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Erase Oliver Barker-Vormawor’s name from roll of lawyers -Teacher petitions GLC

Convenor of #FixTheCountry, Oliver Barker-Vormawor

A professional teacher, and citizen of Ghana, Vance Adedze, has filed a complaint at the General Legal Council (GLC), against embattled lawyer and convenor of #FixTheCountry, Oliver Barker-Vormawor, seeking his removal from the roll of lawyers for what he says is “grave misconduct in a professional respect”.

In the cover letter attached to the complaint, date the 15 February 2022, and addressed to the Chairman of the General Legal Council, Vance Adedze, states that “I submit herewith a complaint against Mr Oliver Barker-Vormawor for grave misconduct in a professional respect with regards to statements and Declarations made by him publicly, which fall below the dignity and high standing of the legal profession and lawyers in this country [Ghana]”.

Substance of complaint

In the substantive complaint, Mr Adedze, states that some five (5) recent comments made by Oliver Barker-Vormawor, are in clear breach of section 18 of the Legal Profession Act, 1960 (Act 32).

The comments according to the complainant are first, “If this E-Levy passes after this Cake bullshit, I will do the coup myself. Useless Army!” [Posted on 9 February 2022].

Second “Neho! I welcome the news of a military coup in Guinea. Still waiting on confirmation of its success. Hopefully a new transition process is put in place quickly. Guinea shall work again.” [Posted on 5 September 2021].

Third “I welcome the news of an ongoing coup by the junior ranks just next door in Burkina Faso. I wish the young coup makers all the best in their struggle.” [Posted on 24 January 2022].

Fourth, “I welcome the news of an ongoing coup in Guinea Bissau. I want to remind all that in Ghanaian Constitutional Law only successful coups are legal.” [Posted on 1 February 2022].

Fifth, “Year of Coups. [Posted on 1 February 2022].

Breach of rules/timing

Mr Adedze further states in complaint that “under rule 1 of the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct and Etiquette) Rules, 2020 (L. I. 2423), a lawyer is under a duty, at all times, to uphold the dignity and standing of the legal profession and his own dignity and standing as a member of the legal profession”.

“The Complainant states that due to the timing and circumstances of Mr. Barker-Vormawor’s public statements and declarations cannot be treated lightly, given the fact that there have been three successful coups d’état in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso and one unsuccessful coup d’état in Guinea Bissau, all within the last twenty-four months”.

Prayer of complainant

It is the contention of the complainant, Vance Adedze, that Mr. Barker-Vormawor’s “conduct set out above, constitutes grave misconduct in a professional respect. Accordingly, the Complainant prays the General Legal Council to exercise its powers under section 16 of the Legal Profession Act, 1960 (Act 32) and strike Mr. Oliver Barker – Vormawor’s name off the Roll of Lawyers or suspend him from practising law or holding himself out as a lawyer for a period that the General Legal Council deems fit”.

Background

The #FixTheCountry convenor of pressure group was picked up by the Tema Regional Police on Saturday 12 February 2022, for allegedly stating that he would stage a coup in Ghana if Parliament passes the E-Levy bill.

In a statement, the police said on Saturday (12 February) that Barker-Vormawor is being kept at the Tema regional police command for further investigations into his social media post.

The State on the 14 February 2022, charged Oliver Mawuse Barker-Vormawor, with treason Felony, contrary to section 182 (b) of the Criminal and other Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).

According to the charge sheet filed at the Ashiaman District Court, the particulars of offence indicates that the accused person, Oliver Mawuse Barker-Vormawor, sometime in February 2022, prepared to undertake by unlawful means an enterprise which usurps the executive powers of the Government of Ghana.

Brief facts

The brief facts as presented in Court by DSP Sylvester Asare stated that “the accused person is a lawyer and Convener of social movement namely “FixTheCountry”.

Sometime in February, 2022, the Ashiaman Police received a report that Accused person was inciting some group of persons believing to be members of the FixTheCountry movement”.

“That on receipt of the report, the Police mounted surveillance on the accused person until his arrest at Kotoka International Airport on Friday 11th February, 2022 when he arrived from the United Kingdom (UK). Preliminary investigation has revealed that accused is a lawyer and a PhD student at Cambridge University, UK”.

The facts further indicated that “it has also been established during investigation that Accused for some time now has been inciting some group of persons through the social media to undertake an unlawful enterprise to usurp the executive powers of the Government of Ghana”.

“Pursuant to his preparation to usurp the executive powers of the Government of Ghana, accused further published on his Facebook wall that the Ghana army is useless and went ahead to declare his intention in a Facebook post to stage a coup if the Electronic Transaction Levy [E-Levy] is passed by Parliament”.

Investigations according to the Police “also revealed that the said E-Levy Bill is currently before Parliament and that the accused arrival in the Country was in furtherance of his intention to stage a coup as declared by him”.

Click the link below to read the full complaint 

Signed Complaint of Vance Adedze filed against Oliver Barker-Vormawor

Wilberforce Asare

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