Convicted drug trafficker wants father to speak for him in civil suit

Ryan Ross rross@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on February 17, 2016

Convicted drug trafficker wants father to speak for him in civil suit

A Charlottetown man who is serving time in prison on drug trafficking charges was back in court recently to try to get approval for his father to act on his behalf in a lawsuit related to his arrest.

Sebastien Didier Ayangma is suing the City of Charlottetown and several officers involved in his arrest as part of the Operation Clean Sweep drug investigation.

That investigation saw police arrest about 40 people and seize $400,000 in drugs.

Ayangma was found guilty of trafficking cocaine and sentenced in October to two-and-a-half years in prison.

He is appealing his conviction, arguing the police didn't have reasonable grounds to suspect he was dealing drugs.

An attempt to have his father act as his agent in the appeal was unsuccessful.

The lawsuit alleges false arrest and harassment by the police.

Ayangma's father, Noel Ayangma, presented arguments in court on Feb. 11 in an attempt to speak on his son's behalf in the civil lawsuit.

Noel told the court he attended a full year of law school and had legal training, although he didn't finish the program.

He said he wasn't seeking the right to practise law and wasn't charging a fee.

Instead, Noel said he wanted the right of audience, which would let him speak on his son's behalf.

David Hooley, the city's lawyer, argued Noel shouldn't be allowed to represent his son and said the rules of court in P.E.I. don't allow it.

Hooley said lawyers spend three years in law school and a year articling at a law firm to get further training before passing the bar exam.

It all acts as a safeguard to protect the public interest so people are properly represented, Hooley said.

Hooley also pointed out errors and omissions in the documents prepared in the lawsuit, which he said were mistakes a practicing lawyer would not likely make.

"If you can't get the little stuff right, can you get the big stuff right?"

After hearing the arguments, Justice Wayne Cheverie said he would give a written decision at a later date.