You’ve No Appellate Jurisdiction Over High Court – OSP Told

Kissi Agyebeng

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) seemed to have incurred the wrath of Justice Nicholas Mensah Abodakpi, the presiding judge of Accra High Court (Human Rights Division) yesterday, over what the judge described as ‘abuse of its powers’.

Justice Abodakpi, also described as “scandalous” depositions made by the OSP in its affidavit in answer to a human rights action filed by former secretary to the dissolved Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), Charles Cromwell Bissue.

The court said, the OSP is “abusing its power”, and putting up a posture that suggests that, it has appellate jurisdiction over the High Court.

“The other issue I want to state is, you have in your paragraphs 21, 22 and 23 of your affidavits in answer, which you are claiming is misleading the court to injunct a non-existent warrant,” the court observed.

Justice Abodakpi said, with regards to the OSP’s paragraph 22, “you went on to make certain depositions.”

“Are you saying the court doesn’t have its own mind? Why are you saying all these things?”

But, Seth Ansong, a Prosecutor from the OSP, said those paragraphs are relevant to their case and ought to be part of the records for the trial.

But when asked by the court if he had read an earlier ruling of the court before making those depositions in paragraphs 21, 22 and 23, Seth Ansong said, “not that I know of.”

The answer from the OSP, provoked another backlash from the judge saying, “Then why are you saying those things when you have not read the ruling of the court?”

Justice Abodakpi, who appeared unhappy with the situation and posture of the OSP, struck out those paragraphs and described them as “scandalous.”

He added that, “the OSP has no appellate jurisdiction over the High Court. Whatever powers you do have, you have no appellate jurisdiction over the High Court.”

“You cannot remonstrate and castigate the court over decisions it has made,” Justice Abodakpi said.

“The OSP has no appellate jurisdiction of the High Court. If you disagree (with a ruling of the court), you go to Court of Appeal and appeal.

“You are abusing your powers. You cannot castigate me (Judge). You haven’t seen the decision of the court and you are saying those things?” the judge hit back.

Charles Bissue is seeking for the enforcement of his human rights from the court.

Justice Abodakpi, after hearing the parties on Wednesday, December 6, directed lawyers of the applicant (Charles Bissue), the OSP and the Attorney General to file their written submissions before the next sitting.

State Attorneys from the AG’s Office who were assigned the case to represent the Kaneshie District Court, are to file also their affidavit in answer before the next date.

The case has been adjourned to January 15, 2024 for hearing when a video recording of certain interviews granted by the OSP would be played in open court.

From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi