The Member of Parliament for South Dayi Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor has taken on Former President of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), Sam Okudzeto for describing him and the MP for Madina Francis Xavier Sosu as jokers.
The MP in an interview on JoyNews Prime indicated Mr Okudzeto’s comments are uninformed.
“Clearly he lacks understanding of the workings of parliament. Because for him to say, two members of parliament, properly so-called, taking advantage of the provisions in the law, in the constitution and statutes to initiate a private members bill to him amounts to a joke, then the person who is joking in this matter is him, not the two of us.”
He added that “If he thinks the matter is a joke, then he shouldn’t be perturbed…But clearly, he’s bothered.”
The one-time Member of Parliament and member of the General Legal Council’s disciplinary committee had described two National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs as jokers in the matter of a Private Member’s Bill seeking to amend the Legal Professions Act, 1960, Act 3.
The two NDC MPs have proposed amendments to the composition of the Board of Directors of the General Legal Council (GLC).
They also want to realign “the functions of the GLC and to provide for reforms in legal education such that accredited faculties of law with the requisite facilities would be licensed to run professional law courses, provide for discipline of lawyers and related matters to give effect to Article 37(1) of the 1992 constitution.”
One key proposal is also the removal of the Chief Justice and other Justices of the Supreme Court from the Board of the GLC.
In an interview on Accra-based Asaase Radio, on November 3, Sam Okudzeto said the duo do not understand the law.
“If they are lawyers, then their understanding of the law leaves a lot of question. I have been a member of the disciplinary committee for many years; I am still there… if I tell you the number of complaints that keep coming there.
“So I don’t see how the qualified lawyer is going to appear before the court, and you say that those for who we are going to appear before do not have any power of control over their training or education.
“It’s a joke. I must confess that they are jokers, and I don’t know who they are, and I don’t want to know who they are,” he said.
He warned that there could be repercussions for the two MPs; thus, they should not ‘misbehave’.
“They have problems; I think they should go and keep quiet because there can be more troubles than they realized in the fact that we are concerned. However, if you misbehave, we will deal with you in accordance with the rules and laws that have been laid down,” he said.
But speaking on JoyNews Prime the North Dayi legislator took exception to the threats of Mr Okudzeto, citing a breach of the ethics of the legal profession and their parliamentary immunity.
“For a lawyer to say a fellow lawyer doesn’t understand law amounts to professional misconduct at the bar”
“The person who taught me ethics and advocacy in the law school is calling another lawyer that he doesn’t understand law.”
Meanwhile, he called his bluff and severed notice of their readiness to defend themselves before the disciplinary committee of the General Legal Council, if dragged there.
Mr Dafeamekpor noted that these are intimidating tactics being adopted against him and the Madina MP.
“It is a tactic to intimidate myself and Sosu they think we are young boys, we are small boys, that’s the comments they’re passing but we are in parliament and we will do what we have to do, we will do what we know best in parliament”
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