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Okudzeto Ablakwa not guilty of contempt – High Court

Okudzeto Ablakwa

An Accra High Court has dismissed a contempt case against North Tongu MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.

The Court says the evidence presented by Secretary to the National Cathedral Board of Trustees, Rev. Victor Kusi Boateng is fraught with inconsistencies and doubt.

It, therefore, concluded that this fails to meet the legal standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Rev. Boateng dragged the legislator to court alleging he had demonstrated gross disrespect for the court by refusing to accept court documents.

The MP was captured in viral videos kicking some documents.

Lawyers for Mr Ablakwa, however, described the said presentation of the documents as unconstitutional citing parliamentary immunity.

They also contended that it was irregular since the process presented was being served by a person who is not a staff of the court.

In support of this defence, they submitted to the court a November 2022 directive issued by the Chief Justice indicating that service of court processes should be effected by the staff of the Judicial Service.

The lawyers also insisted there was no evidence showing that the documents that were presented were actually the writ of summons and statement of claim filed against the legislator.

The court in its decision noted that once the MP raised the issue of Parliamentary immunity when the person who confronted him with the court documents showed up, it was only rational that the person checked from appropriate quarters whether he was actually heading to Parliament or was from Parliament.

The court also stated that there were inconsistencies in the statements provided as evidence.

The person it noted in one instance claimed the documents were placed beside the legislator while documents filed in court also claimed it was dropped in his car.

The court said such inconsistency plants doubts which inure to the benefit of the Mp.

It further pointed out that there was no evidence showing that the documents presented were actually the writ of summons and statement of case filed in the defamation case against the MP.

It rather found that it rather showed an injunction order.

It described the service effected by one Ellis Armah who it said was not a staff of the Judicial Service as irregular and contrary to the Chief Justice’s directive.

“The court is not satisfied with this evidence fraught with inconsistency and doubt. Such evidence is not credible. The case is thus dismissed,” Justice Charles Gyenfi stated.

He also awarded a cost of ¢10,000 against Rev Kusi Boateng.

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