Chief Justice Cited For Contempt

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A legal practitioner, Kwame Fosu-Gyeabour, has filed a Motion at theSupreme Court citing the General Legal Council, the Judicial Secretary and the Chief Justice for contempt of Court.

Lawyer Kwame Fosu-Gyeabour is seeking the Supreme Court to commit and sentence the General Legal Council, the Judicial Secretary and the Chief Justice to prison for contempt of the Supreme Court of Ghana.

It would be recalled that, Lawyer Kwame Fosu-Gyeabour sued the General Legal Council, the Judicial Secretary and the Chief Justice for suspending his license because the decision by the Defendants was unlawful, unfair, and capricious.

The Plaintiff in that Writ filed at the High Court challenged the decision of the General Legal Council to prevent him from having access to the courts to practice his trade as a lawyer.

He said that decision was unlawful, illegal, irregular, ultra virus, unfair, capricious, unconscionable, in breach of the rules of Natural Justice, unconstitutional.

He has thus filed a Motion on Notice for Contempt per Article 126 (2) and (4) of the 1992 Constitution.
In his Motion for Committal for Contempt filed on February 26, 2024, the Applicant, Kwame Fosu-Gyeabour, is demanding the Respondents to purge themselves of the contempt by refraining from any acts or attempts to revoke applicant’s solicitors’ license.

He stated that the General Legal Council 20th April 2023, convicted and sentenced him by suspension from practicing as a lawyer from the 1st May 2023 for a period of twelve months by the disciplinary committee of the General Legal Council.

According to the Applicant (Kwame Fosu-Gyeabour), even before he could be served or obtain a copy of the decision of the General Legal Council, the Council on 1st May 2023, which was a public holiday, wrote a public notice containing the content of the his sentences and released same by various social media platforms on May 2nd, 2023.

The General Legal Council on their notice released to various social media platforms banned the Plaintiff (Kwame Fosu-Gyeabour) from entering his law office when the Decision of the General Legal Council on 20th April, 2023 did not state so.

The Applicant also averred that on the 26th April 2023, he filed an appeal against the Decision of the Council to the Court of Appeal to have the decision of the Council set aside and subsequently filed a Motion on Notice for Stay of Execution and Suspension of his sentences on May 2, 2023 at the Court of Appeal, pending the determination of the Appeal.

The Court of Appeal on 23 May 2023, heard the Motion for Stay of Execution and granted same by staying the sentence imposed on him, pending the determination of his appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Despite the stay granted by the Court of Appeal, the defendants failed to communicate same to the public as it did communicate plaintiff’s suspension to the general public despite a request from the plaintiff to the defendants.

The General Legal Council subsequently filed a Motion invoking the supervisory authority of the Supreme Court to quash the ruling of the Court of Appeal dated May 2nd, 2023 staying or suspending plaintiff’s sentence pending the determination of the appeal.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court in its Ruling on 7 February 20124, dismissed the application by the defendants and by the January 3, 2024 the Plaintiff paid all the dues and his solicitor’s license fees and had his solicitor’s license renewed by the Defendants as No. Egar 01553/24.

The Plaintiff said, on 16th February 2014 the defendants by a circular to all courts in Ghana in the social media platforms, stated that the plaintiff’s license has not been renewed for this year 2024.

The Circular purportedly nullified all orders Plaintiff/Applicant might have obtained in court for the year and directed all courts not to grant plaintiff audience until further notice from the defendants.

He said, he was not copied in the circular and was not served with same but only obtained a copy from the social media after his attention was drawn to it by clients and colleagues.

He indicated in the Statement of Claim that the Defendants have no power to nullify the orders of courts of competent jurisdiction, and that their circular is unlawful, unfair, and capricious.

According to the Applicant, the conduct of the Respondents is contemptuous of all the Superior Courts of Ghana and ought to be punished by the Court.

“That the respondents would not abate their contemptuous conduct unless they are convicted and punished by imprisonment by the Honourable Court.”

The Applicant in his Affidavit in support prayed that the Court commits and sentence the respondents to prison for contempt of the Superior Courts including the Supreme Court and for the Respondents to purge themselves of the contempt by refraining from any act or attempt to revoke his solicitors’ license.

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