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High court judge, Ashanti Regional Police Commander, lawyer, 4 others facing contempt charges

According to the case filed at the Kumasi High Court, the respondents include Mr Korkor Owusu Achaw; Asokwa District Magistrate, Mr Bright Kwei Mensah Sarpong; a Private Legal Practitioner, the Ashanti Regional Police Commander, the Asokwa District Court Registerer, Mr Bernard Kwasi Dwomoh of Adiemra-Kumasi, His Lordship Justice Senyo of the Kumasi High Court, Police Officer Ofori of the Ashanti Regional Police SWAT-Unit and the Mpaboahene of Manhyia Palace; Nana Yaw Owusu.

The applicants through their lawyers are arguing that the defendants in various roles have exhibited conducts intended to undermine the sanctity of the judiciary as well as undermine the administration of justice.

By their grounds of application, the petitioners state that the respondents worked together to facilitate the demolition of their residence whiles an application for ‘stay of execution’ is pending before a court of appeal in Kumasi.

According to the suit, the demolition of the said property which was under litigation in a case between the petitioners and Mr Bernard Kwesi Dwomoh (5th respondent) rendered the stay of execution null, void, otiose and irrelevant.

Facts

The plaintiffs are residents and part owners of the three-storey building in question which Mr Bernard Kwesi Dwomoh is purported to have acquired from Nana Owusu who is a relative of the petitioners in the case.

According to them the said Nana Owusu is not the owner of the house and neither are they tenants in the house. The respondents say they are owners/beneficiaries of the disputed property and trace their root of title from the original owner of the building, Nana Kwesi Kwarteng who is deceased and thus bequeathed the property to all his children both dead and alive, their children, siblings e.t.c.

Having purportedly acquired the property from Nana Kofi Owusu, Bernard Dwomoh mounted an action against the applicants and other residents in the said building praying for their ejection from the family house.

In its judgment the Asokwa District Court granted the application for which the affected persons filed for an application for Stay of Execution which was again refused by the Asokwa District Court.

Counsel for the affected persons, Lawyer Nana Obiri Boahen repeated the application for Stay of execution before the Kumasi High Court.

The application which went before His Lordship Justice Senyo-Amedeho and according to the applicants was dismissed without allowing counsel to argue out their case.

Their counsel again filed for another stay of execution. It later emerged that Mr Dwomoh had also filed for abridgement of time which was scheduled for hearing without the consent of counsel for the affected persons.

With other substantive cases pending before other courts including one challenging the purported transfer of the ownership of the building, the Honourable High Court judge granted the application for abridgement of time on September 3, 2020 and fixed the hearing of the substantive motion for September 4, 2020 instead of September 22.

The High Court dismissed the application and an appeal was refiled on behalf of the petitioners. However the petitioners state that the Judge notwithstanding the motion for stay of execution which was pending, issued an Order of Possession and a writ of Possession and signed same on the letterhead of the Asokwa District Court.

His Lordship Justice Senyo-is again said to have written to the Regional Police who is has been attached to the suit as a respondent and requested for assistance for the ejection and demolition of the building in contention.

“That I am advised by counsel and verily believe same to be true that; by writing to the Regional Police Commander on 10th September, 2020; the 6th Respondent; a High Court Judge; who is imputed to know the rudiments of the law and who is required to put up a conduct by respecting and ensuring the sanctity of the judiciary, has by his conduct undermined the sanctity of the judiciary and ought to be put into prison to serve as a lesion to every Tom, Dick and Harry. The law is no respecter of persons.”

On the issue of the Judge using a District Courts Letterhead to address the Regional Commander, the petitioners in their case state that “as to how the 6th Respondent who is next in line on the ladder of the hierarchy of judges; Ashanti Region; got the stamp of His Lordship, the Supervising High Court Judge, Court of Appeal Complex , Ashanti – to stamp the letter referred to in paragraph 41 supra singed same for and on behalf of the Supervising High Court Judge is not only dangerous and mischievous but also same portends danger for the judiciary as an institution.”

The petitioners conclude that per their search at the Registry of the Asokwa District Court, “the respondents collectively teamed up together and with the support of hoodlums, completely erased or broke into pieces, a huge and imposing three storey building at Ashtown, Kumasi.”

According to them, the demolition which is said to have taken place between the hours of 2am-3am with the combined actions of the 8 respondents and without the presence of any court bailiff, has rendered a High Court suit, an appeal suit and a Court of Appeal motion irrelevant without recourse to law and order and thus must be committed to jail sentence.

“The high court ought to put them into prison to serve as a lesson or deterrent to disrespectful characters in this country who are of the erroneous motion that they can bluntly disregard our laws and get off the hook.”

The case is scheduled to be heard on Monday, April 25, 2021.

 

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