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29.07.2005 Crime & Punishment

Tsastu Tsikata Motion Dismissed

GNA

Accra, July 29, GNA - An Accra High Court on Friday dismissed an motion filed by Tsastu Tsikata, Former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), over the improper panelling of the Supreme Court when it sat over an appeal relating to his case at the Fast Track Court (FTC). The court further awarded cost of five million cedis each to the Attorney General and the Chief Justice, the Defendants.

Dismissing the application, the court presided over Mr Justice Kofi Akwaa noted that the applicant failed to attach any statement of claim adding that there was need for the applicants to restrain the FTC because it had already opened his defence. On November 8, this year the Supreme Court in its 4-1 decision ruled that Tsatsu had a case to answer before the Fast Track High Court.

Notwithstanding the decision, Tsatsu filed an injunction to restrain the defendants, their agents, servants and assigns from taking any steps based on the purported judgement. Tsastu argued among other things that the court judgement's was null and void because at the time that it was delivered, the Supreme Court was not properly constituted.

Tsikata contended that in his appeal, the Chief Justice empanelled five justices of the Supreme Court, including Justice Brobbey, then on secondment to the Gambia as Chief Justice to determine the case. The Defendants in their statement of defence, however, contended that the Supreme Court was duly constituted when it heard his appeal and there was no constitutional requirement that all judges should sit in open court to deliver their opinion.

Defendants said it was a long-standing practice of the court, particularly in the view of Article 157 (3) of the Constitution, to announce the judgement or decision of the court even if all the judges, who participated in the hearing, were not present, provided they had made their opinion known.

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