The Accra High Court’s Financial and Economic Crime Division 2 has condemned Dr. Mustapha Ahmed, the former minister of youth and sports, to seven days in jail for contempt of court.
The former minister, who was the defendant at the time, was prohibited from trespassing on property by a perpetual injunction given by the court in a judgment on June 12, 2019, but he disobeyed the ruling.
Additionally, the court ordered him to pay a fine of GHC 12,000 or spend 30 days in jail.
If paid, the court presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, ordered that GH¢5,000 out of the fine should be paid to Kofi Ammoah Kwafo, the man, who initiated the contempt application against Dr Ahmed, the Chief of Defence Staff and the Director-General of Logistics of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).
The lawsuit over land dates back six years, when Dr. Ahmed, a previous representative for Ayawaso North, sold land to Mr. Kwafo in 2000 and later repossessed it under the pretext that he had made a mistake.
The applicant, Mr. Kwafo, attached the Chief of Defence Staff and the Director-General of Logistics in the contempt application because GAF troops who were occupying a building constructed on the subject property resisted the court’s order to execute the judgment.
In her ruling, Justice Asare-Botwe, a Court of Appeal judge who also serves as a High Court judge with extra authority, observed that the Chief of Defence Staff and the Director-General of Logistics were not personally served with copies of the court’s 2019 land litigation decision.
Mr. Kwafo claimed that the respondents disobeyed the court’s authority in his statement in support and written address, acting in a way that brought the administration of justice into disrepute.
For instance, the applicant claimed that the first respondent allegedly sold the property to the GAF in 2017; the paper was signed in 2018, and the application for registration was submitted in 2021, by which time the court’s decision had already been rendered.
When the GAF officers refused carrying out the court’s decision, Mr. Kwafo claimed that they were acting in contempt of the court.
Mr. Kwaku Osei Asare served as legal advice for Mr. Kwafo.
READ ALSO: Suspect lynched in bizarre VIP Bus theft in Kumasi
Dr. Ahmed’s attorney, Mr. Christopher A. Fynn, argued in a written submission that there was insufficient proof to establish that his client had violated any court order, directive, or ruling to warrant finding him in contempt.
He asserted that this was a ploy to enforce the judgment issued by the court by a means other than what was permitted by the rules of court and denied having backdated the assignment of the sub-matter to the GAF or any other charge of fraud.
The petitioner, according to the former minister, brought the application using an ineffective procedure in an effort to sway the court against him and the other respondents.
Since they were not parties to the lawsuit, the Chief of Defence Staff and the Director of Logistics testified before the court that there was no proof that a writ of possession had been properly acquired and served on them.
They argued that sending a letter to the GAF and posting the judgment on the land did not constitute an appropriate method of notifying them of the judgment.