An Accra High Court has rescinded a bench warrant it issued for the arrest of Oheneba Boamah Bennie, a presenter of Power FM, an Accra based radio station.
On December 23, this year, the Court presided over by Mrs. Justice Elfreda Dankyi, issued a warrant for the arrest of the presenter. He was to appear in court in person.
Bennie had failed to appear in court when the state pushed for a contempt application against him for insulting the President.
However, when the case was called, Mr. Kodjogah Adawudu, who represented the respondent (Bennie), said his client was unwell and he had forwarded an excuse duty issued from the Kaneshie Polyclinic to the court.
He said he had copied the Attorney General of the said letter and prayed the Court to rescind the bench warrant.
Ms. Yvonne Bannerman, a Senior State Attorney who held brief for Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, a Deputy Attorney General, said her outfit was yet to receive a copy of the said letter.
The court said it has not seen a copy of the letter on its docket. The court after hearing from the two lawyers adjourned the matter to January 14, 2021, and rescinded the bench warrant.
The Attorney-General (A-G) had filed a contempt application against Bennie who asserted that President Akufo-Addo had influenced some Justices of the Supreme Court to rule in his favour in an event of any election petition.
On December 17 this year, The A-G dragged Bennie to court over a contempt of court application.
The case of the state was that, after the declaration of President Akufo-Addo as the President-elect by the Electoral Commission (EC), Bennie allegedly published a video on his Facebook wall, claiming that President Akufo-Addo had met with eight judges of the Supreme Court, led by the Chief Justice, and he had influenced them to rule in his favour in case there was any petition challenging his re-election.
Bennie in the said video footage said Ghanaians would not allow the Superior court judges to destroy the country and urged the military to stage a coup d’etat.
The A-G contended that through Bennie’s publication, he wanted to tell the public that judges, including the justices of the apex court, decide cases not independently but by taking directives from the President.
According to the A-G, if Bennie was allowed to go unpunished, that would amount to gross disrespect for the judiciary and a violation of the Constitution.
The A-G said Bennie knew that there was a possibility of a challenge to the presidential election at the Supreme Court and, therefore, by poisoning the minds of the public against the court, he wanted to cause disaffection for the court.
“That the respondent’s disrespect for the Judiciary and the publication of false news intended to bring the Judiciary into disrepute makes him liable to be committed to prison in order to vindicate the undoubted authority of the Judiciary enshrined in Article 125 of the 1992 Constitution,” the affidavit in support of the A-G’s case said.