Democracy Hub and some 33 other Applicants have filed a motion for relistment of their human rights action against the Ghana Police Service which was struck out by the High Court (Human Rights Division) for want of prosecution.

The Plaintiffs had sued the Ghana Police Service (GPS) and the Attorney General over what they described as an unlawful arrest, torture, and detention of protestors during the #OccupyJulorbiHouse demonstration in September 2023.

But, on Tuesday, April 9, 2024, the Court presided over by Justice Barbara Tetteh-Charway struck out the case for want of Prosecution after both the Plaintiffs and Respondents were absent.

The Plaintiffs upon hearing the report of their case being delisted filed a motion for reenlistment on grounds that, they were not given any hearing notice that the case was set for hearing on April 9.

“Motion on Notice by Counsel for and on behalf of the Applicants praying this Honorable Court for an order to re-list the suit based on the grounds deposed to in the accompanying affidavit and for other orders as this court may deem fit,” the motion paper set to be heard on April 17, 2024, stated.

In an affidavit in support of their motion for relistment, the Plaintiffs submitted among other things as follows;

14.That on 9 April 2024, Counsel for the Applicants saw that it had been reported on the news that the case had been listed for hearing on the 9th of April 2024 and had consequently struck off the cause list for want of prosecution that day.

15. That I was instructed by Counsel for the Applicants to attend the Registry of the Court on 9 April 2024 to confirm the accuracy or otherwise of the media reports.

16. That I met with the Deputy Registrar of the Court who confirmed that the Court had in fact delisted the matter for want of prosecution.

17. That I am aware that none of the parties – the Applicants and the Respondents – had any knowledge that the matter had been listed for hearing on 9 April 2024.

18. That I have now ascertained that the said hearing notices were never issued by the Court despite assurances to the contrary by the Court’s registry.

19. That, in fact, even at the time of deposing to this Affidavit, none of the Respondents have been served with the Application by the Court and have no knowledge of the Application.

20. That I am advised and verily believe the same to be true that it is inconsistent with the Court’s rules for the case to be listed

for hearing when no date has been set by the registry, and no hearing notices have been served on any of the parties informing them of the set hearing date.

21. That the reason why when the case was called on 9th April 2024, Counsel for the Applicants was not in court was because the date for the hearing had not been communicated to Counsel for the Applicant.

22. That in the circumstances, it will be in the interest of justice and the interest of the Applicants that the case be re-listed so that the allegations of violation of rights of the Applicants be heard, and reliefs granted to remedy the wrongs committed by the Respondents.

23. That I have been advised that this court has the power to order that the matter be relisted to take its ordinary course.

Reliefs sought

The Plaintiffs in their human rights action are seeking the following reliefs;

a). That by publishing the notice (Exhibit DH4) no September 20, 2023, seeking to proscribe the Occupy JulorbiHouse Protest, the Police violated the Applicants’ rights to administrative justice and freedom of assembly.

b). That by arresting, detaining, stripping, and subjecting the Applicants to beatings and other harsh and severe physical and verbal abuse on September 21, 2023, the Respondents have violated the rights of the Applicants to personal liberty, fair trial, and freedom from cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment and punishment.

c). That by demanding and ensuring that the Applicants are stripped half naked before being put behind the cells, the Respondents have violated the rights of the Applicants to human dignity and freedom from cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.

e). That by preventing the Applicants on September 21, 2023, from embarking on the OccupyJulorbiHouse Protest, the Respondents have violated their rights to administrative justice, freedom of assembly, freedom of association, and freedom of movement.

f). Make an order for special damages of Sixty-five thousand and four hundred and thirty cedis (GHC 65,430.00) being the value of the equipment, materials, and other resources of the 1st Applicant that were destroyed or wasted as a result of the police activities regarding the Occupy Julorbi House Protest on September 21, 2023.

g). Five Thousand Ghana cedis only (GHC 1,500.00) being monies unlawfully collected from the Applicants while detained.

h). Make an order for general damages, jointly or severally, against the Respondents.

I). Make an order of cost (including the cost of legal services) and 5. Any other remedies that this honorable Court may deem fit.

Source: Ghana/ Inusah