Joy FM subpoenaed

Mr. Godred Yeboah-DameAn Accra based radio station and a subsidiary of Multi Media Company, Joy FM, has been subpoenaed to appear in Accra High Court to tender tapes in which Mr. David Annan, a lawyer, was purported to have made contemptuous remarks against the verdict of a Fast Track High Court.

The order for subpoena was issued after Mr. Godred Yeboah-Dame counsel for Western Publications, publishers of Daily Guide, who filed an application for contempt of court against Annan told the trial judge, Justice A. Agbloyom that he needed the radio station to tender the original tape to the court.

Mr. Annan was alleged to have on February 28 2009, said on tape after Daily Guide won a defamation case initiated by the current Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni that the defendants in the case knew the outcome of the judgment even before it was delivered.

However the respondent, Mr. Annan, who denied saying anything defamatory on air during a “News file” programme, argued counsel for the applicant did not have any grounds for the action he had taken and said Dame should have put everything in place even before the commencement of the contempt application.

The respondent who insisted on being served a copy of the subpoena also objected to the action of the Mr. Dame could not have made such a request since he had not moved the application.

Counsel for Western Publications explained that he wanted the tape to be tendered by the radio station since they had the original one and whatever was said on it can be said to be authentic.

The case has been adjourned to May 19, 2009 for further hearing.

In their affidavit in support of the application for contempt sworn by their counsel, Mr. Dame stated that on the said date on “News File” and whilst purporting to analyse the effect of the judgment on the Mumuni case “the respondent made certain explicit, categorical and definitive statements hugely scandalous of this court which sought to bring the administration of justice into disrepute”.

He said there was no gainsaying that the judgment, until it was handed down in court, was in the bosom and sole knowledge of the judge, so  for a practicing lawyer to assert that he (Dame) knew the contents of the verdict before it was delivered, further imputed collusion and connivance between he and that particular judge.

According to him, the comments of Annan were intended to denigrate the value of judgment of the court and noted that the respondent who is a lawyer refused to check his facts before making them.

The lawyer said the refusal of his learned colleague to acknowledge the foregoing facts and his staunch endeavour to mislead the public on a radio station, clearly evidenced his intention to scandalize the court and denigrate the judgment of the court.

Mr. Dame observed, “Mr. Annan who is highly offensive to the administration of justice ought to be penalised by incarceration for contempt of court in order to preserve public confidence in the administration of justice”.  

By Fidelia Achama