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13.07.2005 Crime & Punishment

Court awards cost against dismissed TMA members


Tema, July 13, GNA - The Tema High Court 'A' on Tuesday awarded a 3 million cedis cost in favour of the Presiding Member of the Tema Municipal Assembly (TMA) against the seven dismissed government appointees of the assembly who had filed a writ at the court against the Attorney General, TMA, and the Electoral Commission for wrongful dismissal.

This was after the PM, Nii Dortey Abotsi, the third defendant, had filed a preliminary legal objection to strike out the action against him on the basis that he had not been properly brought before the court and the action was improper and incompetent.

The seven appointees are Mr John Sewu, Mr Joseph Ashitey Lartey, Mr Foster Borteyu, Madam Mercy Matey Mr Solomon Appiah, Mrs Agnes Adu-Mensah, and Nii Armah Samponi 11.

They are praying the court to declare the election to approve the President's nominee, Mr David Annan, as the Municipal Chief Executive null and void.

In their statement of claim they sought the court to place an injunction to restrain the PM of the assembly from convening a meeting to swear in Mr David Annan as the TMA Chief Executive.

They are equally seeking redress to the effect that the termination or revocation of the appointment is illegal and therefore void and demanding damages for false imprisonment.

The plaintiffs informed the court, through their counsel, Godfred Kwame Aryeh, that they were in discussions with the administrative body of the TMA to have the matter resolved amicably and the Presiding Judge, Justice Emmanuel Kofi Mensah adjourned the case to July 19. The plaintiffs claimed that prior to the voting to confirm the MCE, they were informed on telephone by the TMA's Public Relations Officer that their appointments had been revoked and therefore not eligible to vote.

However, on the following day there was another telephone call informing them that the earlier instruction had been cancelled and were therefore eligible to vote.

They said on the voting day, just before the election, they were summoned to meet the Special Assistant at the Presidency, the Regional Coordinating Director, Deputy Minister of Local Government, the Electoral Commission's Representative and the Presiding Member at the Tema Coordinating Director's office.

At the meeting the Deputy Minister verbally told them that their appointments had been revoked, that the issue was under serious discussions and consideration at the Ministry and they would be informed of the final decision.

They said they protested against the procedure adopted to revoke their appointment and the Deputy Minister told them that they resorted to this procedure to prevent them from voting, as they were perceived to vote against the nominee.

They claimed they were also held until they forced their way out. "As at now we have still not received any letter revoking our appointments as government appointees to the assembly.'' ''We hold ourselves as assembly members of the TMA who have been robbed of the right to vote.'' 13 July 05