Mr Kennedy Agyapong, Member of Parliament for Assin Central, has filed a judicial review application at the Supreme Court to halt the contempt case against him by an Accra Circuit Court.
Counsel for Mr Agyapong, Mr Kwame Gyan, told the Court on Friday that the application was to invoke the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court on Article 132 of the 1992 Constitution.
He said it was also to seek for a further order for certiorari to quash the order issued by the High Court on September 9.
Counsel said they filed the application on Thursday and service had been affected, with a return date of October 13.
He, therefore, prayed the Court for an adjournment to enable them to pursue the matter, which is now before the highest appellate court of the land.
“We believe that by the time the Supreme Court delivers its ruling, we may not even have to return to this Court.”
The High Court, presided over by Justice Amos Awunta Wuni, said it had sighted the application filed at the Supreme Court by the respondent in the contempt case but said his Court was ‘fortified’ in continuing proceedings.
He cited the Supreme Court Ghana Report, where Professor Kludze JSC of blessed memory stated that “a motion for an order of prohibition does not come within the ambit of 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 until ordered by a higher court to suspend proceedings,” Justice Wuni said.
Later, Mr Gyan drew the attention of the Court that they had not invoked the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 130 (2) rather under Article 132.
“If you look at the language of 132, the Supreme Court has the power to issue orders and directions for the purposes of securing the enforcement of its supervisory jurisdiction,” he said.
“The Supreme Court has a plethora of tools that it could employ for the purposes of achieving the intentions of the framers of the Constitution. The matter of 130(2) does not come in. Under 132 the Supreme Court has a free hand and is not feted.”
The Court later held that the case could continue until the decision of the Supreme Court, saying it was not a commercial case where someone could lose money if the case was not continued.
Justice Wuni said the respondent was not in Court to be punished but to answer questions that scandalised the court but if found to have scandalised the court then it would have the courage to punish him.
“We are protecting our democracy. If the law is not protected it will not be good for all of us. Let us protect this country, particularly around this time.”
It later adjourned the matter to September 25 for the Court and lawyers to deliberate on the issues of jurisdiction and procedure.
Mr Agyapong is alleged to have made statements deemed contemptuous in the case in which one Susan Bandoh and Christopher Akuetteh Kotei had sued him (Agyapong), one Ibrahim Jaja, Nana Yaw Duodu aka Sledge and the Inspector General of Police in a land dispute.
Whiles the case was still pending, the Court’s attention was drawn to a television (NET2 TV) and radio (Oman FM) programme allegedly aired on September 2, this year, where the MP was said to have “scandalized and threatened” the court.
A court order, signed on September 9, by Justice Wuni, said: “I hereby summon the said Kennedy Ohene Agyapong per a warrant issued under my hand and seal to appear before the High Court (Land Court 12) on Monday, September 14, 2020 at 1000 hours to show cause why he should not be severely punished for contempt, if the matters are proven against him to the satisfaction of the court.”