The Accra High Court has given the NPP Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, another grace period over his alleged contemptuous comments in which he described the judge as “stupid”.
At today’s hearing, Justice Amos Wuntah Wuni adjourned the case to Friday, September 25, 2020, to allow lawyers for the MP to present legal arguments on why the court should stay proceedings until the Supreme Court rules on a judicial review application in relation to the case.
Lead Counsel for the MP, Mr Kwame Gyan, argued that the court must halt the case until the Supreme Court determines whether or not the High Court, presided over by Justice Wuni had jurisdiction over the matter.
Justice Wuni had earlier ruled that he was minded to continue with the case but gave the lawyers the opportunity to present legal arguments on Friday.
Mr Agyapong’s alleged comments were made in connection with a land matter in which Susan Bandoh and Christopher Akuetteh Kotei had sued him (Kennedy Agyapong), Ibrahim Jaja, Nana Yaw Duodu aka Sledge and the Inspector General of Police.
While the case was still at the Land Division of the High Court (Land Court 12), the MP allegedly scandalised the court on a programme aired on NET2 TV and Oman FM on September 2, this year.
A court order signed on September 9, by Justice Wuni said, "I hereby summon the said Kennedy Ohene Agyapong per a warrant issued under my hand and seal to appear before the High Court (Land Court 12) on Monday, September 14, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. to show cause why he should not be severely punished for contempt if the matters are proven against him to the satisfaction of the court."
The MP was expected to appear in court on Monday, September 14 to show why he should not be punished for contempt, but he failed to do so.
It came up in court that the court’s bailiff could not serve the MP with the summons order as all efforts by the court including channelling the summons through Parliament to be served on the MP proved futile.
In view of the difficulties mentioned above, Justice Wuni ordered that the summons be served on the MP through substituted service, a method of service allowed by law if personal service was proving problematic.
Per the orders of the court, the summons should be posted on the court’s notice board, as well as “a conspicuous place at Net 2 Television and Oman FM,” the MP’s media organisations and where he allegedly made the contemptuous statement.
Justice Wuni ordered that the summons should be at the designated places for three days, together with a hearing notice, while the MP must appear before the court on Friday, September 18.
The MP yesterday (Thursday, September 17) asked the Supreme Court to stop contempt proceedings against him by an Accra High Court.
Lawyers for the MP filed a judicial review application at the apex court today, barely 24 hours after he was supposed to appear before the High Court and explain why he should not be punished for allegedly describing the judge as “stupid”
The MP wants the Supreme Court to prohibit the High Court from hearing the contempt case and also quash the order of summons for him to appear before the court on the basis that the particular court (Land Court 12)that summoned him had no jurisdiction to do so.
In his affidavit in support, the MP avers that his comments were not against Justice Amos Wuntah Wuni of Land Court 12 but was rather against a different judge in another matter at Labour Court 2, for which he said had duly apologized.
“The words uttered which I deem uncomplimentary and I have since apologized were not directed at the Court, presided over by His Lordship Amos Wuntah Wuni, the Court is not seized with jurisdiction to order the applicant to appear and to answer why he should not be severely punished for contempt of court,” the MP said in his affidavit in support.
It was based on the case at the Supreme Court that the MP’s lawyers want the High Court to stay proceedings until the final determination of the case at the apex court