There was drama at the Supreme Court yesterday when officials of National Investment Bank (NIB) disowned Tsatsu Tsikata as the bank’s counsel.
Mr. Tsikata had earlier represented the bank in its case against Standard Bank Offshore Trust Company Limited.
The bank won the case, but it says it no longer wishes to pursue the case with him.
Information gathered by DAILY GUIDE indicates that the bank and Mr. Tsikata, a former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) – who was once jailed for causing financial loss to the state but later overturned the conviction – are in disagreement over legal fees and as a result, the bank has opted for another legal representation.
Things took a dramatic turn yesterday when the case was called before a seven-member panel presided over by Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, with Justices William Atuguba, Julius Ansah, Sophia Adinyira, Jones Dotse, K. Anin Yeboah and A.A. Benin assisting.
The Chief Justice called for legal representations and Mr. Tsikata stood up and announced himself as representing the NIB.
But he was quickly interrupted by the bank’s Deputy Managing Director, Alfred Thompson, who told the court that the NIB Board, chaired by Togbe Afede, President of National House of Chiefs had taken a decision to replace Mr. Tsikata and that he no longer represents the bank.
The Chief Justice then asked Mr. Thompson to sit down because Mr. Tsikata was already on his feet and he (Tsikata) continued with the motion he had filed somewhere in October last year on behalf of the NIB.
In fact, Mr. Tsikata said everything he needed to say about the motion and the Chief Justice asked him if he had anything to add to it.
Justice Sophia Akuffo then said the court had received ‘an eleventh-hour notice’ from the bank for change of a solicitor.
At this point, Mr Tsikata, who appeared embarrassed, tried to move the motion but was reminded by Justice Benin that once there is a change in solicitor, it goes with everything and since the application is officially filed, “you cease to act as counsel.”
The judge said Mr. Tsikata and the other parties should have settled their differences before coming to the court, saying it appeared they were trying to use the court to do so.
The Chief Justice then came in again, saying that the situation was rather a “peculiar one” and added that “it is a matter of due diligence between the solicitors but has rather ended up in the court and the court cannot overlook it.”
The Chief Justice said, “So we will not even allow the other counsels to announce themselves.”
The court then adjourned the matter to Tuesday, January 23, 2018 to enable Mr. Tsikata, the new solicitors and the bank to resolve the problems.