By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Monday, April 8, 2013
Folks, I know very well how uncomfortable some people are that I continue to write on the suit brought against Akufo-Addo by Justice Kpegah. Comments from them and e-mail messages attacking my personality instead of raising issues to help us all find the missing link in Akufo-Addo’s life between 1067 and June 1971 won’t intimidate me at all to stop writing on the matter.
Some have accused me of turning away from current national problems concerning electricity, water, industrial actions by public sector workers, and many more to be fixated on this Akufo-Addo issue. Others simply conclude that I am doing so because I hate him and that I am jealous of him.
None of the above, my good friends. Whether by his own design or accident, Akufo-Addo has positioned himself in the public sphere and cannot be glossed over, especially in a serious case of impersonation brought against him by a retired Supreme Court judge. Don’t tell me that Justice Kpegah is too senile to know what he is doing. Or that he has lost his bearings. In the light of this, now we know that his suit against Akufo-Addo will begin being heard on April 23, 2013, according to a notice of motion filed on behalf of the 2012 flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) by Davies & Davies Legal Practitioners & Notaries Public. Akufo-Addo’s lawyer, Frank Davies, filed his notice of appearance last week as we reported. Now, we know the contents of that response: • Akufo-Addo has described Justice Kpegah’s suit as not only frivolous and vexatious but one unworthy of hearing by the High Court. • He said Justice Kpegah should be punished for his frivolities in instituting the action. • Akufo-Addo has regarded Justice Kpegah’s position as an abuse of the process of the court, Nana Akufo-Addo added that it is devoid of a reasonable cause of action. “I am further advised by counsel and verily believe same to be true that the Plaintiff’s action fails to canvass facts necessary to form the basis of any issue worthy of a proper hearing by this honourable court,” the supporting affidavit stressed. • Akufo-Addo has “rubbished” paragraph 5 of Justice Kpegah’s pleadings that he (Nana Akufo-Addo) “was impersonating one W.E.D Akufo-Addo who was called to the middle Temple on 22nd July, 1971 and is on the Roll of Lawyers in Ghana as No.1190”. He wondered why in another breath of the same pleadings the plaintiff claimed that “the person I am impersonating is not W.E.D Akufo-Addo who is also on the same roll of lawyers with the same No 1190”. The foregone, according to him, smacks of frivolity and founded on mischief, since ‘I cannot be impersonating two persons with the same number on the same roll of lawyers in Ghana. MY COMMENTS Well, the technicalities involved in the case are clearly on display in this response by Akufo-Addo. We long ago saw and commented on the discrepancy in the main issue that he has “rubbished” (in one breath, W.E.D. Akufo-Addo and W.A.D. akufo Addo NO. 1190 in the roll of lawyers). We wondered what was happening in that part of the suit, but the roll of lawyers published by Myjoyonline showed that it is W.A.D. akufo Addo NO. 1190 who is in the roll of lawyers, dated 1971. On that score, it will be left to Justice Kpegah to show what is what; but it doesn’t mean that the court will automatically dismiss the suit just because of that discrepancy. It all depends on what Justice Kpegah places on the table at the hearing of the case. Probably, he will amend his suit? Who knows? What is missing in Akufo-Addo’s affidavit, though, is his response to the second declaration by Justice Kpegah that the junior partner in his law firm (Prempeh) is not on the roll of lawyers in Ghana as a result of which Justice Kpegah sees that law firm as an illegality that must be closed down. We don’t know why Akufo-Addo would leave that part out. Thus, even if the discrepancy in the nomenclature is any defence at all for him, it doesn’t shut the door on the second declaration. Or does it? We are not surprised that Akufo-Addo is asking the court to “punish” Justice Kpegah “for his frivolities in instituting the action.” Will he himself take action against Justice Kpegah, after all? That, to me, is more compelling than his asking the court to punish him on his behalf. If he claims that Justice Kpegah’s suit is an abuse of the process and a frivolity (to waste the court’s time), what can’t he see about the damaging impact of the suit against his person, profession, and political interests to warrant action by him against Justice Kpegah? Or, maybe, he will do so after the case has been determined? Who knows? Even if Akufo-Addo says he cannot be impersonating two different people with the same number on the roll of lawyers, can he be impersonating one person, though? I'm just being curious because of the technicality in which this part of his defence is shrouded. Again, folks, the substantive request to admit facts filed by Justice Kpegah asked Akufo-Addo to admit that he is W.A.D Akufo-Addo with number 1190 on the roll of lawyers, which Akufo-Addo's response dodged. Can he respond to that request and not just hide behind the discrepancy between WED and WAD Akufo-Addo? Justice Kpegah is saying that the impersonation is tied to his admission or otherwise that he is WAD akufo-Addo (which Kpegah spelt as WAD AKuffo-Addo). So, without any admission that he is WAD Akufo-Addo, where is Akufo-Addo leading himself? Or, will common sense not alert Akufo-Addo and his lawyer to the W.A.D/W.E.D. Akufo-Addo part as a mere typographical error (if anything at all)? Hence, if Justice Kpegah corrects that problem and insists that he respond to the substantive request to admit whether he is the WAD Akuffo-Addo, what will he say? That he spells his Akufo with a single "f" and not the double "ff" that Justice Kpegah has? Again, in Akufo-Addo’s own interest—and to help him stop all these allegations against him—won't it be better that the case be heard for him to produce all the documentary evidence he has? If I were him, instead of asking that the case be dismissed and not heard at all (just because of technicalities)—and risk being disparaged every time by all manner of people—I will simply carry all the relevant documents to court and produce them to silence my accusers. Or, isn't that the most sensible approach to this matter? If the case is dismissed on this mere technical ground, what happens if another person sues him, using only one of those names? Or if Justice Kpegah promptly amends his suit to state the correct name? Will he continue hiding behind mere technicalities or pursue the matter to its logical conclusion to clear the filth being splashed on him? There must be something basically wrong here. The law is an ass but it can't be ridden anyhow. Sometimes, the ass (donkey) can be troublesome and kick its user the hardest when least expected. Indeed, this case is deepening my understanding of why people say the law is an ass—mere bundle of technicalities to be used by those who seek refuge in them. But the technicalities won’t wash away the allegations!! I shall return… • E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org • Join me on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/mjkbokor