DCE convicted for contempt

By Bismark Bebli

THE DISTRICT Chief Executive (DCE) for Ketu North in the Volta Region, Mr. Claver Kofi Lawson has escaped a three-month jail term, after a Ho High Court, presided over by Justice Owusu-Gyamfi, had found him guilty of contempt.

According to the court, since the DCE was the administrative head and a role model, his absence at the assembly would impede developmental progress, and accordingly ordered him to pay GH¢5,000 and to sign a bond to be of a good behavior, until his tenure of office ends.

The court warned that should the DCE break the bond, he would be jailed for three months.

The contempt case was filed against the DCE and the Ketu North District Assembly for the destruction of property belonging to one Ms. Ivy Hadzide, a caterer at the Afife Roman Catholic Primary School, when the plaintiff sued the DCE and the assembly for wrongful termination of her appointment as a caterer, under the School Feeding Programme.

Ms. Ivy Hadzide, who was represented by Mr. Abeeku Dickson at the Ho High Court yesterday, stated that the termination letter given to her from the assembly was illegal, and was seeking the court to declare it null and void.

In her statement of claim, she demanded that a perpetual injunction be placed, restraining the assembly and its agents, privies, workmen and successions in office, etc., from interfering with her work in any manner, and that her lawful job as a caterer appointed under the Ghana School Feeding Programme was legal.

The DCE, in his affidavit in opposition, argued that the reliefs sought by the plaintiff were not well founded. According to him, he had been advised by his lawyers, and he verily believed same to be true that the application against the 1st defendant was not well founded.

After filing the statement, the court granted an interim injunction, restraining the DCE and the Assembly from interfering with the work of the caterer, until the determination of the case.

The court, in determining the injunction, said “It is hereby ordered that interim injunction be, and it is hereby granted as prayed for, restraining the defendants either by themselves, their agents, assigns, privies, workmen, servants from in any manner interfering in the work of the plaintiff, as a caterer at Afife Roman Catholic Primary School, until the final determination of the substantive suit.”

Days after the order, the DCE was reported to have gone with policemen to destroy the structures built by Ms. Ivy Hadzide, and was cited for contempt.

Mr. Claver Kofi Lawson has, meanwhile, told The Chronicle that the decision of the court was unjust, and that he would be contesting the ruling. “I am going to file an appeal against the ruling. I think the ruling or the judgement was unfair,” he said told The Chronicle.

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