Farewell, Hortensius!!

Dateline Friday, 27th October 2017. Time Check: Circa 0930 hours. I was seated in the courtroom at Commercial Court One. The Judge was sitting in chambers. My case was called, and I walked to his chambers.

“Captain – how are you? I heard you were sick”

The Judge, a lively gentleman was a student at the City Business and Secondary School (CIBUSCO) back in the 80s where I was a part time lecturer. As we chatted about life, sickness and death, he unconsciously volunteered information about the passing away of famous senior lawyer, W.A.N. Adumua Bossman.

I screamed. Adumua Bossman dead? Oh, my God.

Born in 1930, he was called to the Bar as a lawyer in 1960 and all through the years, he practiced law regularly, going from Court to Court, throughout his life; until he finally breathed his last.

There are three types of lawyers – those who sit in offices, working as house lawyers or whatever, but lawyers all the same; then we have the second category of lawyers who are Judges, on the bench, and finally the third and last group – the court going lawyers – those lawyers who eat, drink, sleep and act as nothing but lawyers, going to Court DAILY, arguing cases before Judges.

According to Roman history, in the days of Cicero, Julius Caesar and Emperor Augustine, the most famous lawyer of all time was HORTENSIUS- by all standards, WAN Adumua Bossman was the Hortensius of Ghana and his death is the end of an era.

From 1960 until his death in 2017, across a total of 57 years, the only work W.A.N. Adumua Bossman did was LEGAL PRACTICE, in Azinyo Chambers, Adabraka. There is no Court in Ghana he did not appear before, and talk of land cases, chieftaincy cases, torts-he was everywhere.

I have a habit of trying to interview successful people to find out the secrets of their success, and thus it was on Monday 10th March 2008, I was seated in the courtroom and Mr. W.A.N. Adumua Bossman came to sit next to me, and I grabbed the opportunity to interact with him.

This is what I wrote in my dairy on 10th March 2008:

We chatted for over one hour. I wanted to learn from him. I wanted to know the secret of his success.

“How old are you? 77 years, effective 24th February 2008.

And, at the Bar? “Oh, since 1960 – as at now every Judge is my junior. The current chief justice was way back my junior.

“Do you have any social life? Can I come to your house for tea? No, no, no……………..I am totally closed. I am either praying all the time or doing some legal work. Right now that I am in the courtroom, my wife is either praying in the house or on retreat.

“What church do you attend? Ramah Church.

“When did you have an encounter with Christ? When will you say you started to walk with God?

“6th December 1982, when I was arrested by the PNDC. It was a Sunday. Soldiers came to arrest me and one lawyer, Nii Oku. I was at that time President of the Ghana Bar Association. I saw Jesus Christ, in a blue sash, smiling at me. From there on, I lost all fear. After the arrest, later, I stopped drinking altogether, till the present.

“Have you ever taken a political appointment? No, never. The closest was when as president of the Bar I helped in stabilizing the 31st December regime with legal advice otherwise not at all.

“Mr Adumua Bossman, do you go to lodges? Yes.  I used to, before my arrest, but since, I stopped altogether and burnt all their literature and whatever. I have nothing to do with them at all, since 1982.

“You see, there is a very powerful spiritual warfare going on all the time; and some of our leaders, in spite of outward appearances visit shrines, and satanic forces……they try to bring down those who are religious.

“Do you believe in pouring of libation?

“You, see, pouring libation invokes the demonic forces embedded in the land, forming covenants with dark spiritual forces.

“Any challenges in the legal profession? Plenty, Captain, plenty. Sometimes if you are doing a case, you must prepare for terrible spiritual attacks. I was doing some chieftaincy case, and I remember once while driving to Kumasi, near Kyebi, I had a terrible accident that knocked me out of circulator for almost a whole year.

The sudden arrival of his junior lawyer Neequaye into the courtroom brought our discussion to a halt, and we parted on the note: “To be continued………”

Reader, all the above was written almost nine years ago.

Today, Mr W.A.N. Adumua Bossman is gone. The Hortensius of Ghana is no more. He is history.

From my long discussions with him, the following conclusion can be drawn:

First, whatever you are doing, be serious. Be dedicated. Persevere, seriously; and you will make it to the very top. Adumua Bossman was a shining example to all lawyers at the Bar, his grasp of the law, his advocacy skills, his maturity, his respect for the bench and fellow lawyers. He was the standard in the profession. Farewell, Hortansius.

Again, as a human being you must recognize the fact that this world is not just flesh and blood. There is a superior force around which all mortals are subject to. Hobknobbins with dark demonic forces will not pay. You need Christ. Be prayerful and commune constantly with the Lord.

Apart from these two golden lessons, you don’t need anything else. Persevere in the work you are doing, and be totally committed to Almighty God – and you will be alright. Truly, challenges and tribulations may come, but with St Paul, you can say triumphantly that I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race………………

Farewell, Mr W.A.N. Adumua Bossman, the Hortensius of Ghana. Farewell.

From Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey