SC quashes bench warrant against King Tackie Adama Latse II

A five-member panel of the Supreme Court (SC) has quashed the bench warrant issued by an Accra high court against King Tackie Adama Latse II, the Ga Mantse.

On January 13, 2020, the Human Rights Division of the Accra High Court presided by Justice Abodakpi issued a warrant for the arrest of the Ga King, who was in London for medical treatment.

The high court issued the warrant against King Adama Latse because he did not seek the court’s permission before leaving the jurisdiction.  

Displeased by the decision of the court, his counsel, Mr Bright Akwetey filed a motion on notice to invoke the supervisory jurisdiction of the apex court and argued King Adama Latse’s condition deteriorated and was advised by his doctor to see another doctor in London.

Mr Akwetey contended in his affidavit that he filed an Excuse Duty form at the high court to show that his client was indisposed.

He said on December 19, 2019, when the court sat, the judge’s attention was drawn to the health condition of King Adama Latse and the case was adjourned to January 13, 2020.

Counsel said the court was informed that the King would return in Ghana after February 25, 2020.

On January 13, 2020 when the case was called, counsel stated that the court was again informed that applicant was still undergoing therapy in London, whereupon the judge ordered that bench warrant be issued for the arrest of King Adama Latse.

Mr Akwetey stated that the high court judge had to exercise his discretion to determine whether to wait until after February 25, 2020, for the applicant to attend court or not.

He argued that issuing a bench warrant for the arrest of the applicant was not a proper exercise of the court’s discretionary power.

Making reference to article 296 of the 1992 Constitution, Mr Akwetey argued that discretionary power is required to be used fairly and not capriciously and arbitrarily.

Mr Akwetey said unless the SC intervenes, by virtue of its supervisory jurisdiction, great embarrassment, loss of dignity and respect will be accorded the Ga Stool and the Ga Mantse, who acted based on his doctor’s advice to seek medical treatment in London.

He said it was most unjust and unfair for bench warrant to be issued for the arrest of the applicant, who had already been tried and convicted for the same offence.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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