A Sekondi High Court, presided over by Justice Sedinam Agbamava, has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the Member of Parliament (MP) for Jomoro Constituency in the Western Region, Dorcas Toffey.
The decision follows the failure of the Legislator, who is a respondent in a contempt application initiated by Joshua Emanuel Kwofie, to attend court. Kwofie is challenging her eligibility to contest the Jomoro parliamentary election.
The plaintiff, through his lawyer, Frank Davies, initiated the contempt application following the respondent’s failure to comply with another Sekondi High Court order to show proof of her renunciation certificate as an Ivorian citizen.
It would be recalled that a Sekondi High Court, presided over by Justice Dr. Richmond Osei Hwere, in July this year, ordered the MP to show proof of her renunciation certificate.
The respondent, however, filed for an appeal and stay of execution at the Court of Appeal in Cape Coast, which was rejected.
The petitioner, however, believes the respondent was in contempt of court, having failed to comply with Justice Osei Hwere’s order, leading to the initiation of the contempt proceedings against her.
In a related development, a Sekondi High Court, presided over by Justice Dr. Richmond Osei Hwere, has adjourned to the 20th December the ruling on an application filed by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Jomoro, Dorcas Toffey, to amend an answer in the petition brought by Joshua Emanuel Kwofie, a resident of Jomoro, challenging the MP’s eligibility to contest the Jomoro parliamentary seat.
Moving the application yesterday, Ebo Donkor, who held brief for Abraham Amaliba, told the court that it was within the rights of the respondent to effect amendments in an answer to the petition.
This is because the amendment would bring all matters that were in controversy to finality. For this reason, the amendment, as sought, would not affect the order of the court. Ebo Donkor argued that the ground for the application was to help expedite the trial considering the fact that it had to do with an election.
But, in an affidavit in opposition, the petitioner said the application was targeted at distracting the expeditious disposal of the petition.
Responding to what he described as an erroneous impression created by the applicant that it was within her right to make the amendment, Counsel Frank Davies said, when pleadings were closed as was in this case, there was no right vested in a party to amend pleadings.
Rather, what the other party needed to do was to seek leave of the court, and the court had the discretion to either grant it or not.
In so doing, the applicant seeking a favorable exercise of discretion has to come with clean hands, act in good faith, and demonstrate and justify why an amendment was necessary.
He said the amendment was in bad faith, and by law, ought to be blackballed, and further said the readings of proceedings showed that the application was brought in bad faith.
Counsel Davies reminded the court that the non-compliance of the court order for the respondent/applicant had various consequences, including, but not limited to, committal.
He asked: “How can a party that has failed to comply with an order of the court, same pray the court for a relief? That is the height of acting in bad faith.”