From Alfred Adams, Takoradi
A Sekondi High Court would today (25th November 2010) hear an application for an order of certiorari filed by the deposed Paramount Chief of the Wassa Fiase Traditional Area (WFTA), Odeneho Akrofa Krukoko II, seeking to set aside the judgement of the Judicial Committee of the Western Regional House of Chiefs (WRHC). The WRHC Judicial Committee is respondent in the case.
In a statement of claim filed by the counsel for the applicant, Mr. Aduman-Bossman, he contended that the argument advanced by the Judicial Committee of the WRHC, that the applicant was in contempt of the committee, as the basis for throwing out the case, was a travesty of justice.
According to the counsel, no chieftaincy tribunal had the power to make itself a finding of contempt.
He quoted section 33(7) of Act 759 of the constitution, which confers no contempt jurisdiction on any chieftaincy tribunal.
He pointed out that it was the High Court which decides for the chieftaincy tribunal, whether or not contempt had been committed.
“It is therefore, submitted that the finding of contempt made by the respondent tribunal against the applicant, without following the statutory requirement, is null and void, and of no legal effect,” he said.
The counsel further argued that the refusal of the Judicial Committee to hear the applicant’s motion to set aside the default judgement, on the basis of the finding of contempt, was not void and an unwarranted breach of the rules of natural justice, and therefore, prayed the court to grant the relief being sought by the applicant.
But, counsel for the interested parties in the case (the king makers of Wassa Fiase), Mr. Ekow Amua Sekyi, prayed the court to dismiss the application on grounds that it was misconceived.
He argued, “I fail to see, by any stretch of any imagination, how the dismissal of an application to set aside a judgement can warrant an application for certiorari. If the applicant herein is unhappy with the decision, all he has to do is to appeal. In what way has the Judicial Committee committed a jurisdictional error?”