The NDC Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has been acquitted and discharged of contempt of court by the High Court in Accra in a defamation case.
In a ruling today, the High Court presided over by Justice Charles Gyamfi Dankwa, dismissed the contempt application filed by the General Secretary of the National Cathedral Board of Trustees, Rev. Victor Kusi Boateng, who had accused the MP of defaming him.
After dismissing the contempt application, the court further awarded cost of GHC10,000 against Rev Boateng in favour of the MP.
After filing the defamation case, which was in relation to some allegations against him relating to the National Cathedral project, Rev Boateng cited Mr Ablakwa for contempt, accusing the MP of kicking the court process served on him by the court bailiff.
However, in its ruling dismissing the contempt application, the court held that the said bailiff – Elis Armah, who served the court processes on the MP was not a recognised officer of the judicial service.
Such a move, the court held was against a directive by the Chief Justice that court processes should be served by official bailiffs of the judicial service.
Again, the court held that court process could not be served on the MPs performing parliamentary duties.
The applicant,the court held should had ascertain whether or not Mr Ablakwa was performing parliamentary duties on the day the process was served on him and if he was, affect the right process of service.
Justice Dankwa further dismissed the application on the basis that there were inconsistencies in the affidavits filed by Rev Boateng and the said bailiff who filed the application.
According to the court, whereas the purported bailiff claimed the court process was put in the MPs car and the legislator threw it away, Rev Boateng said the process was put at the side of the MP and he kicked it.
“The application for contempt is thrown out as the applicant could not prove his case beyond reasonable doubt,” Justice Dankwa held.