Hon. Sosu is becoming a problem for Ghana, according to Lawyer Alifo’s learned friend Maurice Ampaw.

Lawyer Maurice Ampaw, in response to the recent uproar over Hon. Sosu’s interview on judges and the Ghana Bar Association’s condemnation of him, claims Hon. Sosu is becoming a problem for the country, describing him as “notorious and disrespectful.”

However, in a stinging rebuttal, lawyer Eric Delanyo Alifo, a private legal practitioner, dismisses Lawyer Ampaw’s opinion, claiming that Hon. Sosu is a fearless individual and a solution to the country’s problems.

The private legal practitioner bemoaned that, the lawmaker for Madina is never a problem for the country but rather a solution that must be respected by all.

READ HIS FULL STATEMENT BELOW

Hon. Sosu is not Becoming A Problem for the Nation, But Rather A Solution We Must Applaud — Lawyer Eric Alifo Replies Lawyer Maurice Ampaw.

My friend, Lawyer Maurice Ampaw was reported to have said in an interview with a radio station, Neat FM in Accra, that Hon. Francis Xavier Sosu was becoming a problem for the nation to deal with, and that Mr. Sosu used to be a humble lawyer with a humble beginning, but was now becoming “notorious” and “disrespectful.”

This was Mr. Ampaw’s reaction to Hon. Sosu’s recent interview in which he had cautioned judges not to be partisan and “political judges” and do the bidding of political parties or leadership lest, their tenure as judges would terminate with the era of their political masters in power.

Mr. Ampaw seemed even more dismayed by Hon. Sosu’s bold rebuttal of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA’s) unwarranted attack on him for the contents of his interview. For the reasons stated as follows, I disagree entirely with Mr. Maurice Ampaw’s view, and I wish to urge readers to disregard his skewed and chauvinistic opinion on the issues.

At the very onset, I would like Mr. Ampaw to know that many Ghanaians including many of us, lawyers, do share in entirety, the sentiments expressed by Hon. Sosu in both his interview and his subsequent response to the GBA statement.

The fact that many of us may not have the courage or platform to express similar sentiments because of the usual intimidation by those in influential positions, and the establishment, and the risk of people like Mr. Ampaw describing us as being disrespectful does not at all mean that we detest Hon. Sosu’s boldness or disagree with his public statements on the subject.

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Many of us support Hon. Sosu, and we are fully behind him, and we would like to encourage him to remain as resolute as always and speak the truth always, and to power, anyhow he feels it.

On Hon. Sosu’s Interview

Now, let’s think through the words of Hon. Sosu carefully. In his interview during the demonstration against the E-Levy bill, he explained how judges were bound to have total fidelity to the constitution and laws of Ghana, and he cautioned those of them who may be partisan and may want to operate as “political judges,” seeking to please some political masters to desist from such behavior in order to protect their jobs even when their political masters leave power.

Nowhere in his interview did he attack any particular judge, or allege that any particular decision from any of the courts was a political decision. He only gave general advice, which in my view was not out of place.

Who says all of us in the country do believe that every decision by our courts especially, in political matters make much sense to us? Who says we do not see some of the decisions as very outrageous and we keep scratching our heads to understand how some judges may make such decisions? Who says judges in Ghana cannot be bias?

Who says we are not free to suspect motives behind certain decisions of the courts? Why must we not be able to speak out freely if we suspect that certain decisions by the courts are not grounded in law, but informed or influenced by other factors?

In fact, in more civilized countries, lawyers and the general public are very much interested in these matters. They closely monitor the attitude and decisions of the courts and scrutinize them rigidly to ensure that justice is delivered fairly to all citizens and institutions.

In Ghana, however, if you dare talk about these issues openly, you shall be harassed and hounded, and possibly put in jail by the courts in the name of some draconian contempt laws. The result is that our courts are not under any scrutiny at all.

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They treat us anyhow they like. Even lawyers are invited to the courts for the least critique they would do of the courts, and if we go, all we have to do to avoid being thrown to jail like common criminals is to go on our knees and beg like babies when we are threatened with allegations of contempt. As for these ones, they do not even follow any laid down rules and procedures. We are simply bullied normally and we cannot complain.

Obviously, this is not a system anybody must be proud of. Unfortunately, we are not trained to be bold and fearless enough like Hon. Sosu is trying to be lately, and for which reason, he is being hounded and accused as being disrespectful by people like Mr. Maurice Ampaw. In Ghana, we are trained to be docile professionals, who must be obedient to authority, and not complain about anything no matter what those in authority do to us.

For instance, there is one very old conservative lawyer around, who is widely connected but will never come to the realization that his era of practice and his ideas are of the stone age, and for why he must better allow the younger and progressive brains to drive the system and bring valuable innovations to speed up effective reforms of our justice system.

This man will threaten even MPs who are carrying out their legitimate duties and call them “small boys,” who must be punished for attempting to propose changes to certain old orders. With people like that still around and controlling the system, how can strong voices emerge to challenge the status quo?

These are some of the factors that have cowed many of us into fear. Luckily, Hon. Sosu has now become a Member of Parliament and he is expected to be bolder, as he is getting by the minute, in championing some of these causes, which mean a lot to many of us.

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Hon. Sosu’s Response to GBA

What do I think about Hon. Sosu’s response to the GBA statement on his interview? My simple answer is SUPERB!. Indeed, Mr. Sosu has said all that has been on the minds of many lawyers and others for a very long time about the GBA. Again, the fact that many of us have not been saying these things publicly does not mean we are content with the GBA’s partisan attitude.

Many are simply afraid to speak out; that is all. Everybody in Ghana knows that the GBA is highly partisan and pro-NPP. The association could not even issue a one-line statement when NPP thugs had invaded the court premises in Kumasi and stormed a courtroom to free their colleagues who were undergoing some shambolic prosecution by the state.

The GBA has the voice to issue statements only against NDC regimes and personalities. We have known this for years, and if we are now able to say it loud for all to hear us because we think enough is enough, the GBA is free to either take it very seriously and do some self-introspection or ignore our complaints and continue on their current tangent.

Conclusion

For now, those in authority, whether as professional regulators, in the judiciary, or in government can set out to blacklist and sanction the few of us who are speaking fearlessly in order to improve our institutions. But very soon, more and more of our colleagues shall also join the fray, and it shall not be very long at all before everyone shall begin to complain all over the place about what is wrong.

Those who are bold and ready to speak out to expose the evils in our society, and propose measures to deal with them can never be the problem for our country.

This is why Hon. Sosu can never be a problem for the country as Lawyer Maurice Ampaw thinks. The brave and fearless ones who are ready to confront authority; to question their bad attitude; are the solutions to our problems, and this is why Hon. Francis Xavier Sosu is my hero.

Lawyer Eric ƉELANYO Aliƒo

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