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‘Your priorities are mixed’ – Supreme Court tells lawyers as it fails to grant Barker-Vormawor bail

A Supreme Court panel led by Justice Jones Dotse on Wednesday questioned why lawyers for #FixTheCountry Movement campaigner, Oliver Barker-Vormawor, have failed to make an application for bail at the High Court but rather seek the intervention of the apex court.

“You have an individual’s liberty at stake. You embark on this journey to this Court. You want us to interpret this constitution in a mixed application. Your duty is to protect your client’s rights. Your priorities are mixed”, panel member Justice Yonny Kulendi said.

“Is this the time for this intellectual exercise? Should you not be taking a pragmatic approach,” another panel member Gertrude Torkonoo added.

Lawyers for the youth activist dragged the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Attorney-General (AG) to the Supreme Court, challenging the decision to put their client before a district court rather than a court that could determine his liberty.

They wanted the Court to determine whether the Police have discharged their constitutional duty by sending their client to a court with no jurisdiction to consider a bail application.

According to them, the ruling of the High Court ‘B’, Tema, dated February 17, 2022, entails a grave error of law which error is patent on the face of the record.

The Applicants are, by their motion, praying the Court to exercise its discretion to grant the following reliefs:

a. “Make an order of certiorari to issue to the High Court ‘B’, Tema, to bring up to this honourable Court to have quashed its ruling dated February 17, 2022, which was given under the hand of His Lordship, the judge, Justice Daniel Mensah, J., refusing to issue a writ of habeas corpus subjiciendum in respect of the Detained directed at the Respondents, their agents, assigns and workmen howsoever described or styled.

b. “Give a true and proper interpretation of whether by sending a person they have restricted, arrested or detained to a court which has no jurisdiction to consider an application for bail in respect of the person who is restricted, arrested or detained, the Police have discharged their duty under Article 14(3) of the 1992 Constitution.

c. “Issue a writ of habeas corpus subjiciendum in respect of the Detained directed at the Respondents, their agents, assigns and workmen howsoever described or styled.”

The legal team led by Akoto Ampaw and Justice Srem Sai urged the court to grant these requests.

The Supreme Court justices pointed out that the application was problematic.

They noted that it attempts to trigger the court’s interpretative and supervisory jurisdiction simultaneously.

The judges questioned why the lawyers had failed to heed the advice of two lower courts to make an application for bail simply.

Deputy Attorney General Diana Asonaba Dapaah informed the Court the AG’s office finds the application procedurally improper.

Lawyers for the youth activist at this stage informed the Court of wanting to withdraw the application. The Application was therefore struck out as withdrawn.

The case was heard by Justices Jones Dotse, Nene Amegatcher, Gertrude Tokorno, Ashie Kotey, and EmmanuelYonny Kulendi.

Oliver Barker-Vormawor is accused of plotting to stage a coup and charged with the offence of treason felony.

 

Source: Myjoyonline.com|Ghana

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