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22.02.2006 General News

Court registrar appears before Privileges Committee

By GNA

Accra, Feb. 22, GNA - Mr Emmanuel Botchway Boadi, Registrar of the Fast Track High Court, on Wednesday told the Privileges Committee of Parliament that he did not know that a civil service procedure used in serving a writ on Members of Parliament and the Speaker contravened Article 117 of the Constitution.

He said the procedure of the High Court was to serve a writ on a member through the Clerk of Parliament and, therefore, he did not find anything wrong with serving a writ on the Speaker of Parliament through the Clerk.

Mr Boadi was giving evidence as a witness before the Committee on a matter relating to a writ filed by Mr Tony Lithur, on behalf of his client, Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, NDC-Avenor and served on the Speaker, Mr Ebenezer Sekyi Hughes.

The Committee is considering the conduct of Mr Doe Adjaho in relation to the writ served on the Speaker. According to Mr Boadi, Mr Doe Adjaho through his counsel filed a writ against the Speaker and Attorney General on January 31, 2006 and on that very day he (Mr Boadi) served a letter and statement of claim to the Speaker through the Clerk.

It was at this stage that the Chairman of the Committee, Mr Freddie Blay, asked if he knew about the provision of Article 117, which states that, "civil or criminal process coming from any court or any place out of Parliament shall not be served on, or executed in relation to, the Speaker or a member or the Clerk to Parliament while he is on his way to, attending at or returning from, any proceedings of Parliament." Mr Boadi said it was the procedure of the High Court to serve any writ or court order on a member through the administrative clerk. "We are not serving the person personally....that is the procedure we use.

It does not go contrary to the Constitution, in my view....'' Mr Boadi said. "The Constitution takes precedence over what you do in your daily work," Mr Blay said in reply.

"Where did you expect the Clerk to serve the Speaker with the writ...in his bedroom?" Mr John Ndebugre, PNC-Zebilla asked. Mr Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, NPP-Asuogyaman told the High Court Registrar that he did not follow the proper procedure in serving the writ on the Speaker.

Mr Doe Adjaho, on January 31, this year, filed a writ through his counsel against the Speaker and Attorney General on ROPAB. A copy of the writ was served on the Speaker, which prompted Mr Emmanuel Owusu-Ansah, Deputy Attorney-General to ask that the matter be referred to the Privileges Committee to determine the conduct of Mr Adjaho. Mr Adjaho also went ahead on February 3, to file a motion at the High Court to prevent Parliament from proceeding with the bill but the court dismissed the motion.

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