By Bernice Bessey .
An Accra High Court has convicted the Acting President of the Ga Traditional Council (GTC), Nii Dodoo Nsaki II, for contempt and admitted him to bail in a sum of GH¢100,000 with two sureties to be justified.
This follows what the court described as the flouting of orders of the court on two separate occasions by the contemnor to induct the Ga Chief, Nii Tackie Adama Latse II.
The court, presided over by Justice Nicholas Mensah Cudjo Agbodakpi, in the ruling, upheld the argument of lawyers for the Ga Mantse to convict the acting President of the GTC for contempt recently.
The court, after admitting the contemnor to bail in the sum of GH¢100,000 with two sureties to be justified, then deferred his sentence until November 16, 2018.
The court further issued to the contemnor a 14-day ultimatum to hand over to the Ga Chief.
The court said the matter was a quasi-crime, due to an application filed for a judicial review in the nature of mandamus against the contemnor, together with the GTC, by the lawyer for the Chief, Bright Akwetey, on July 14, 2016.
According to the application, the court, in its ruling dated January 17, 2018, ordered the respondent (contemnor) to swear the Chief into office within seven days.
However, the affidavit in support of the contempt application argued that on January 23, 2017 (the 6 of 7 day) that the contemnor was required to swear Nii Tackie Adama Latse II into office, rather engaged fearsome land guards to besiege the Ga Mantse’s Palace, where the Chief was to be sworn in, taking over the premises to deny anybody access to the palace and offices of the council.
It further stated that the contemnor’s refusal to swear in the Ga Mantse was a defiance of the court’s order, and also with the intention to deceive it, filed a motion for stay of execution of the order dated January 17, 2017, with an attached notice of appeal against the ruling.
It deposited that the application was later withdrawn by the lawyers of the contemnor, leaving the order of the court to induct the Chief into office not obeyed.
The 26 paragraph affidavit in support of the contempt application, argued that “The effect of withdrawing application for stay of execution is that the respondent has succeeded in eventually refusing to carry out the orders of the court for the second time.”
“The respondent herein, having on two distinct occasions disobeyed two separate orders of this court, has showed himself rebellious, recalcitrant, and disrespectful of the orders of this honourable court.”
The lawyer stated that the contemnor, on October 23, 2017, strangely purported to have sworn in another person called Dr. Kelvin Tackie into office as Ga Mantse and President of the Council.
The application argued that the contemnor, by the act to swear into office a different person who has not been registered as President of the GTC, constitutes a slap in the face of the court.
“That the attitude of the respondent constitutes a slap in the face of the court. He has shown gross disrespect and blatant disregard for the orders of this court.”
Furthermore, the contemnor used his powers as the GTC Acting President to effectively block the registered and gazetted Ga Mantse from taking office, in open defiance of the orders of the court “to satisfy his own whims and caprices.”
The lawyer disputed: “That the respondent estimates himself above the authority of this court and continues to defy orders of the court, thus treating the authority of this court with contempt if this court does not show disapproval of the conduct of the respondent towards this court.
“That unless punished for the respondent’s continuous disobedience of orders of this court, other persons would follow his bad example, and the authority of this court, and the judiciary in general, would be greatly eroded to the detriment of the administration of justice in this country.”
The judge, based on this premise, convicted Nii Dodoo Nsaki II for contempt, however, his lawyer pleaded that his client was a law-abiding citizen, but Mr Kwetey repudiated and challenged it as being untrue.