The Court of Appeal hearing the stay of execution case brought by renowned human rights lawyer, Francis Xavier Sosu, yesterday declined jurisdiction to hear the matter.
Specifically, the appellate judge, Mr. Justice Henry Anthony Kofie, held that “the court has no jurisdiction to entertain the case,” because, there was no notice of appeal filed at the General Legal Council before him.
In addressing the jurisdictional issue, the judge said per the rules of the court and, in the instance case, a notice of appeal ought to have been filed at the lower court, that is the Registry of the General Legal Council, but that had not been done.
Citing several law authorities to arrive at his ruling, Justice Kofie argued that, the court’s jurisdiction had not been properly invoked on the grounds that the applicant, Francis Sosu, ought to have filed the notice of appeal at the lower court and, in the instance case, the GLC Registry was the venue.
He added that, the record of proceedings from the GLC, which banned Francis Sosu from practising law for three years, has also not been transmitted before him, hence he was unable to grant the application for stay of execution.
The court held, “Per the grounds set out by the court rules on the issue of filing of notices of appeal, this court has no jurisdiction to entertain the two applications which have earlier on been consolidated by this court.”
“Even though I sympathize with the applicant on his predicament, the issues raised are ssues of jurisdiction. Justice is defense within the confines of the law and not on sympathy. The court is unable to grant the two applications. The court has no jurisdiction to entertain this case,” the judge said.
In his statement of affidavit, Mr. Sosu indicated to the court his earlier attempt to file a notice of appeal before the GLC, but the court overlooked that aspect of the affidavit attached to his application and denied granting him stay of execution.
This ruling has brought a serious contradiction of the law as the GLC had earlier turned down Mr. Sosu’s attempt to file the notice of appeal in the registry.
The applicant was also denied the opportunity to file his notice of appeal before the Registrar of the Court of Appeal.
He has since indicated to discuss the next step with his lead counsel, Mr. Samuel Cudjoe.
Mr. Kizito Beyuo, the lead counsel or the General Legal Council, in defence, argued that the application was not proper before the court.
Lawyer Sosu was handed a three-year ban on June 1, this year, for allegedly overcharging a client, as well as advertising and touting his services.
But he disagreed with the decision reached by GLC and filed a stay of execution June 13, this year, at the Court of Appeal to suspend the implementation of his suspension.
In his application, Mr. Sosu described the GLC decision to suspend him as a “substantial miscarriage of justice’’ and a violation of Article 19 (1) of the 1992 Constitution.
He added that, the decision was not only illegal, but very “harsh and excessive’’ and an attempt to deny him his livelihood.
He therefore wanted the Court of Appeal to overturn the Disciplinary Committee of GLC and reinstate him to the legal practice.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Engsalige Nyaaba