Year in Review: The 5 biggest court cases in 2022

The year didn’t go by without mind-boggling court cases involving well acclaimed individuals and personalities in society.

Media General’s Laud Adu-Asare assesses some of the top court cases that made the headlines in the year under review.

#FixTheCountry Convener Oliver Barker-Vormawor arrest

A Cambridge-trained lawyer and graduate student of Harvard University, Oliver Mawuse Barker-Vormawor seemed to have stirred the hornet’s nest after he took to social media threatening to stage a coup in an attempt to usurp the government’s power when it became evident that Parliament was going to pass an electronic transaction bill.

After spending four weeks in Police custody, having been charged with Treason Felony, Oliver Barker Vormawor was granted a GH¢2 million bail by an Accra High Court. The case is yet to commence at the Accra High Court after the state filed disclosures citing witnesses it would use in the trial against the social media activist.

Assin North MP Gyakye Quayson

Another case that would test the democracy of the country would go on to turn the tides of the country’s house of legislature.

Member of Parliament for Assin North James Gyakye Quayson had his tenure as legislator cut short after the apex court of the land in a unanimous ruling, ordered him to stop holding himself as such following an injunction filed by a private citizen, Michael Nimfah.

James Gyakye Quayson has been charged with deceit of a public officer, forgery of passport or travel certificate, knowingly making a false statutory declaration in contravention of the statutory declarations, perjury, and false declaration for office.

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The state in the writ argues that the accused deliberately committed these offences to aid him contest the 2020 Parliamentary polls.

Two cases against the embattled MP are running concurrently at the Criminal Court of the Accra High Court and the Supreme Court.

Aisha Huang’s re-entry and re-arrest

In the words of President Nana Akufo-Addo, her name has become synonymous to illegal mining, or galamsey as it’s often referred to in Ghana.

Aisha Huang, also known as En Huang made national headlines after she was picked up by the Police and remanded on September 2. Her arrest came as a surprise to many Ghanaians because many were of the belief that she had been extradited to China after the state discontinued a case against her for roles in illegal mining in 2017.

Her re-arrest rekindled charges against her by the state. The Attorney General filed 4 new charges against Aisha Huang and her accomplices. Her lawyer, then, Capt (rtd) Nkrabea Effah Dartey wasn’t pleased with the media attention the case was given.

He described the case as “mere illegal mining which happens everyday.”

Aisha Huang has been charged with:

  • Undertaking a mining operation without a licence.
  • Count Two: Facilitating the participation of persons engaged in a mining operation
  • Count Three: Illegal employment of foreign nationals
  • Count Four: Entering Ghana while prohibited from re-entry contrary to section 20(4) of the Immigration Act, 2000, Act 573.
Nana Agradaa’s arrest

Months after her repentance as fetish priestess and receiving a calling to start her own ministry, founder and leader of Heaven Way Champion International Ministries Evangelist Patricia Oduro Koranteng alias Nana Agradaa was arrested by the police on October 9, 2022, and pressed with fraud charges and charlatanic activities.

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According to the complainants, Nana Agradaa had defrauded them in an alleged money doubling scheme.

The complainants, all members of the church she was presiding, pressed the charges in 3 different district courts in Accra.

She is facing charges of charlatanic advertisement and defrauding by false pretences.

The Heaven Way Champion International Ministries leader has been granted a bail of GH¢50,000 with her case set to continue in 2023.

Capital Bank founder William Ato Essien
William Ato Essien

In a year the country was seemingly sinking after being saddled with economic crisis, the Attorney General’s department activated a plea bargain to recover monies looted from the state.

Founder and CEO of defunct Capital Bank William Ato Essien, who had been charged for stealing GH¢192.5 million of depositors’ funds in 2019 was ordered to pay GH¢90 million as restitution to the state.

This was after the state prosecution recovered GH¢101.2 million out of the GH¢192.5 million.

After pleading guilty to 16 counts of stealing and money laundering, Ato Essien was convicted on his own plea by the High court, presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour.

Despite his conviction, he avoided a custodial sentence after the court accepted an agreement between him and the prosecution for him to pay the proposed GH¢90 million

The agreement was pursuant to Section 35 of the Courts Act, 1993 (Act 459), which allows accused persons standing trial for causing financial loss to the state to refund avoid a custodial sentence.

Compiled by Laud Adu-Asare


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