A Coloation of Ghanaian citizens led by Mr. Elikem E. Kotoko who planned to picket at the premises of the Presidency, Electoral Commission and Supreme Court from Wednesday, 24th February, 2021 to Friday, 26th February, 2021 says, the Accra High Court’s Prohibition Order against their intended peaceful protest to demand for the removal of Mrs. Jean Mensa is considered as a cancerous tumor on arrival.
In a statement, the convenor Elikem E. Kotoko said, they were served with a Prohibition Order by the Accra High Court, Criminal Division, intended to put a break on our planned picketing slated for February 24, 2021.
This Order was granted based on an Ex parte application filed by the Ghana Police Service after we pointed out to them in our last correspondence, that they do not have any authority under our laws to stop us from exercising our democratic right.
“We are not only gobsmacked by the action of the Police Service but also astonishingly scandalized by the brazen abuse and disregard for the very laws our Courts are clothed with inherent jurisdiction to uphold it’s fidelity. We want to put on record, and we do this forcefully, that the Order by the Accra High Court, Criminal Division, was granted per incuriam, and as such, we consider it as a cancerous tumor that must not be allowed to remain as a decision of our Courts. It’s a poisonous and toxic piece of legal reasoning that law students must not be introduced to.”
According to him, It is trite law that an application for prohibition, particularly to stop a picketing, can only be granted when made on notice. In Republic Vrs. Circuit Court, Ex parte Gifty Oware-Aboagye, Sir Dennis Adjei JA; sitting as a High Court Judge, declared “that any action which is initiated ex parte under the Public Order Act is void as it is filed contrary to law and procedure and would constitute a breach of the rules of natural justice.
“it would be unfair to use an ex parte application to initiate an action whose outcome would affect the rights of other people and once it is granted, the action terminates. Such a CRUDE approach should not be encouraged in a democratic society as the Police in their Ex parte application may depose to FALSE INFORMATION which may persuade the courts to grant the application”.” He said.
“It is important to point out that in the Ex parte Gifty Oware-Aboagye case, the Court also noted that the Courts Act does not confer jurisdiction on the Circuit Court to grant Prohibition Orders. Surprisingly, the Ghana Police Service decided to comply with this aspect of the judgement by not initiating this instant Order at the Circuit Court but, either deliberately or ignorantly failed to comply with the other aspect of the judgement which says such applications cannot be by way of ex parte. Ominously, the Court which ought to have straighten the Police Service for it’s legal waywardness acquiesced to it’s request.” He explained.
He again said, “Though we agree that unjust laws are not laws and ought to be disobeyed, we will comply with the Order of the Court, but would like to serve notice that we will use the other avenues opened to us to correct the error the Police Service and the Accra High Court, Criminal Division have committed. We have therefore instructed our lawyers to, as a matter of urgency, take steps to set aside this error of an Order.”