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Court Rules On Suit Against EC Lawyer Nov, 2

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An Accra High court has fixed November 2 to rule on the application challenging the legitimacy of lawyer Thaddeus Sory to represent both the Electoral Commission (EC) and its Chairperson, Charlotte Osei.

The court presided over by Justice Kwaku Ackaah-Boafo, set the date after lawyers for both parties had argued for and against the suit before the court.

Mrs. Osei had dragged Maxwell Opoku Agyemang before the court for defamation.

Opoku Agyemang also in turn was also sued the EC Boss over her choice of lawyer.

In moving the motion today, Julius Opoku Agyei, lawyer for Opoku Agyemang said the EC boss’ response to the media made Mr. Opoku Agyemang the subject of her petition.

He stated that the court could not say Mrs. Osei had been defamed without looking at the petition.

Opoku Agyei noted that Mr. Sory cannot conduct the case without compromising himself, Mrs. Osei and the Commission.

According to him, EC is a client of Sory @ Law, Mr. Sory’s law firm indicating that the lawyer had put himself in a conflict of interest position.

Opposing the motion Sory said the motion before the court was one which is procedurally incompetent.

He said the application on all its legs lacks merit adding that it was important for anybody approaching the court to inform it of the rules on which his application was founded.

Sory argued that there was no law stating that a lawyer could be sued for conflict of interest.

He said among other things that the issue of conflict of interest does not arise because the Commission is not party to the instant case.

Sory while urging the court to dismiss the application said the facts of the apllicant does not justify his conclusion.

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 Facebook page, 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, Sory@Law, were not competent to issue the writ of summons and the statement of claim as lawyer for Mrs Osei because they were conflicted.

“That Sory@Law is the law firm retained by the commission and Thaddeus Sory is the sole owner and head of chambers of Sory@Law,” 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 Sory@Law was engaged and retained by the EC.

The applicant said the engagement of the services of Sory@Law 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.

Source: Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson/thePublisher

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