Former Sports Minister Jailed

Former Minister of Youth and Sports, Dr. Mustapha Ahmed, has been sentenced to seven days’ imprisonment by an Accra High Court for contempt of court.

The former National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Ayawaso North was found guilty of contempt after he deliberately ignored the orders of the court in a land issue filed against him.

The court in June 2019, in its judgment, granted a perpetual injunction restraining Dr. Ahmed, then the defendant, from trespassing on the disputed land which he sold to the plaintiff but later repossessed it, claiming he had made a mistake.

The court had also fined him GH¢12,000, out of which GH¢5,000 was to be paid to Kofi Ammoah Kwafo, the plaintiff in the case, against the former Minister, the Chief of Defence Staff and the Director-General of Logistics of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).

Mr. Kwafo later filed a contempt application against the former Minister and 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 court’s judgment.

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

He further averred that the officers of the GAF were in contempt of court when they resisted the execution of the judgment of the court.

Counsel for Dr. Ahmed, in a written submission, argued that his client cannot be found to be in contempt of court since no evidence had been adduced to show that he had fallen in breach of any order, direction or judgment of the court.

He denied having backdated documents relating to the land to the GAF or any other allegation of fraud, and averred that this was a ploy to enforce the judgment handed down by the court by a means other than what was prescribed by the rules of court.

The Chief of Defence Staff and the Director-General of Logistics, on their part, argued 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.

They further pointed out that posting the judgment on the property and writing to the GAF was not a proper procedure for notifying them of the judgment.

The court, presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, a Court of Appeal judge sitting as an additional High Court judge, in her judgment held that both Chief of Defence Staff and the Director-General of Logistics were not personally served with copies of the court land litigation judgment of 2019.

The court found Dr. Ahmed to be in contempt of court and sentenced him to seven days’ imprisonment.

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