The Court of Appeal is demanding disciplinary action against Kwao Ofori, a court bailiff, who it said "misled" it to strike out an application filed by the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central for want of prosecution. Consequently, I has ordered registrar to report the conduct of Ofori to the appropriate quarters within the judiciary for disciplinary action to be taken against him.
The court, constituted by Justice G.M Quaye, Justice Mariam Owusu and Justice Victor Ofoe, on August 10, struck out the application filed by Adamu Daramani to stay the proceedings of the High Court which ordered him to vacate his seat for holding dual citizenship. The court's decision was prompted by the MP and his counsel's failure to show up in court on August 10, for the hearing of the application.
But the court yesterday said that Kwao Ofori misled it to take that decision to strike out the application since he made the court believe that the MP was served with a hearing notice but did not appear. The court, therefore, granted a re-list of the application and set aside the GH¢500 cost awarded against the MP. A new date will be fixed later for the application to be heard.
The MP, on August 17, 2009, filed for a re-listing of the application, alleging that neither he nor his counsel was served with a hearing notice regarding the application to stay proceedings of the High Court. This prompted the court yesterday to summon the chief bailiff, Frederick Osei Adjei, to establish whether or not the hearing notice was served on the MP or his counsel, Yonni Kulendi. It emerged that although Mr Ofori attempted to serve Mr. Kulendi's clerk at the Commercial Court's premises, he did not succeed as the clerk refused to accept the notice, because he had been told not to receive any court process.
In spite of that, Mr. Adjei told the court that Ofori went ahead to swear an affidavit to the effect that he had served the clerk with the hearing notice at Mr. Kulendi’s chambers. As a result, Mr. Kulendi prayed the court to exercise its discretion to grant the application to re-list the matter to enable them to argue the case on merit. He explained that their absence in court on August 10, 2009 was due to the fact that "we in fact did not know that the application had been scheduled for hearing."
Responding, Raymond Atuguba, counsel for Sumaila Biebel, the herdsman, who initiated the action against the MP which resulted in the nullification of his election on July 15, 2009 for his alleged dual citizenship, said it was not correct for Mr. Kulendi to say they did not know the case was coming on that day. "They knew it in fact, just that they did not know it in law," he said, and urged the court not to grant the re-listing of the application.
But the court said that it was satisfied that the M.P was not served with a hearing notice. It therefore granted the re-listing of the application. Meanwhile, the MP has repeated his application to stay the execution of the default judgment against him at the Court of Appeal after it was dismissed last week by an Accra Fast Track High Court on the basis that, it was a "repetition" of an earlier one dismissed by the court. The application is expected to be heard on September 2, 2009.
Source: Ghanaian Times
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