THE REPUBLIC vs GEORGE ODIASE & 5 ORS ,EXPARTE GLORIE OSAFO AGYEMANG-DUAH & ORS APPLICANTS
  • IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF JUDICATURE
    IN THE HIGH COURT
    KUMASI - A.D 2019
THE REPUBLIC-(Plaintiff)
GEORGE ODIASE & 5 ORS -(Respondents)
EXPARTE GLORIE OSAFO AGYEMANG-DUAH & ORS - (Applicants)

DATE:  28TH MAY, 2019
SUIT NO:  MISC 22/2019
JUDGES:  HIS LORDSHIP JUSTICE DR. RICHMOND OSEI-HWERE
LAWYERS:  KWASI AFRIFAH COUNSEL FOR THE APPLICANT
ACE ANKOMAH FOR THE RESPONDENTS WITH GOLDA DENYO AND ESI QUARGRAINIE, PRESENT
RULING

 

On 20th May, 2019 when the instant contempt application came up for hearing, Kwasi Afrifa Esq. counsel for the applicants herein prayed the court for permission to examine the respondents herein. Counsel submitted that the application is grounded on the fact that the respondents per their various affidavit in opposition have denied the contempt allegation.

 

Learned counsel further submitted that the application is founded on the Supreme Court case of Kojach Limited vrs Multi Choice (Ghana) Limited [2013/14] SCGLR 1494, Holding 1 where the court held:

“It must be pointed out that in virtually all interlocutory applications that come before our courts, evidence in support would be in the nature of affidavit evidence as required under Order 19 Rule 4 of the High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2004 CI 47. In the normal course of determining interlocutory applications the courts would rely on the affidavits filed together with exhibits, if any. However, if any of the parties to the application is of the opinion that certain vital issues appear unresolved, a party may with the leave of the court, orally apply to the court to cross-examine a deponent to the affidavit to assist the court in resolving the crucial issue, the determination of which may have a decisive effect on the determination of the application …”

 

Counsel also cited the Supreme Court decision in the Republic v Boama Ex-parte Amponsah [2012] 1 SCGLR 58 in support of the submission that in the face of denials by the Respondents, the court must order for their examination.

 

Counsel for the respondent, Golda Denyo (Ms) opposed the application on the basis that counsel for the applicant has not given the court the basis of the examination. Counsel’s position was that a mere denial by the respondent does not warrant examination.

At the time the application was made the court had not had the privilege of perusing the respondents’ various affidavit in opposition to the contempt application, as the same were placed on the court’s docket in the morning of May 20, 2019during the sitting of the court. The matter was therefore adjourned to today for ruling on the instant application.

 

Under Order 50 of CI 47, committal proceedings are to be commenced by an application to the court. The application shall be supported by an affidavit stating the grounds of the application. A respondent who wishes to contest the allegation is at liberty to file an affidavit in opposition. Ordinarily, a contempt application like all interlocutory applications are decided based on affidavit evidence. However, there are instances where the court may need additional evidence to satisfy the requirement of proof beyond reasonable doubt. In that regard, examination of deponents and/or witnesses becomes necessary.

 

I have read the depositions of the parties herein as well as their annexures and it is palpably clear that the parties are at cross purposes in respect of the application. While the applicants contend that the respondents are in contempt of court, the respondents insist that they are not. Both parties have made extensive depositions backed by exhibits to back their stance. In the present circumstance, it is my considered opinion that the court can rely solely on the affidavit evidence to resolve the issues which are germane to the determination of the application. The court does not require any additional factual information presented as evidence to make a just determination. The court can rely on the affidavit evidence in tackling denials and disagreements relating to the contempt application. In arriving at this decision, I was guided by Order 1 rule 1 (2) of CI 47which imposes a duty on the court to interpret and apply the rules to ensure speedy trial and effective justice.

 

For the reasons above, the application to examine the respondents is refused. There will be no order as to costs.

 

SGD

DR. RICHMOND OSEI-HWERE

JUSTICE OF THE HIGH COURT

 

 

 

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