Court dismisses contempt application against Kumasi Club chairman

The High Court, Kumasi, has dismissed an application for contempt brought against the chairman of the Kumasi Club Limited, Richard Owusu Nyarko.

The application was brought by two members of the club, Francis Oppong and John Nketia.

They sought an order for committal of the respondent for bringing the administration of justice into disrepute by his wanton, deliberate, wilful acts of disregarding a pending action in court.

Formed over 100 years ago, the Kumasi Club is the oldest existing social club in Kumasi with membership cutting across various professionals. 

The applicants, in their motion, stated that the respondent deliberately and wilfully ignored a pending action and filed an action describing himself as chairman of the Management Committee of the cClub and also attended a gathering where he described himself in same words.

They, therefore, prayed the court to slam him with the contempt of court.

Nyarko, in his affidavit in opposition, averred that he was not served with any motion on notice for injunction seeking to restrain him from holding himself out as the chairman of the Kumasi Club Limited, and therefore the application was filed in bad faith and showed an attempt to bully him.

In its ruling, the judge, Justice Francis Obiri said the court determined two issues namely whether or not the respondent was served with the injunction application filed by the applicants to restrain him from holding himself out as the chairman of the Kumasi Club Limited and whether or not the respondent did anything to show disregard or disrespect or to impugn the integrity of the court by doing what the injunction was seeking to restrain him from doing.

On the plaintiffs’ assertion that the respondent referred to himself as chairman of the Management Committee of the Kumasi Club, the judge said, “In my humble view, I do not think being referred to as chairman of the management committee of the Kumasi Club is the same as chairman of the Kumasi Club Limited.”

He said the applicant failed to lead any cogent evidence or proof as to whether the two descriptions referred to the same person and it was not the duty of the court to conjecture or speculate as such,” he said.

Furthermore, the judge said, “It was crucial for the applicant to prove beyond reasonable doubt that an injunction application was served on the respondents.

This is even more crucial when the respondent has vehemently denied being served with any interlocutory injunction. “

“It is, therefore, my opinion that the applicants application failed to meet the standard of proof beyond reasonable doubt as required under Section 13 of the Evidence Act 1975 (NRCD 323),” the judge said.

He said the courts should not be pushed to convict for contempt where the guilt of the respondent has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt by the applicant.

“My conclusion is that, the applicants’ application crumbled to the ground and same is dismissed,” the judge said.

By Times Reporter

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