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General News Thu, 31 Jul 2008

Court strikes out contempt case against IEA, political parties

Accra, July 31, GNA - An Accra Fast Track High Court on Thursday struck out a motion for contempt filed by Mr Thomas Ward-Brew, a presidential candidate of Democratic People's Party, against the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and 13 others. The court further awarded 600 Ghana cedis as cost against the applicants who failed to appear in court.

The 13 respondents are presidential candidates and Chairmen of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), National Democratic Congress (NDC), People's National Convention (PNC) and the Convention People's Party (CPP). "The application is hereby struck out for want of prosecution. Cost of 600 Ghana cedis is awarded against the applicant," the Court, presided over by Mr Justice K.A. Ofori Atta ruled.

Mr Ward-Brew and Mr Jebby Mensah Tetteh, party chairman of DPP, who instituted the action, were not in court when the case was called. None of the presidential candidates or their party chairmen was in court. However, Ms Jean Mensa, the administrator was in court. Mr Gabriel Pwamang, who represented the IEA, indicated to the court that none of the respondents had been served except the IEA hence their inability to appear before the court.

"My Lord the applicants' absence in court today is a clear indication that they do not want to proceed with the matter. We pray for cost against the applicants to deter them from taking the court for a ride," Mr Pwamang said.

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The applicants filed a motion for contempt against the presidential candidates and party chairmen of the four parties for attending the "Presidential Encounter" and the IEA for hosting the programme at Alisa Hotel between May and June, this year.

Mr Ward-Brew earlier filed an injunction at the High Court in Accra against the IEA for assisting the four parties. Mr Ward-Brew contended that assistance should be offered to all parties irrespective of the size of the party.

The applicants also contended that funding of the programmes of the parties, which was coming from Institute of Multiparty Democracy, a Netherlands-based NGO, was in breach of the Political Parties Law. But the court, presided over by Mr Justice Abada dismissed the application for injunction on the grounds that, if the conduct of IEA was in breach of the Political Parties Law, then the position of the law was that it was the Attorney General that could institute that action.

Source: GNA
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