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AG should initiate criminal action, not GLC – Inusah Fuseini on disbarred state attorney

Private legal practitioner and former Member of Parliament for the Tamale Central constituency, Inusah Fuseini, has asserted that the state, through the Attorney General (AG), could initiate criminal action against the conduct of the disbarred Chief State Attorney over the bribery allegations and not the General Legal Council (GLC).

The Chief State Attorney at the Office of the Attorney-General, Samuel Nerquaye-Tetteh, has been expelled as a lawyer by the GLC for collecting GH¢400,000 from businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome in 2011.

But speaking on TV3’s current affairs programme, Ghana Tonight, on Thursday, February 15, Mr. Fuseini noted, amongst other things, that Mr. Nerguaye-Tetteh was one fine lawyer, and that the news of his disbarment was “sad and disappointing.”

“The General Legal Council is responsible for the enforcement of professional conduct in the legal profession and upholding the ethics of the profession. It is the regulatory body for the legal profession in this country

“Even though the conduct might originate from a criminal act, the General Legal Council is interested in regulating the conduct of lawyers. Now it is for the state to take up the criminal matter,” Mr. Fuseini told the host, Alfred Ocansey.

Background

The GLC, in a notice dated January 31, 2024, and signed by the Judicial Secretary, Justice Cynthia Pamela Koranteng, revoked the license of Mr. Nerquaye-Tetteh as a lawyer.

This means that Mr. Nerquaye-Tetteh can never practice as a lawyer again in Ghana after the Disciplinary Committee of the GLC, the regulatory body of the legal profession, found him guilty of professional misconduct under Rule 2(2) of the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct and Etiquette) Rules, 1969 (L.I. 613).

The GLC stated that Mr. Nerquaye-Tetteh personally oversaw the direct transfer of GH¢400,000 from Mr. Woyome to his wife’s bank account while representing the state in a lawsuit filed by Woyome in 2011.

According to the GLC, Mr. Nerquaye-Tetteh was unable to provide a plausible rationale for the GH¢400,000 that Mr. Woyome had sent into his wife’s bank account.

According to the GLC, the conduct of Mr Nerquaye-Tetteh had adversely affected “the “dignity and high standing of the legal profession.”

“That, he, as a lawyer and a Chief State Attorney, having acted as counsel for the State in the case, Alfred Agbesi Woyome vrs. Attorney General & Anor had an amount of Four Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢400,000.00) transferred directly from Mr Alfred Woyome into the bank account of his wife, Mrs. Gifty Nerquaye-Tetteh without any reasonable explanation; a conduct or act that adversely affects the dignity and high standing of the legal profession.

“SAMUEL NERQUAYE-TETTEH shall not hold himself out as a lawyer or attend chambers or render or purport to render any professional legal services to the public. The practicing licence of Samuel Nerquaye-Tetteh is hereby withdrawn forthwith,” the notice added.

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