The Chief Justice, Her Ladyship Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Sackey Torkornoo, has expressed concern regarding what she says is the conduct of Assin North MP, Mr James Gyakye Quayson when he files processes at the Supreme Court.
She observed he more often than not fails to show up and causes one of his lawyers to file and swear to statements on his behalf.
The Chief Justice said such conduct was irregular and must not be encouraged.
“He doesn’t treat this court properly. He engages this court, and he refuses to appear. When you ask the court to exercise discretion, you must treat the court properly” she stated.
The CJ made this comment while presiding over a five-member panel to hear a case filed by the legislator.
Mr Quayson was seeking to halt his trial arguing that the High Court got it wrong when it refused a request for prosecutors to be compelled to provide certain documents they had failed to disclose.
Attorney General Godfred Yeboah had told the High Court his office had supplied all documents to the legislator.
He pointed the court to correspondence between his office and the MP’s legal team showing that documents in their possession had been examined.
Lawyers for Mr Quayson however disagreed.
They insisted the AG cannot refer to those correspondences since they had not filed an appropriate response.
The High Court disagreed with this view causing the MP’s legal team to head to the Supreme Court.
Mr Quayson’s lawyer Justin Teriwajah urged the apex court to set aside the decision of the High Court.
He insisted by relying on the correspondence, it meant the High Court used evidence not properly presented to it.
“Our submission is that, in the main trial, evidence is taken on oath, in a determination of a motion, it must be based on evidence given on oath. Our position is that if facts are deposed, the opposing side has the option to respond. That wasn’t the case”. He said.
The Attorney General disagreed. He first pointed out that even the processes field was irregular in that Mr Teriwajah swore an oath and signed the current processes filed at the Supreme Court without showing that he had the authority of the MP to do so.
Additionally, he pointed out that the MP’s legal team were given the chance to argue out the matter extensively and addressed the court on the correspondence.
He said the lower court had committed no error of law obvious on the face of the record as was being alleged.
“Substantively, we submit that there is no error of law patent on the face of the record. An application invoking your jurisdiction must indicate matters which are patent.
“Where the court has to go beyond the depositions and fundamental attachments, clearly, that application does not properly invoke the supervision jurisdiction.
“It was an application for further disclosure. The application is improper and should be dismissed,” he stated.
The court ruled that the High Court committed no error of law.
“We have examined the processes and find no merit in the application. We find that the applicant was heard by the court and the court had jurisdiction to rule on the matter,” the Chief Justice ruled.
Some panel members had earlier commented on the absence of the Legislator and on his lawyers swearing documents on his behalf.
“Supposing we want to have him cross-examined, you will disqualify yourself from counsel. You depose to affidavit and you appear before us as counsel.
“That practice was because your client has money, he sends you to the court. One day, when your wig is taken off, you will see,“ Justice Issifu Amadu Tanko said.
The Chief Justice additionally added that such conduct does not help the profession.
“This practice demeans the profession,” she stated.
The case was heard by Chief Justice Gertrude Torkonoo and Justices Issiufu Amadu Tanko, Emmanuel Kulendi, Samuel Asiedu and Ernest Gaewu.
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