A contempt application initiated against the Auditor-General (A-G), Daniel Domelevo, following his refusal to file a response to an appeal against his decision to surcharge Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo and four others has reached the Chief Justice (CJ), Kwasi Anin-Yeboah.As a result, the CJ has reportedly told the judges involved to hold on with their cases for further direction.
There are two separate cases before two High Courts over the A-G’s Kroll Associates surcharging saga, the first being the contempt application which is before a Commercial Division presided over by Justice Doreen Boakye Adjei, and the appeal against the surcharge which is before a Financial and Economic Court presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe.
Yaw Oppong, counsel for the Senior Minister and the four others, 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 deems fit.
However, when the case was called yesterday for the appellants to continue with their contempt motion, Justice Boakye Adjei said that someone had petitioned the CJ and he had called for the dockets in both cases.
She said she was not aware who petitioned the CJ.
It is unclear who sent the petition to the CJ as both sides said they did not send the petition when DAILY GUIDE wanted to know from them.
A source, however, has said the A-G wrote to the CJ to remove the case from the Commercial Court to the Financial Court where he said such cases are heard as is happening in the instant case.
The content application was being heard at Commercial Court 8 while the appeal was listed at Commercial Court 9.
Whilst the contempt application was pending, the A-G 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 A-G went to another Commercial Court to file the response and subsequently wrote to the CJ to remove the case from the Commercial Court to the Financial Court.
The A-G has claimed that Mr. Osafo-Maafo and the Finance Ministry have colluded to pay UK firm Kroll and Associates Limited $1 million for no evidence of work done and as a result surcharged the individuals involved to refund the money.
The Senior Minister and the others then appealed the decision, but Mr. Domelevo failed to respond to the appeal within the time stipulated by the rules of court.
The Senior Minister and the four officers at the Ministry of Finance, therefore, initiated a contempt action against the A-G for his refusal to file a response to their appeal against his decision to surcharge them.
According to the application filed before an Accra High Court, the A-G’s refusal to file the required documents and reply to their notice and grounds of appeal within the mandatory stipulated time dictated by the rules of the High Court constitutes a contempt of the court where the appeal was filed.
The application is, therefore, seeking an order committing Mr. Domelevo to prison, or in the alternative, impose any other punishment that the court may deem just and proper.
It also wants consequential orders including the setting aside of Mr. Domelevo’s “impugned” decision against them, as well as any other orders the court may deem fit.
The four other officers at the Ministry of Finance included Michael Ayesu, Abraham Kofi Tawiah, Eva Asaaba Mends and Patrick Nomo.