s affirmation of President John Dramani Mahama as the validly elected president of the Republic of Ghana as “corrupt and farcical.”
Not satisfied with the comments of the two lawyers, Dr Wereko-Brobby is accordingly urging the GBA to refer the conduct of the two lawyers, which he deemed contemptuous to the General Legal Council for action.
Mr Tsikata has urged Ghanaians to objectively analyse his comments which were made on TV3 network on August 31, 2013 while Mr Otchere-Darko has lampooned Dr Wereko-Brobby’s letter.
The President of the GBA, Nene Amegacher told the Daily Graphic that he was yet to site the said letter.
According to him, he would be at the GBA Secretariat on Monday, September 9, 2013 and in the event that the GBA could handle the issue, it would do it at its level.
“But, if the matter has to be handed over to the General Legal Council, the GBA would do so,” Nene Amegacher added.

The Letter

The letter said it was the view of the institute that the comments of the two lawyers bordered “on the integrity of the overall judgement of the court, provide sufficient grounds and basis for misconduct and unprofessional behaviour by both lawyers.”
“We also believe that the insistence of both Mr. Tsikata and Mr. Otchere-Darko on the validity and merits of their comments, and their flat refusal to withdraw them or apologise to the Court, do provide additional compelling grounds for the intervention of both the Ghana Bar Association and the General Legal Council to interrogate this matter and take appropriate actions to maintain sanity, decorum and above all the highest standards of professional conduct and upholding the rule of law in Ghana,” the letter pointed out.
The letter which was addressed to the GBA and copied to the General Legal Council said it was the assessment of the institute that the comments made by the two lawyers “fundamentally violates their ethical responsibilities as lawyers and officers of the court and the same ought to be redressed.”
It gave the assurance that the institute was ready “to provide whatever assistance and support the GBA and the General Legal Council might require to “commence and conclude the investigation in the shortest possible time.”

Reaction of Mr Otchere-Darko

Reacting to the institute’s request in an interview with the Daily Graphic,  Mr Otchere-Darko, said “My reaction: that's very patriotic of him. Maybe we should nickname him Busy Body Brobbey. I hope he will make himself available for tutorials since he has recent experience when it comes to appearing before a disciplinary committee. I could do with some help.”
“You may add: I thought for a person who set up Radio Eye to promote free speech, he would be the first to protect my right to critique a decision of a court, even if harshly. I do not see anything wrong with what I said and will be prepared to defend it anyday, anywhere.
Maybe the likes of the NGO reporting me to the GLC needs to broaden their lexicon. To say a decision is corrupt is not the same as saying a judge is corrupt. I would be the first to criticise a decision harshly but the last to accuse a judge without any evidence,” he added.
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