The Member of Parliament for Assin Central in the Central Region, Kennedy Agyapong, has filed a suit at the Supreme Court challenging the jurisdiction of a High Court holding contempt charges over him.
The suit was filed a day before he is due to appear before the High Court after being hauled there for allegedly insulting and threatening a trial judge at a Labour Court.
Mr. Agyapong made a statement deemed contemptuous in the case in which Susan Bandoh and Christopher Akuetteh Kotei had sued him and three others in a land dispute.
On Monday, September 14, 2020, the High Court was forced to adjourn the contempt case because Mr. Agyapong did not appear in court due to the failure of the registrar of the court to personally serve him with the summons in the land dispute case.
The judge, Amos Wuntah Wuni, explained that the court summons was sent to the office of Kennedy Agyapong and to the clerk of Parliament but was unable to reach him personally.
According to him, efforts by the court to serve the MP personally as required in cases of contempt proved futile.
Justice Wuni, therefore, issued an order for substituted service, directing that the court summons be pasted on the notice board of the High Court and the Hollywood building which houses Net 2 TV and Oman FM.
But in his suit, Mr. Agyapong says he has not been “duly served with any writ of the summons and a statement of claim on any court processes [relating to the contempt case].”
In view of this, the legislator argues that because he had not been served with the writ of summons, he could not have “engaged in any act intended to scandalise the said Land Court or the presiding judge.”
Mr. Agyapong argued further that it would have been easy for him to have been served because of his regular appearances on Net 2 TV and his availability in Parliament.
The MP admits that he got “involuntarily and uncontrollably upset” when processes for the land case at the Labour Court 2 were posted on his property at Adjringanor.
This notwithstanding, he has apologised to the labour court, the presiding judge and the Chief Justice.
Since he feels his words were not directed at the court that summoned him and in lieu of the apology, the MP insists that “the said court is not seized with the jurisdiction to order the applicant to appear and answer why he should not be severely punished for contempt of court.”