The Chief Justice, Her Ladyship Sophia Akuffo has been served a notice of reminder to consider a petition submitted to her office dated March 16, 2017, to thoroughly investigate a ruling delivered by Justice Kwame Osei Gyamfi of the Tamale High Court.
The man opposing the ruling, Abdulai Sirta, which he described as “bizarre”, says the action by the High Court Judge ridicules the judicial system.
Mr Sirta, Chief Executive Officer of a small scale mining company at Tinga in the Bole District of the Northern Region who served the reminder on February 15, 2018, is praying the Chief Justice to cause an investigation into why Justice Kwame Osei Gyamfi nullified an earlier judgement by another judge of the same High Court, Justice Daniel Kwaku Obeng, in an alleged stealing case against one Patrick Ayaaba, the Assembly Member for the Teshei electoral area in the Bawku West District in the Upper East Region.
According to the petitioner, “there is something fundamentally wrong with the processes of the high courts which must be cleared to engender public confidence in the justice delivery system in the Northern Region in particular and the nation as a whole”.
The Spokesperson for the petitioner, Mr. Abdul Rahman Suale (who gave copies of the petition to myjoyonline.com), narrated that the complainant in the case, Abdulai Sirta on December 11, 2015, reported the accused, Patrick Ayaaba (employee of the complainant), to the police in Bole for stealing his heap of sand, a by-product of gold mining called “over,” worth GH¢400,000 at his mining site at Tinga.
The matter was sent to the Tamale Circuit Court, presided over by Justice William Appiah Twumasi, who sentenced the accused person to a fine of 300 penalty units (GH¢3,600), and in default, he would serve two years imprisonment. He was also to refund GH¢400,000 to the complainant in the case.
The accused, who was, however, not satisfied with the Circuit Court’s judgement, appealed against the sentence at the Commercial division of the Tamale High Court, presided over by Mr Justice Daniel Kwaku Obeng, who affirmed the earlier decision by the Tamale Circuit Court and increased the fine from 300 penalty units (GH¢3,600) to 5,000 penalty units, which is about GH¢60,000, or in default, serve five years’ imprisonment in hard labour.
Patrick Ayaaba, again, sent the case to another judge at the same Tamale High Court against the Commercial Court’s ruling, and in its ruling, the High Court, presided over by Justice Kwame Osei Gyamfi, squashed the ruling by the Circuit Court at the time the Commercial Division of the High Court had upheld the ruling of the Circuit Court upon appeal.
Mr Abdul Rahman Suale, asserted that Justice Gyamfi’s decision to quash the earlier ruling by the Circuit Court, which was subsequently upheld by Justice Daniel Kwaku Obeng of the Commercial High Court, was not only to deny the complainant, Abdulai Sirta, justice, but apparently, to clear the accused person, Patrick Ayaaba, of the theft charges to enhance his political ambition.
According to the Spokesperson, the ruling by the High Court against the decision of its Commercial Division, which has the same jurisdiction, has raised questions about the justice delivery system in the Tamale Metropolis, and thus appealed to the Chief Justice to cause an investigation into the matter, to ensure that justice was duly served.