The High Court in Accra has rejected a preliminary objection by NDC’s head of legal affairs, Godwin Edudzi Tamekloe, that the Police cannot institute injunction applications against protests without authorization from the Attorney General.
Edudzi Tamekloe who is lead counsel for the NDC MPs seeking to protest against the governor of the Bank of Ghana, prayed the courts, that per dictates of Section 9(1) of the state proceedings ACT 555 and Article 88(5) of the 1992 constitution, it is only the Attorney General or an officer authorized by him that can institute civil proceedings in the name of the Republic.
It was his view that the police by instituting the action in the name of the Republic had acted without the necessary authorization anticipated by the state proceedings ACT.
Mr. Tamekloe further argued that the Police cannot rely on the fiat given to it by the Attorney General to prosecute criminal cases to institute civil proceedings in the name of the Republic.
But the court dismissed this view, on grounds that the Law Officers Act, 1972 (N.R.C.D. 279,) allows for other public officers to assist the Attorney General in the exercise of his mandate. Section 1 of the Law Officers Act, lists a number of officers including an officer of the Attorney General’s department not below the rank of a state attorney, a person appointed under section 56 of the Criminal and Other Offences ACT or any other public officer is authorized by the Attorney General, as officers that can assist the Attorney general in the exercise of his functions.
In the ruling of the court, Justice Edward Twum noted that since section 56 of the Criminal and Other Offences Act deals with the appointment of Public Prosecutors by the Attorney General through the executive instrument, “even if the application is instituted for an on behalf of the Republic, the court is of the considered view that the applicant could institute the action under Section 1(1)(C) and Section 1(2) of the Law Officers ACT.”
The court, however, determined that on the face of the documents, the application was intended to be instituted in the name of the Inspector General of Police and not in the name of the Republic.
“The application clearly was brought for and on behalf of the Inspector-General of Police for the Ghana Police Service and this intention could be deduced from the affidavit in support and the submissions by counsel for the applicant,” Justice Edward Twum said in his ruling.
The court further determined that ‘the law mandates a police officer to bring the instant application for and on behalf of the Inspector-General of the Ghana Police Service.
Justice Edward Twum however held that ‘the use of The Republic on the face of the motion paper is a mere misnomer’
“With the greatest of respect to counsel for the respondents, it is the considered view of this Court that the Applicant has not breached any legislative provisions,” Judge Edward Twum included in his ruling.
The court dismissed the preliminary legal objection and granted leave to the applicant (Police) to amend the title of the application and serve on the respondents within seven days.
The court however commended the NDC head of legal affairs, Godwin Edudze Tamekloe for exhibiting effective scrutiny and diligence.
“This court views such a high level of commitment to duty exhibited by counsel for the respondents at the Bar as commendable which no doubt would impact positively on the Junior lawyers who may be observing such proceedings. This court appreciates such commendable efforts which are geared towards the development of the law in this country,” Justice Edward Twum said while concluding his ruling.