A one-sided story is being told by sections of the Ghanaian media, which paints Justice Wuntah Wuni of Land Court 12, as the villain and Kennedy Agyapong who threatened and insulted him on live television on the same station, investigative journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale’s pictures were shown by the same man days before he was assassinated in broad daylight, rather as the hero.
But Godfred Dame, a Deputy Attorney-General, is coming across as a man of conviction and not amenable to political chicanery, having described as scandalous comments by the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) Assin Central Member of Parliament on a High Court judge.
Dame told the Supreme Court on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 that there is no iota of doubt that the comments by the MP on Net2 TV, were contemptuous, adding “the words clearly scandalised the court”. Godfred Yeboah Dame, was making an argument at the Supreme Court on Wednesday to oppose moves by lawyers for Mr Agyapong to have the Supreme Court, quash the contempt trial against the MP at the High Court.
Lawyers for the MP, prayed the Supreme Court to quash the contempt trial on the basis that the comments made by their client were not directed at Justice Amos Wuntah Wuni of Land Court 12 , who is trying the case, but rather against a Justice of the High Court at Labour Court 2.
Lawyer Kwame Gyan, who is one of Kennedy Agyapong’s legal representatives, said that assuming that the comments were directed at Justice Wuni, it will be a breach of the rules of natural justice to have him (Justice Wuni) sit on his own case.
These assertions were, however, opposed by Godfred Dame, who reasoned that there exists only one High Court in the country and that any justice of the court can sit on any contempt case.
He, therefore prayed the court to dismiss the application by Kennedy Agyapong.
Godfred Dame was, however, not successful in his plea as the five-member Supreme Court panel ruled that a different judge should sit on the matter.
The Deputy A-G, who represented the state in the matter and in effect the court, disagreed with the position of the MP’s lawyers, describing it as misconceived.
According to him, there is only one High Court in Ghana and therefore any Justice of the High Court can assume jurisdiction in a contempt matter so far as the contemptuous act was directed at the High Court.
A five -member panel of the Supreme Court retired into chambers to decide on the application, when they came back, they ruled that a different judge should sit on the matter. They ordered the Registrar of the Accra High Court to place the trial before another judge at the Accra High Court.
The apex court upheld the order by Justice Wuni for Mr Agyapong to appear before the Accra High Court to answer for contempt, but prohibited him from presiding over the case and also quashed all the proceedings that had been held before Justice Wuni.
“The matter should be sent back to the Registrar of the High Court for the Registrar to place it before the High Court differently constituted”, the court held
According to the court, it will give its full reason for the decision on October 20, this year
Per the ruling of the court, Mr Agyapong is still on trial for contempt over his alleged comments which scandalised the court and brought its name into disrepute.
However, the trial will not be before Justice Wuni, who had been presiding over the matter since it commenced.
The five-member panel was presided over by Justice Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, with Justices Yaw Appau, Gabriel Pwamang, Issifu Omoro Tanko Amadu and Yonny Kulendi.
Source: The Herald
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