The Chief Justice, Ms. Ladyship Sophia Akuffo, has been served a notice of reminder to consider a petition submitted to her office to investigate a ruling delivered by the Tamale High Court, which the petitioner, Abdulai Sirta, described as unfortunate.
Mr Sirta, who is the Chief Executive Officer of a small-scale mining company at Tinga in the Bole District in the Northern Region, served the reminder on Monday August 26, 2019, after earlier appeals to the Chief Justice on the case.
In the petition, the complainant appealed to the Chief Justice to cause the transfer of a civil suit to which he was an interested party from the Tamale High Court for lack of trust, and to also cause an investigation into the legal grounds on which the court quashed the ruling of another High Court (Commercial Division) when the latter had earlier dismissed an appeal against conviction of stealing brought before the court by a convict, Patrick Ayaba.
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, made copies of the petition available to the media in Accra.
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, 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 court’s judgment, 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 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, quashed 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.
According to the complainant, however, 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 him justice, but also to clear the accused person, Patrick Ayaaba, of the theft charges.
Mr Sirta said the ruling by the High Court against the decision of its Commercial Division, which has the same jurisdiction, raised some questions about the justice delivery system in the area, for which reason he decided to renew his appeal to the Chief Justice to cause investigations into the ruling for justice to be duly served.