Akufo-Addo’s supplementary affidavits: Matters arising

Sat, 20 Apr 2013 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Friday, April 19, 2013

I continue my discussion of the suit brought against Akufo-Addo by Justice Kpegah with a simple question: If the Kpegah case is dead on arrival, why should Akufo-Addo not be at ease but scramble for “extracts” and not certified copies of his certificates to file as supplementary affidavits?

There must be something really nerve-wracking happening in the rat hole!

My good friends, I have already insisted that I will keep probing into this Akufo-Addo matter until I reach the bottom of it or even go beyond it. I will do so not because I hate him or because I want to defame him but because I consider the matter concerning him as far as Justice Kpegah's suit is concerned to be more intriguing than his quest to become Ghana's President.

If we are complaining of leadership crisis, which is at the heart of our inability to move the country forward, anybody fighting tooth-and-nail as Akufo-Addo is doing, should be torn apart, examined indepth, and rebuilt for us to know who/what he is, even before we allow him to enter the corridors of power.

I am on this case for what it is. Now, I have in my possession the new documents that Akufo-Addo has filed at the High Court in support of his motion. This new motion, signed by Godfred Yeboah Odame confirms that Frank Davies is no more Akufo-Addo's lawyer.

Then, the two supporting documents (one of which is a note signed by Bernard Bentil, Administrative Secretary of the General Legal Council) has an extract from the Roll of Lawyers (dated July 8, 1975) and the second note is also said to be an extract of records from the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple (signed by one J.B. Morrison, Under Treasurer).

New affidavits provided by Akufo-Addo

My good friends, a careful analysis of these documents has revealed very intriguing issues.

1. The signatures on page 2 and page 5 are not the same. We note that one is NADAA and the other WADAA. probably because Akufo-Addo may insist that he has been using the preferred NADAA, which eliminates anything WADAA. Fair enough, but it is up to him and Justice Kpegah to settle on.

2. The wording on page 7 is not the same as it is on pages 5 and 6 (We note that page 6 is just the part zooming of page 5; that must be compared to page 7)

3. On page 7, we see reference to “Ghana University”; but we don’t have Ghana University, but University of Ghana, which is correctly stated on pages 5 and 6).

4. There are so many words on page 7 of the document as against what is on pages 5 and 6. As an official document, it must be the same—So, which is which?

5. The signatures on page 7 and 5 & 6 are very different, so then, is NADAA the same as WADAA?

6. The many dates quoted on the page 7 are different on pages 5 or 6.

7. The signature of J.B. Morison (as on pages 5 or 6) is not the one on page 7

8. The two signatures of the Judicial Secretary who signed the extract (from the General Legal Council) are different.

9. Remember all these documents are exhibits attached to his motion.

Interestingly, the so-called “certified true copy of extract” from the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, signed by J.B. Morrison, has the same contents as the one Akufo-Addo had submitted as supporting affidavit for the first motion he had filed earlier asking the court to strike out the suit.

While that first document was dated October 22, 2007, this current one (said to be the extract) has a different date of July 22, 1971. Do you see any discrepancy here? If the original entry was made on that date, shouldn’t a replacement have the same date?

Handwriting issues

There is a lot of work for a handwriting expert to do because one can see many things in this document that will have to be subjected to thorough forensic examination. Even without being put under the microscope, the handwriting on these documents raise red flags all over the place for one to wonder what is happening. I wait to be proved wrong, though, which is why the hearing of this case from the beginning to the end should be imperative. I pray that no technicality will be invoked to forestall it.

Interestingly enough, the contents of the extract of records that he has now produced as a supporting affidavit are the same as what the earlier NOTE from the Middle Temple had. The only difference is that this one is handwritten as in a station diary (what the Police keep of daily happenings). There is no difference in language. I have so far teased out 5 strong issues after scrutinizing those documents and will raise questions on them in my opinion piece. There are some inconsistencies.

Indeed, the note signed by that Administrative Secretary of the General Legal Council (Bernard Bentil) is dated April 12, 2013. If Akufo-Addo knew that there were records on his enrolment by the General Legal Council, why didn't he ask for them instead of getting a NOTE from E. Bart-Plange Brew (Acting Administrative Secretary as of Tuesday, October 16, 2007)?

Remember that in that NOTE, the signatory made it clear that Akufo-Addo had informed him that he had lost his qualifying and enrolment certificates, which was why he gave him the NOTE. So, where was that extract at the time the NOTE was being written? More questions, my good friends!!

Akufo-Addo changed his lawyer (taking away Frank Davies and replacing him with Godfred Yaw Odame) probably because Frank Davies is a member of the General Legal Council so he can call him as witness if the need arises for him to corroborate his claims.

Obviously, this supplementary affidavit has only 8 paragraphs. I have a copy of the first one; and juxtaposing both has made it clear to me what is happening, which is why I am bent on probing more into this matter.

Akufo-Addo hasn’t produced any certificate but records/extracts/entries made that he “signed” for his certificates!!! As I keep saying, I have copies of all the documents that he has submitted as the supplementary affidavits. There is no certificate attached!!!

If he was issued with original certificates at the time he completed his law training and when called to the Ghana Bar, what prevents the General Legal Council from replacing his certificates instead of giving him “certified true copies of extracts” that he signed for his certificates?

The issue with the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple is even more complicated because not until one does the 12-month pupillage with a recognized and authentic law firm in Britain at the completion of the law training, one is NEVER called to the English Bar.

I have authentic material from the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple that clearly spells out the conditions on which one can be deemed to have completed one’s training as a lawyer at the Middle Temple and be certified as such and called to the English Bar. We recognize the fact that requirements for such professional training are likely to change over the years but the proof lies on the one claiming to have been duly accredited. That is why mere generic “extracts” won’t end the matter.

I am currently scrutinizing further all the information so I can raise more issues to sustain the conversation.

The main question now is: If Akufo-Addo has gone for certified true copies of records/extracts in lieu of his qualifying and enrolment certificates, what does it tell us?

If he was issued with certificates at the time he completed his law training and when called to the Ghana Bar, what prevents the General Legal Council from replacing his certificates instead of giving him “certified true copies of extracts”?

I think that the matter is becoming more interesting than expected. Stay tuned.

I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.