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13.03.2009 General News

Contempt charges cannot be brought against us… Charges IMC of ICU

By Ivy Benson - Ghanaian Chronicle

The National Executive of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) have vehemently denied that their decision to place certain people in acting positions, during the union's eight quadrennial delegates' conference, amounted to contempt of court.

This denial followed a contempt of court charge brought by the former General Secretary of the Union, Napoleon Kpoh, against the executives, for showing total disrespect towards the court, when they placed certain people in acting positions during the union's congress, in spite of the legal suit pending before the court.

The affected persons are Mr. Gilbert Awinongya, Chairman, Mr. Solomaon Kotei, Secretary, and Mr. Theophilus Tenkorang, in-charge of administration.

Counsel for the respondents, Mr. Albert Adaare, yesterday, objected to the application for contempt of court against his clients, and argued before the Fast Track Court (FTC), presided over by Justice Edward Amoako Asante, that it should be dismissed.

According to counsel, the respondents did not do anything that amounted to disrespecting the court, and therefore requested the court to dismiss the application.

However, counsel for the applicant, Mr. Borazo Agbley, noted that once a suit was pending before the court, it was within the law for contempt of court to be brought against whoever shows disrespect to the court.

According to counsel, the actions of the executives of the ICU were consistently against the authority of the court, and that they were liable to charges of contempt of court.

The court has fixed April 8, 2009 to determine whether or not the respondents are guilty of the charges leveled against them by the former General Secretary of the ICU.

Mr. Kpoh had indicated that while the court was yet to complete the legal battle, existing between him and the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the ICU, the respondents, who are members of the committee, went ahead and dissolved the IMC and placed certain persons in acting positions in the union, during its congress in Kumasi.