Aggrieved Kotokuraba traders lose contempt suit

Mr.Aquinas Quansah (2)A Cape Coast Circuit Court has struck out an application for contempt, filed against the Central Regional Minister, Aquinas Tawiah Quansah and three others, in respect of the demolition of the old Kotokuraba market.

The three others are the  Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mrs. Priscilla Arhin Korankye; the Co-ordinating Director, Mr. Gilbert Nuri-Teg and the contractor on site.

Eight aggrieved traders of the market on December 18, last year, filed a motion of contempt and non-compliance and extension of time in the demolishing of the old Kotokuraba market, against the four people.

They claimed that the Assembly had not complied with some conditions it was to fulfil before the demolition exercise, as ordered by the court presided over by Justice Kwasi Dapaah, in its ruling on the case on Friday, November 28.

The conditions were that the Assembly could demolish the market after the midnight of Friday, December 19, only if it gave written alternative note,  assuring the applicants and members of the Concerned Traders Association, space in the ultra-modern structure, when completed.

The Assembly was also to hand over to each of the eight applicants, keys to their cubicles in the temporary structure, in not less than seven days before the demolition exercise.

But the eight aggrieved traders claimed they were not given keys to any of the cubicles before the demolition as directed by the court on November 8, last year.

In their statement of response, the second respondent, the Metropolitan Chief Executive and the other three, contended that they fulfilled all the conditions given by the court before carrying out the demolition exercise.

They claimed they gave keys to all the eight applicants, except that three of them refused to accept the allocation letters.

Giving the judgement, the judge said the action of the applicants to file a motion of contempt and non-compliance on the eve of the execution of the demolition exercise was ineffective, and that the applicants could have dealt directly with the respondents without going to court, looking at the timeframe.

Mr. Harry Hayford, counsel for the second respondent,  prayed the court to award GH¢2,000 cost against each of the applicants for wasting the court’s time,  but the presiding judge,  Justice Dapaah, instead  awarded GH¢500 against each of them.

It is recalled that on Wednesday, September 24, 2014, eight aggrieved Kotokuraba traders filed a motion of stay of execution against the demolition of the market scheduled for Wednesday October 1, 2014.

In their statement of claim, the traders alleged among others that, cubicles in the temporary market were too small, made with inferior materials, too warm, not human-friendly and inconvenient for business.

In the course of proceedings, Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, the Omanhen of Oguaa traditional area, prayed the court for a possible   out-of-court settlement which was granted, but was unable to settle the case amicably at his palace.

The matter was subsequently brought to court for full trial, at the end of which the court gave an order for the demolition of the market based on the afore-mentioned conditions.



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