Even before the substantive suit of contempt filed against some 10 persons by Lawyer David Annan, one of the counsel for embattled financial engineer, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, on behalf of his client in the case in which Mr Woyome is standing trial for the payment of GH¢51.2 million judgement debt to him officially rolls, he (Annan) is counting the cost of his legal action.
An Accra High Court on Tuesday ruled against his desire to join others in the suit and amend his affidavit. The court also awarded costs against him.
The court however accepted his writ to strike out the names of some of the defendants from the original writ.
David Annan had initially sued 10 people for contempt for willfully and gleefully interfering with the administration of justice and scandalizing the court in the case involving his client in a writ dated March 9, 2012.
According to him, the 10 respondents had, over a long period of time, made constant pernicious statements and pronounced the accused and defendant in the criminal and civil matters which were pending before the court as a criminal, a thief, corrupt and fraudulent. He claims that “by pronouncing on the ultimate verdict and other matters subject to the jurisdiction and determination of the High Court, the respondents have prejudged the matters in contention and matters in dispute before courts of competent jurisdiction.”
The 10 respondents are: Mr. Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, the Member of Parliament for Assin-North; Hon Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, Minority leader and MP for Suame; Nana Akomea, MP for Okaikoi South and Director of Communications of the NPP; Mr. Samuel Awuku, a Deputy Director of Communications and Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, the National Chairman of the NPP, Rockson Adofo and Mr. Kofi Akosah Sarpong for writing contemptuous articles about the Woyome case, the Proprietor/Director of Peace FM Online, Mr. Osei Kwame Despite; Nana Kwadwo Asante, the Editor of Peace FM Online and Mr Kwesi Twum, the Chief Executive Officer of Multimedia Limited.
But he later orally struck six (6) of the respondents namely; Osei Kwame Despite, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Hon Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, Kennedy Agyapong, Rockson and Kofi Akosah Sarpong, out of the suit, thus leaving Nana Akomea, Sammy Awuku, Kwesi Twum and Nana Kwadwo Asante.
However, in a Motion On Notice For Joinder and To Amend Motion Paper And Affidavit Pursuant To Order 4 and Order 16 of CI 47, Lawyer David Annan had prayed the court to allow him include or join in the original suit, Multimedia Group Limited (MGL) and Despite Company Limited and also amend or change original Affidavit, but Shadrach Arhin representing Kwesi Twum, CEO of MGL; Nana Asante Bediatuo, representing Sammy Awuku and Nana Akomea and Carl Adongo representing Nana Kwadwo Asante, objected to the procedure.
Shadrach Arhin, counsel for Kwesi Twum, raised a preliminary legal objection to the effect that the whole process was wrong, arguing that allowing him (Annan) to amend the Motion Paper and Affidavit can be equated to allowing a witness change his/her earlier evidence.
And the judge in his ruling on Tuesday, stated that after reading through the motion paper, “concedes that the procedure adopted for the reliefs sought is not only alien to the rules, but it is highly misconceived and incompetent.” He also awarded cost of a GHC 1000 each to the four respondents (Nana Akomea, Sammy Awuku, Kwesi Twum and Nana Kwadwo Asante).
Speaking to peacefmonline.com after the ruling, Lawyer Asante Bediatuo stated that “even a first year law student knows that David Annan’s application was wrong”.
“What I see is that he’s trying to induce fear in the public whereby no public discussion of the Woyome case can take place…The state itself has dragged Woyome to court; both criminal and civil. And since it is a matter of public record, Ghanaians need to know and discuss it but not to pronounce him (Woyome) guilty so as not to create the impression that the judge is being pressurized to adjudicate the matter in a certain direction…The law never says that if a case is in court one cannot comment about it, No!…We pointed out that (what David Annan did) was incompetent and not in accordance with the rules and that he sought to do things that the rules does not allow one to…the judge upheld our argument and ruled in our favour,” he said.
Hearing for the main application for contempt against the four in the Woyome case has been fixed for Thursday, July 26th.