Court to decide on Amidu-Woyome oral examination objection

Court to decide on Amidu-Woyome oral examination objection
Businessman Alfred Woyome(L) and Marti Amidu (R)

The Supreme Court will, on February 1, 2017, rule on a preliminary legal objection raised by a former Attorney-General (A-G), Mr Martin Amidu, to stop the hearing of an application challenging his oral examination of the businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome.
The application, filed at the Supreme Court by a lawyer, Mr David Kwadzo Ametefe, is seeking a constitutional interpretation of the November 16, 2016 judgement that allowed Mr Amidu to orally examine Mr Woyome.

But Mr Amidu, popularly known as ‘Citizen Vigilante’, has filed a preliminary legal objection praying the court to dismiss Mr Ametefe’s application in its entirety.

At yesterday’s hearing of Mr Amidu’s legal objection, counsel for Mr Ametefe, Mr Osafo Buabeng, pleaded with the court to give him time to respond to Mr Amidu’s objection.

The court, presided over by Ms Justice Sophia Akuffo, granted counsel’s prayer and gave him up to January 17 to file his response.

Other members of the panel were Mr Justice Julius Ansah, Mrs Justice Vida Akoto-Bamfo, Mr Justice Jones Dotse, Mr Justice Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, Mr Justice Sule Gbadegbe and Mr Justice A.A. Benin.

Oral examination

Based on the decision of the immediate past Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, to discontinue a planned oral examination of Mr Woyome, Mr Amidu filed an application at the Supreme Court to allow him to orally examine the businessman.

On November 16, last year, the court, presided over by Mr Justice Anin Yeboah, granted Mr Amidu’s application to query Mr Amidu on the refund of the judgement debt paid to Woyome.

But the much-anticipated oral examination could not take place because of two legal actions challenging it.

One was a review application of the November 16 judgement filed by Mr Woyome, while the other was Mr Ametefe’s constitutional interpretation application.

Mr Ametefe is seeking a declaration that, upon a true and proper interpretation of articles 2 (1), 128, 130 and 134 of the 1992 Constitution, a single justice of the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction to determine matters involving the interpretation of the Constitution.

He, therefore, wants an order from the court quashing the judgement that granted Mr Amidu the permission to orally examine the businessman.

Legal objection

However, Mr Ametefe’s application was lambasted by Mr Amidu at yesterday’s sitting of the Supreme Court.

In his objection, Mr Amidu argued that the application by Mr Ametefe was indirectly a suit against Mr Justice Anin Yeboah for exercising his judicial right as enshrined in the Constitution.

Such a move, he argued, was not in accordance with Article 127 Clause (3) of the Constitution, which stipulates that “any person exercising judicial power shall not be liable to any action or suit for any act or omission by him in the exercise of the judicial power’’.

He further argued that none of the reliefs sought by Mr Ametefe raised an issue of constitutional interpretation.

Mr Amidu was also of the view that the best way to challenge the November 6 judgement was through a review process.

“This is the appropriate procedure, under the Constitution, for purposes of challenging Supreme Court decisions,’’ he said.

Stay of proceedings

Mr Buabeng also withdrew an application for stay of proceedings of the substantive case in which Mr Woyome was to be queried.

In view of that, the court awarded costs of GH¢5,000 against Mr Ametefe.