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16.07.2004 Crime & Punishment

Court remands counsel and client in police custody

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Mampong (Ash), July 16, GNA - It took the intervention of the Ashanti regional branch of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) to secure the release of a Kumasi-based legal practitioner, Mr Alexander Osei Tutu and his client, Pastor Mark David Oludare from police custody slapped on them by the Mampong district court for contempt.

The contempt followed the inability of counsel to substantiate an allegation in a sworn affidavit claiming that the magistrate court trying his client had been influenced by Mr Thomas Atakorah, the Sekyere West District Chief Executive in a case involving his client and the republic.

A heated argument between Mrs Ampem Darko, the presiding magistrate and Mr Osei Tutu, counsel for Oludare on the affidavit containing the allegation against the court.

Counsel indicated that the DCE had written to the court accusing it of delaying proceedings on the case, which he said was tantamount to interference in the judicial process.

The court viewed it as an insult and derogatory and therefore asked counsel to substantiate the allegation and when he could not, he and his client were held for contempt in bringing the court into disrepute and therefore committed to four days remand in police custody.

When news got to the Ashanti Bar Association, it quickly dispatched representative to dialogue with the magistrate behind closed doors before the lawyer and his client were released.

Pastor Oludare, who is in-charge of the Mampong branch of the Redeemed Church of God, is charged with putting up a church building without permit.

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