Election Petition: Supreme Court cautions Frank Davies against granting media interviews

Frank Davies, one of the lawyers representing President Akufo-Addo in the ongoing Election Petition has been cautioned by the Supreme Court against granting media interviews at the end of sittings.

According to the judges, granting media interviews as an announced lawyer in the case is against the Legal Professional Conduct and Ethical Rules of 2020.

Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, who raised the matter at the beginning of today’s [February 1, 2021] sitting, said the court was uncomfortable with Mr. Davies granting media interviews after trial.

“Mr. Frank Davies, we respectfully want to draw your attention to the Legal Professional conduct and Ethical Rules of 2020. If you look at rule 38, the court is not comfortable with the post-trial interviews that you grant outside,” he said.

Quoting the rule, Justice Anin-Yeboah said, “A lawyer who is practising or has participated in the investigation or litigation of a matter that is still pending before a court shall not make an out-of-court statement or grant an interview to the media on the matter.”

He said Mr. Davis must be mindful of the ethical infractions and advice himself accordingly.

The Chief Justice however said anybody else can be appointed to grant interviews on behalf of the second respondent.

“Somebody other than you may do it, that is not our concern, but you are precluded by law because you have been announced in the case on a regular basis.”

Frank Davies accepted the reprimand and assured the court that the advice was “faithfully taken.”

Frank Davies who is the Head of the Legal Directorate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has regularly granted media interviews after each sitting of the Election Petition hearing which started last month.

In a statement he signed ahead of the petition, he announced some five persons as spokespersons for the second respondent, in the case, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

These persons were; Kojo Oppong Nkrumah Esq – MP, Ofoase Ayirebi; Yaw Buaben Asamoa Esq- National Communications Director, NPP; Henry Nana Boakye Esq- National Youth Organizer, NPP; Fati Abubakar – Deputy Communications Director, Presidency and Nana Adjoa Adobea Asante – Legal Committee Member.

‘Remove your robes, wigs before interviews’

Justice Anin-Yeboah further urged other lawyers in court who are not active participants in the ongoing case to remove their robes and wigs before granting media interviews.

He did not give reasons for this position but said it was an appeal to the lawyers, and he was hopeful that the lawyers will take heed.

“If you are even a lawyer, and you are not actively participating, we make a passionate plea to you to put down your robes and grant the interviews. We don’t think that you should be in robes with the wigs on addressing the media,” Justice Anin-Yeboah noted.

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