June 13, 2024
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Former Sports Minister jailed 7 days for contempt over land

A former Minister of Youth and Sports, Dr Mustapha Ahmed, has been sentenced to seven days imprisonment by the Accra High Court (Financial and Economic Crime Division 2), for contempt of court.

On June 12, 2019, the court in a judge­ment, granted perpetual injunction restrain­ing the former minister, then the defendant, from trespassing on land, but he violated the order.

The court also fined him GH¢12,000 or in default serve 30 days in prison.

If paid, the court presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, ordered that GH¢5,000 out of the fine should be paid to Kofi Ammoah Kwafo, the man, who ini­tiated the contempt application against Dr Ahmed, the Chief of Defence Staff and the Director-General of Logistics of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).

The contempt motion originated from a land litigation case, six years ago, in which Dr Ahmed, a former Member of Parliament for Ayawaso North, sold land to Mr Kwafo, in the year 2000, and repossessed it with the excuse of having made a mistake.

In the contempt application, the appli­cant, Mr Kwafo, attached the Chief of Defence Staff and the Director-General of Logistics because personnel of the GAF, occupying a property built on the land in dispute resisted execution of the judgement of the court.

Justice Asare-Botwe, who is a Court of Appeal judge, sitting with additional re­sponsibility as a High Court judge, noted in her judgement that both Chief of Defence Staff and the Director-General of Logistics were not personally served with copies of the court land litigation judgement of 2019.

In his affidavit in support and written address, Mr Kwafo stated that the respon­dents conducted themselves in a manner as to bring the administration of justice into disrepute by defying the authority of the court.

For instance, the applicant argued that the first respondent, purportedly disposed of the property to the GAF, in 2017, which document was executed in 2018 and the ap­plication for registration, therefore, having been made in 2021 when the judgement of the court was already handed down.

Mr Kwafo said that the officers of the GAF were in contempt of court when they resisted the execution of the judgement of the court.

Mr Kwafo was represented by Mr Kwaku Osei Asare as counsel.

Counsel for Dr Ahmed, Mr Christopher A. Fynn, in his written submission, stated that his client cannot be found to be in con­tempt since no evidence had been canvassed to show that he had fallen in breach of any order, direction or judgement of the court to merit such action.

He denied having backdated the assign­ment of the sub-matter to the GAF or any other allegation of fraud and stated that, this was a ploy to enforce the judgement handed down by the court by a means other than what was prescribed by the rules of court.

The former minister stated that the applicant was deploying an incompetent process in bringing the application to incite the court against him and the other respon­dents.

The Chief of Defence Staff and the Di­rector of Logistics told the court that there was no evidence of a writ of possession having been properly obtained and served them as they had not been parties to the suit.

It was their case that posting the judge­ment on the property and writing to the GAF was not a proper procedure for notify­ing them of the judgement.

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