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24.01.2013 General News

Ablakwa Loses Case

By Daily Guide
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
LISTEN JAN 24, 2013
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa

The Supreme Court yesterday dismissed an application for review by two former deputies in the Mills Administration which sought to overturn a decision by the court that granted Jake Obetsebi Lamptey power to acquire a state bungalow he lived in as Minister of Tourism and Chief of Staff.

The 11-member panel presided over by Justice William Atuguba unanimously ruled that the application was unmeritorious after observing that the applicants, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and Dr. Edward Kofi Omane Boamah, did not give sufficient reasons to win the matter.

The other Justices are Date Baah, Julius Ansah, Sophia Adinyira, Rose Owusu, Jones Victor Dotse, Anin Yeboah, Paul Baffoe Bonnie, Sule Gbadegbe, Vida Akoto Bamfo and J.B. Akamba.

The court explained that the applicants could not raise any exceptional circumstance which showed that the judgment on May 22, 2012, occasioned a miscarriage of justice.

Justice Atuguba, who hinted that he reluctantly agreed to the majority decision of dismissing the review application, commended counsel for the two deputies, Koblah Senanu, for his courage and steadfastness of pushing the matter this far.

Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Chairman and his wife were present when the court delivered its judgment but the two deputies were absent.

Counsel for Obetsebi Lamptey prayed for cost against the applicants but the court declined, indicating that the action was to help improve upon the constitutional jurisprudence of the country.

The two deputy ministers dragged Obetsebi-Lamptey to the Supreme Court for an interpretation on his conduct in buying a state bungalow which they alleged was a gross abuse of office.

According to them, they were in court to retrieve the said bungalow No. 2 Mango Street at the Ridge Residential area for the state.

However, the Supreme Court, presided over by Justice William Atuguba in May ruled that the National Chairman of the main opposition NPP never engaged in an issue of conflict of interest and by a 6-3 majority decision ruled in his favour.

The two deputies, dissatisfied with the ruling, filed the review invoking the powers of the Supreme Court under article 133 (1) to have the decision overturned on grounds that there was a 'fundamental error made in the interpretation and enforcement of article 20 (5) and (6) of the constitution in relation to the state or public property at the center of the plaintiff's case which had resulted in a miscarriage of injustice by the majority decision.'

Their argument was that article 20 (5) and (6) of the constitution was interpreted wrongly by the court and as a result wrongly allowed Mr. Obetsebi to acquire the state bungalow.

They also disclosed that they had made a discovery of new and important evidence which could not be produced by them at the time when the decision was rendered.

In response to their application for review, Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey requested the court to dismiss their application on grounds that the two ministers did not disclose any exceptional circumstances for review.

According to him, there was no error in the interpretation let alone fundamental error for which the court had to set aside its own judgment.

By Mary Anane

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