The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has incurred the wrath of the presiding judge, Justice Nicholas Mensah Abodakpi of the High Court in Accra (Human Rights Division) over what the judge described as “abuse of its powers.”
Justice Abodakpi, also described as “scandalous” depositions made by the OSP in its affidavit in answer to a human rights action filed by former Secretary to the dissolved Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) Charles Cromwell Bissue.
The Court said, the OSP is “abusing its power” and putting up a posture that suggests that, it has Appellate jurisdiction over the High Court.
“The other issue I want to state is, you have in your paragraphs 21, 22 and 23 of your affidavits in answer, which you are claiming is Misleading the Court to Injunct a non-Existent Warrant,” the court observed.
Justice Abodakpi said, with regards to the OSPs paragraph 22, “you went on to make certain depositions.”
“Are you saying the court doesn’t have it own mind? Why are you saying all these things?,” the Court wondered.
But, Seth Ansong, a Prosecutor from the OSP said those paragraphs are relevant to their case and ought to be part of the records for the trial.
Abuse of power
Interestingly, when asked by the court if he had read the ruling of the court earlier before making those depositions in paragraphs 21, 22 and 23, Seth Ansong said, “not that I know of.”
Justice Abodakpi who was unhappy with the situation and posture of the OSP, struck out those paragraphs and described it as “scandalous.”
“Before a formal hearing of this case paragraphs 21, 22 and 23 are struck out because they scandalous,” Justice Abodakpi said.
He added that, “the OSP has no appellate jurisdiction over the High Court. …Whatever powers you have, you have no appellate jurisdiction over the High Court.”
“You cannot remonstrate and castigate the court over decisions it has made,” Justice Abodakpi said.
“Do you have a copy of the ruling?” The Court asked.
But in his answer to the question, Seth Ansong, the Prosecutor from the OSP said, “Not that I know of.”
The answer from the OSP, provoked another backlash from the judge saying “Then why are you saying those things when you haven’t read the ruling of the Court?”
“The OSP has no Appallent jurisdiction of the High Court. If you disagree (with a ruling of the Court) you go to Court of Appeal and appeal.
“You are abusing your powers. You cannot castigate me (Judge). You haven’t seen the decision of the Court and you are saying those things?,” the Judge hit back.
The following paragraphs contained in the OSP’s affidavit in answer incurred the wrath of the court and same were struck out;
21 Paragraphs 28 to 29 of the affidavit in support are not denied. ‘The first respondent further states that the applicant misled this Honourable Court into granting an ex
parte interim injunction against the first respondent on 15 June 2023, restraining the first respondent from enforcing a non-existent arrest warrant.
22 The first respondent notes that the applicant in paragraph 27 of his affidavit in support claims that he was reliably informed on the purported grant of the arrest warrant. The first respondent contends that this claim by the applicant clearly amounted to suspicion, and it is well settled that the rule of litigation game is evidence and not suspicions or conjectures.
23 It is thus regrettable, that although no court warrant ever issued or existed, this Honourable Court firmly handed down an order of interim injunction against the first respondent, on an exparte application, to restrain the respondent from discharging its statutory functions for a period of ten (10) days. It bears noting that a copy of the alleged warrant was never exhibited to the exparte application but the applicant had to bear the brunt of the judicial order all the same.
Trial sets for next year
Charles Bissue is seeking for the enforcement of his human rights from the Court.
Justice Abodakpi after hearing the parties on Wednesday, December 6, directed lawyers of the Applicant,(Charles Bissue), the OSP and the Attorney General to file their written submissions before the next sitting.
While State Attorneys from the AG’s Office who were assigned the case to represent the Kaneshie district Court, are to file also their affidavit in answer before the next date.
EIB Network’s Legal Affairs Correspondent, Murtala Inusah, reports that the case has been adjourned to January 15, 2024 for hearing when a video recording of certain interviews granted by the OSP would be played in open Court.
Charles Bissue who is seeking for the enforcement of his human rights is asking for the following relief from the Human Rights;
a). Quash or cancel the Arrest Warrant issued against the Applicant by the 2nd Respondent to the 1st Respondent.
b). Quash the 1st Respondent’s Notice, declaring the Applicant wanted.
c). Compel the 1st Respondent to comply with the provisions of L.I. 2374 by providing the Applicant with a copy of the Petitions, forming the basis of the investigations being conducted by the 1st Respondent in respect of which the Applicant is deemed to be a necessary person.
d). Prohibit the the 1st Respondent, pending the determination of Suit No. J/0328/2023, from applying for Arrest Warrants and hounding the Applicant in the name of investigations.
Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5FM/Murtala Inusah