The contempt application initiated by Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo and four officials of the Ministry of Finance against the Auditor General, Daniel Domelevo, is back in court following the decision by the Chief Justice to place it before a new court.
The case which was initially before an Accra High Court (Commercial Division) was put on hold following a petition to the Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin Yeboah.
A ‘Notice of Transfer’ signed by the registrar of the Accra High Court indicated that the Chief Justice had directed that the case be transferred from the Commercial Court to the Financial and Economic Court presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe for it “to be dealt with expeditiously according to law.”
“In pursuance of the Chief Justice’s order for transfer dated 25th day of February, 2020, parties are being notified of this transfer generally,” the notice of transfer stated.
The case has, therefore, been re-scheduled for today.
The Senior Minister and four others initiated the contempt application against Mr. Domelevo following his refusal to file a response to an appeal against his decision to surcharge Mr. Osafo-Maafo and four others.
There were two separate cases before two High Courts over the Auditor General’s Kroll Associates Surcharging saga, the first being the contempt application which was being heard by a Commercial Division presided over by Justice Doreen Boakye-Agyei and the appeal against the surcharge which was before a Financial and Economic court presided Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe.
Yaw Oppong, counsel for the Senior Minister and the four others who are in the Auditor-General’s findings, had already commenced moving the contempt application to convince the court to commit Mr. Domelevo to prison terms or in the alternative, any other punishment the court seems fit.
However, when the case was called for the appellants to continue with their contempt motion, Justice Boakye-Agyei said that someone had petitioned the Chief Justice, and he has called for the dockets in both cases.
She had said she was not aware who petitioned the Chief Justice and directed the lawyers to see the registrar for directions.
Later, the Auditor General wrote to the Chief Justice to remove the case from the Commercial Court to the Financial Court, where he said such cases are heard.
The contempt application was being heard at Commercial Court 8 while the appeal was listed at Commercial Court 9 ? and whilst the contempt application was pending, the Auditor General wrote to the appellants asking for their consent to get extension of time from the court to enable him to file his response, but the Senior Minister and the officials replied that they did not have the power to grant that request.
Without touching on the contempt issue, the Auditor General then went to another Commercial Court to file the response and subsequently wrote to the Chief Justice to remove the case from the Commercial Court to the Financial Court.