Lawyers for the Member of Parliament (MP)for the Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong, have filed an application at the Supreme Court to prohibit the high Court from sitting on the contempt charges leveled against him.
The MP wants the Supreme Court to stop the High Court from hearing the contempt case brought against him in the High Court and an order to quash the summons.
It is the case of the Assin Central MP that the court which summoned him (Land Court 12) lacks jurisdiction to do so.
The MP avers in his affidavit in support, that his comments were not against Justice Amos Wuntah Wuni of Land Court 12 but was rather against a different judge in another matter at Labour Court 2, for which he said he had duly apologized.
“The words uttered which I deem uncomplimentary and I have since apologized were not directed at the Court, presided over by his Lordship Amos Wuntah Wuni, the Court is not seized with jurisdiction to order the applicant to appear and to answer why he should not be severely punished for contempt of court,” the MP said
The MP’s lawyers filed the suit a day before he was due to appear before the High Court for the hearing of his contemptuous comments he made against a trial judge at a Labour Court.
On Monday, September 14, 2020, the High Court was forced to adjourn the contempt case because Mr. Agyapong did not appear in court due to the failure of the registrar of the court to personally serve him with the summons in the land dispute case.
The Court presided over by Justice Amos Wunter Wuni in stating the reasons Kennedy Agyapong was summoned, indicated that the member of Parliament made statements on his Net2 TV which scandalised the court for which reason he was invited to answer questions
Lead Counsel for Kennedy Agyapong, Kwame Gyan, responded by telling the court, “We want to inform my Lordship we have filed a process in the Supreme Court invoking the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court with Article 132 which says the Supreme Court shall have jurisdiction over all courts…”
He added the, “The application has been duly filed and service has been effected and My Lord, we have evidence in the form of proof of service on the judicial secretary and the head office”
Kwame Gyan therefore prayed the court to grant them an adjournment so that they could pursue the matter which is pending before the highest appellate court.
Justice Wunter Wuni dismissed the request saying the court has the jurisdiction to proceed with the matter since there is no order baring the court from sitting on the case.
He said, “This court is however, fortified in continuing proceedings by the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of republic v fast track high court ex parte Daniel where his lordship Prof Kludze Jsc stated ex cathedra that “a motion for an order of prohibition does not come within the ambit if 130 (2) and the fast track high court is perfectly within the law to continue with its proceedings until and unless there is an order from a higher court. That being the case, this court will continue with proceedings until so ordered to suspend.”
Kwame Gyan in his opinion disagreed with the judge.
Though he insisted the court has the jurisdiction to sit on the case without an order from a higher court, he went ahead to adjourn the case asking counsel for the MP to come with further legal arguments.
He therefore, served notice he will not hesitate to punish anyone who scandalises the court.
Justice Wuni had ordered the MP to show up and explain why he should not be punished for comments he made about a judge on his Net2 TV which the court considers as scandalous.
He failed to appear in court with the claim that he was unaware of the proceedings making the court to reschedule the matter to Friday September 18.
The case has further been adjourned to September 25.