PNC Officials Pray For Contempt Dismissal
Dr RAYMOND Atuguba, counsel for Dr. Edward Mahama, the 2008 Flagbearer of People's National Convention (PNC) and six other officials of the party dragged to court for contempt of court, yesterday prayed an Accra High Court to dismiss the application because it was an irregular application.
According to counsel, from the records of the court, they could not identify who the applicant of the contempt application was.
Atuguba, who raised a preliminary objection to the contempt application, explained that the criminal case at the Adjabeng Magistrate court, from which the contempt application emanated, was titled Dr. Somtim Tobinga, Ahmed Jatoh and Abu Seidu Baba Gama.However, the application has only the name of Dr. Tobiga while the affidavit in support has jointly been signed by all the three persons.
In addition, he said one Hon David Abasara, whose name did not appear anywhere in the suit at the lower court, had also filed an affidavit in support of the application, noting that for this reason, there was no clear indication as to who the applicant was.
Mr. Atugubah further indicated that assuming without conceding that the applicant was Dr. Tobiga, then that would mean that there was no affidavit in support of the contempt because the affidavit in support was not signed by Dr. Tobiga alone but the other two as well.
'If Dr. Tobiga is the applicant then it would be an irregular affidavit in support of application,' he indicated.
In response, counsel for the applicants stated that there was an identifiable applicant in the person of Dr. Tobiga and that he was acting on behalf of the other two others who signed the affidavit in support.
Counsel, who was of the view that the motion should be heard because the irregularity could be cured, informed the court that David Abasara had withdrawn his affidavit so they were only relying on the affidavit signed by Dr. Tobiga and the other two.
After the two lawyers made their submissions as to why the contempt motion should be heard or not, the judge adjourned the case to May 12, 2011 for ruling.
The three applicants, Dr Somtim Tobiga, Ahmed Jatoh and Abu Seidu Baba Gana, are praying the court to cite Dr Edward Mahama, Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan, Bernard Monah and Attik Mohammed for contempt of court for flouting a court order.
The applicants are further praying the court to also convict Alhaji Baba Mohammed, Col George Luri Bayorbor (rtd) and Abraham Kaba.
According to the applicants, the respondents flouted a district magistrate's court order which directed Dr Tobiga, his agents and party members, including the respondents, to vacate the PNC party office until the final determination of a case brought against the applicants.
In the said case, the applicants are standing trial for allegedly causing damage and stealing at the magistrate court, and on January 6, 2011, the court directed the applicants and party members to vacate the party office until the final determination of the criminal case.
The applicants' bail was revoked by the court on February 24, 2011 for flouting its order to enter the party office. However, the High Court later quashed that decision after almost two weeks on remand on grounds that the lower court exceeded its powers.
An affidavit in support of the application for committal for contempt deposed to by three applicants stated, among others, that the respondents flouted the court's order by forcibly breaking into the party's office to organise a press conference.
According to the applicants, the respondents committed the contemptuous action on January 18, 2011 which was subsequently captured on national television.
The affidavit in support further stated that the respondents, who are mostly parties in the criminal case, had knowledge of the January 6, 2011 order and for that reason they had mocked the said order.
It was based on this that they were asking the high court to cite them for contempt.
By Mary Anane