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28.11.2008 Boxing

GBA Case Adjourned

By Stephen Kwabena Effah -

AN Accra Human Rights Court has fixed December 4 to rule  whether or not to grant an interlocutory injunction to restrain the Ghana Bar Association from holding fresh election to elect a national president pending the final determination of a matter brought before it by three lawyers.

The court, presided over by Justice U.P Dery fixed the date yesterday after counsel for both parties had argued their case.

Nana Ato Dadzie,Chris Arcmann-Ackumey and James Abiaduka are asking the court to declare that the demand and the request by the National Executive Committee of the GBA on Nii Osah Mills to resign his position as  president of the GBA were illegal and contrary to law.

The three further want the court to declare that comments which were purported to have been made by Mr Mills bordering on the incarceration of Tsatsu Tsikata were “lawful comments made in his legitimate position as national president of the GBA”.

However, the GBA is saying that the three do not have the capacity to institute the instant action and do not have a course of action to pursue, noting that Mr Dadzie and Mr. Abiaduka were not members in good standing.

At the court's sitting yesterday, two journalists covering the proceedings were heckled and manhandled by two lawyers for their refusal to vacate their seat.

It all started when two young lawyers rudely asked journalists from the Ghana News Agency and Atlantis Radio to vacate their seat for two other lawyers.

When the courtroom, with a seating capacity of about 32 filled up, a lawyer asked the reporters in the room to vacate their seat for the lawyers some of whom did not have any case before the court.

The two journalists voluntarily gave their seats for the lawyers to occupy while they stood for well over 30 minutes before some seats became vacant for them to occupy.

Not too long afterward a lawyer who sat beside the two journalists, asked the reporter from Atlantis Radio to give his seat to another lawyer who had just entered. The reporter refused but was prevailed upon to do so.

 The GNA reporter was also asked to leave her seat for a female lawyer but she declined and questioned why she should vacate her seat in a public gallery for a lawyer.

This, apparently, did not go down well with the lawyers who ordered her to “get up!”

Another reporter from the Daily Graphic who tried to intervene had her share of the heckling by another lawyer who sat behind her.

According to the reporters, the lawyers have no justification to ask them to vacate their seat in the public gallery.

The issue which dragged on even after the court proceedings attracted the attention of some senior lawyers who apologised to the media for the incident.