An Accra High Court has dismissed the contempt case against North Tongu Member of Parliament Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa brought against him by the Secretary to the Board of Trustees of the National Cathedral of Ghana, Rev Victor Kusi Boateng.
The court dismissed the case on Tuesday May 2 after ruling that the evidence presented by Rev Kusi Boateng was fraught with inconsistencies and doubt.
It therefore fails to meet the legal standard of proof beyond reasonable doubt.
Reverend Kusi Boateng filed a motion, praying the court to commit Mr Ablakwa to prison for his conduct.
The opposition lawmaker had kicked a writ meant to be served on him by a court bailiff on Friday, February 3.
He had given the pretext that he was on his way to Parliament when the bailiff approached him at the forecourt of Accra-based Metro TV to be served Rev Kusi Boateng’s writ.
The writ was to restrain the lawmaker from further making pronouncements on the clergyman’s case of double identity because the matter was before the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).
The motion was also to draw the attention of the court over a possible contempt case against the lawmaker.
“When the Bailiff of this Honourable Court reminded the Respondent that Parliament was in recess, the Respondent then claimed that he was on his way to a meeting of one of the committees of Parliament, an allegation which has since turned out to be a falsehood told by the Respondent merely to evade service of the court processes on him.
“I am informed by my Counsel and verily believe same to be true that the immunities available to members of Parliament from being served personally with court processes can only be invoked when that member of Parliament is either on his way to or way from Parliamentary proceedings or activities; an immunity which the Respondent could not have invoked on the 3rd of February 2023 because the Parliament of Ghana was on recess at that time.
“. . .dissatisfied with the excuses that the Respondent was giving to evade service of Exhibits VKB1 and VKB2, the Court Officer proceeded to discharge his statutory duty of serving court processes personally on the Respondent by leaving the processes as close as possible to the Respondent.”
It was after this that the MP kicked the documents on the floor and drove off.
Rev Kusi Boateng, also known as Kwabena Adu Gyamfi, prayed thus: “I am informed by my Counsel and verily believe same to be true that this Honourable Court has the power to commit the Respondent to prison for his conduct to protect the whole administration of justice and serve as a deterrent to other persons.”
Mr Ablakwa subsequently reacted to the suit and said that he was not afraid to be imprisoned.
“Let the cowardly forces of tyranny be told that I am not one to be frightened with imprisonment.
“I am ever ready to be a political prisoner of conscience than to be forced and compromised to a behind the scene deal with the corrosive enemies of the Republic,” he tweeted.