Court dismisses suit against creation of new regions

The Accra High Court has dismissed an application by four individuals seeking further details of the Justice Brobbey Commission report that saw the creation of Ghana’s six new regions.

The application was filed by the Paramount Queenmother of Lolobi, Nana Korkor I, the Divisional Chief of Akpafu, Nana Kofi Adu, the Divisional Chief of Lolobi Nana Frititi I, and the Divisional Chief of Akpafu Adorkor, Nana Aputu Kram I.

The applicants were in court seeking an order to compel the Registrar of the General Jurisdiction Division of the High Court to transmit a letter to the office of the President requesting records of proceedings of the Justice Brobbey Commission of Inquiry on the regions.

The applicants wanted the court to compel the Registrar to obtain documents which according to them, was needed to prosecute their appeal against the report of the Commission of Inquiry.

They were of the view that the Registrar of the High Court had a public duty imposed on him by law to write to the Office of the President of the Republic to request for the information that formed the basis for the creation of the new regions.

They also contend that “the findings and the recommendations of the Justice Brobbey Commission as contained in its report dated June 26, 2018, became a judgment of the High Court after six months and therefore the Registrar of the High Court is seized with the power and responsibility to compile the necessary records to enable the Applicants pursue the appeal filed”.

Counsel for the Registrar of the General Jurisdiction disagreed.

The Chief State Attorney, Sylvester Kow Williams, argued that the Registrar is only mandated to settle on documents that have been made available to the High Court.

In effect, the absence of the said documents being requested could only be provided by the applicants who have brought the case to court.

Mr Williams further argued that it is not the duty of the Registrar to write letters to the Office of the President to request documents.

Court’s decision 

The court presided over by Justice Kweku Tawiah Ackaah-Boafo dismissed the application on grounds that the reliefs sought against the respondent were not available as a matter of law.

The judge said he was not satisfied that the applicants have made out a case to compel the respondent to act in the manner.

Justice Ackaah-Boafo also awarded a cost of GH¢1,500 against the Applicants.

Grounds for dismissal

The law is that the Applicants ought to establish that the Registrar has a public legal duty to act, something, which the applicants failed to do.

“Having reviewed the entire record, being the affidavits filed, the statement of cases and the submission of Counsel and also having internalized the case law cited, I wish to state that while I agree with the applicants that the duty performed by the Registrar is one of a public nature, because he is a public servant I am unable to agree with them that what they are praying the court to order the respondent to perform is anchored in any statute or law.

“I note that despite the confident submission made by Counsel, no statute/law was relied upon by him to convince the Court that the registrar is bound to do what they say he ought to do,” the judge held.

He pointed out that the applicants failed to write through their counsel to request the documents.

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