A Court of Appeal judge was yesterday forced to step down from the criminal contempt case filed against, Kweku Baako, Antony Karbo and some media house, including Peace FM, CitiFM and Joy FM, when it came out that one of the exhibits contained an earlier work he had done.
The exhibit was presented to the court by Lawyer David Annan, counsel for businessman , Alfred Agbesi Woyome, but before arguments could be made, Mr Justice Samuel Marful-Sau, announced he was stepping down for Chief Justice, Georgina Wood, to reconstitute the panel made up of Justice Irene Charity Larbi, and Justice Margaret Welbourne.
The judge’s name was captured in a publication done by The Herald in March this year captioned – “Kweku Baako Preaches Street Justice For Woyome”.
Mr Justice Marful-Sau, was mentioned as having received tremendous praises from Kweku Baako for having set free Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby in the
debt-ridden and corruption saddled Ghana@50 celebrations.
But the Veteran journalist and New Crusading Guide newspaper owner, praised Justice Marful-Sau’s work as a growth of Ghana’s democracy.
After reading through the exhibit, he announced he was stepping down for a new panel to be constituted, bringing the session to a close.
Mr. Baako, Citi FM, Joy FM and Peace FM, were not in court, but Mr Karbo, a Deputy Communications Director of the NPP, was present.
The Managing Editor of the New Crusading Guide, was on Metro TV yesterday, participating in the Good Morning Ghana socio Political show hosted by Randy Abbey.
It is yet not clear, why the other media houses did not show up in court.
Lawyer Egbert Faible, represented Mr. Baako and Anthony Karbo.
The case was adjourned to October 18, but on July 26. Strangely, however, the parties were served a hearing notice to appear August 4; yesterday, hence the appearance.
Mr. Woyome, had claimed that the comments of Baako and the others had, “establish malice and lack of respect for the judgement and acquittal of the applicant (Woyome)”.
Mr Woyome dragged Karbo, Baako, the Despite Group, the Multimedia Group and Omni Media to the Court of Appeal, alleging that they had engaged in acts “that were designed to erode public confidence in the administration of justice, attack the authority of the court and the entire Judiciary”.
He claimed that, the two individuals and the three media houses, sought to incite public opinion against him after he had been acquitted by the court.
“Their comments were calculated to interfere with the course and delivery of justice by inciting judicial or public opinion against the applicant in the way he conducted his criminal case and to affect his assertion of his right in Republic Vrs Alfred Agbesi Woyome criminal case,’’ it said.
In the said case, the businessman was cleared of any criminal charges against him in a case in which he was accused of causing financial loss to the state.
He was, however, ordered by the court and the Supreme Court to pay the GH¢51 million, which he owed the state.
The media houses, he claimed, allowed their platforms to be used by Karbo and Baako, to make alleged contemptuous statements.
The legal objections border on the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal to hear the contempt application and whether the company (Despite) could be cited for contempt.
Counsel for Karbo and Baako, Mr Egbert Faibile, had argued that the Court of Appeal, was an appellate court and, therefore, no fresh application could be filed at the court.
He stated that the applicant (Woyome) should have initiated the process at the High Court, instead of the Court of Appeal.
“This court (Court of Appeal) has no original jurisdiction, unlike the Supreme Court that has original jurisdiction. The application should have been filed at the High Court before moving to the Court of Appeal,’’ he argued.
Counsel for the Despite Group, Thaddeus Sory, on the other hand, argued that the application against the company was not legal, as a corporate entity, could not be cited for contempt.
“The proper practice is to go against the directors of the company and not the corporate entity. In contempt matters, you don’t proceed against the corporate entity but rather against the directors. The application is woefully inadequate and should be dismissed,’’ he argued.
But Counsel for Woyome, Mr David Annan, on the other hand, argued that the application was about an act that scandalised and disrespected the judgement of the court.
“The Attorney-General transmitted the matter from the High Court to the Court of Appeal, which was determined. Any argument that we have to file a notice of appeal, is ill conceived,’’ he said.