High Court dismisses contempt case against North-Tongu MP

The MP was cited for contempt for allegedly throwing and kicking a court process against him at the premises of Metro TV.

Is allowance instantly strangers applauded

An Accra High Court has dismissed the contempt application brought against Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa. 

The MP was cited for contempt by Rev Kusi Boateng, Executive Council member of the National Cathedral Board, for allegedly throwing and kicking a court process at the premises of Metro TV after the latter sued and secured an injunction against him.

However, Mr. Ablakwa in his affidavit in opposition signed by Thaddeus Sory of Sory@Law had maintained that the purported service on him is unconstitutional because he had explained to the process server that he was on his way to Parliament to attend some business.

He further submitted that the process servers who purported to serve him, did not belong to the Judicial Service - an action in breach of a November 7, 2022 circular by the Chief Justice, indicating that service of court processes should be effected by the staff of the Judicial Service 

Handing down its ruling on the matter today, April 2, 2023, the High Court noted that evidence presented by Rev Kusi Boateng was inconsistent and thus failed to meet the legal standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. 

In addition, Justice Charles Gyamfi Dabkwah awarded cost of GHC10,000 against the applicant. 

The Allegation

The MP has alleged a ‘scandalous’ transfer of GHS 2.6 million cash from the National Cathedral Secretariat to JNS Talent Centre Limited whose directors are said to be Johannes Eshun, Sheila Eshun, and Kwabena Adu Gyamfi who remains a mystery figure.

It added that per his investigation, the above mystery figure is Rev Kusi Boateng who is alleged to be using multiple passports and multiple identification cards with different names and different dates of birth.

Additionally, the MP notes that the Pastor’s Diplomatic Passport issued to him on November 25, 2021, rather bears the name Kwabena Adu Gyamfi and not Rev Victor Kusi Boateng and has two Taxpayer Identification Numbers.

Owing to the above, Mr. Ablakwa petitioned CHRAJ on January 16 also petitioned CHRAJ to investigate the matter, in addition to other demands that Rev Kusi Boateng should resign from the Board of the National Cathedral. 

Subsequently, on February 3, 2023, the National Cathedral Council member sued the MP and duly secured an injunction against him from making public disclosures of his private information and those relating to property he owns.

Substantive suit

In his substantive suit in which he is suing the MP for defamation, he maintains that statements made by Mr. Ablakwa are “not only misleading but calculated to injure his reputation." 

He also argues that public disclosures by Mr. Ablakwa of his personal private information are in breach of his rights to privacy under article 18 of the Constitution.

Again he avers that the “unlawful publication” of his private information by Mr. Ablakwa has exposed him to the risk of identity theft and internet fraud since Mr. Ablakwa's actions have caused his personal information to be published worldwide. 

He is thus seeking the following reliefs:

1. An order directed at the Defendant to publish on the same platform that he published the defamatory words as well as a full page of the Daily Graphic Newspaper, on six consecutive occasions over 6 months, an unqualified retraction and an apology;

2. An order for perpetual injunction restraining the Defendant, his agents, assigns, and servants from further publishing any defamatory words against the Plaintiff;

3 General Damages for defamation;

4.Costs; and any other order(s) as this Honourable Court may deem fit.