Kweku Motey Akpadzi
The contempt application brought against three high-ranking officials of the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) could not be heard yesterday due to a mix-up in the serving of separate affidavits.
Christopher Nimako, an Accra-based businessman had brought the contempt proceeding against Kweku Motey Akpadzi, Executive Director, Edward Cudjoe, acting Head of Legal Affairs and Charles Wilcox Ofori after the respondents had arrested him for withdrawing some money from his account at the Adabraka branch of the HFC Bank on the orders of the court.
Last week, the trio had rushed to the Financial Division 2 of the Fast Track High Court to purge themselves of the contempt charges by filing a joint affidavit.
But the presiding judge, Justice John Jet-Nasam said the move was ‘procedurally wrong and incorrect for the respondents to file the joint affidavit in opposition in a contempt application.’
He wondered how EOCO officials got to know that Mr. Nimako had gone to the bank to withdraw money and suddenly marshalled forces to effect his arrest and collect the GH¢68,000 from him.
However, when the case was called yesterday, the proceedings suffered another hitch when Vincent Aikins, counsel for the applicants, told the court that they were yet to receive the separate affidavits as ordered by the court.
On the contrary, Eric Atieku, counsel for the respondents, told the court that he had filed the separate affidavits to cover every respondent in the case as ordered by the court at the last adjourned date.
This prompted the trial judge to adjourn the matter to Friday May 9.
The contempt proceeding against the three officials was prompted by a ruling by the Financial Division 2 Court on March 10, 2014, that EOCO should defreeze the accounts of Mr. Nimako at the Adabraka branch of the HFC Bank.
However, when he went to the bank on March 28, 2014, to withdraw money, Mr. Ofori (3 rd respondent) and Mr. Cudjoe (2 nd respondent) arranged with security officers of EOCO to arrest him.
According to Mr. Nimako, Mr. Ofori collected the money he had withdrawn from him without assigning any reason for it and when he (Nimako) asked the security team for their identity cards, they shouted at him amidst intimidation.
The applicant further averred that the security officers took him to the office of EOCO and subjected him to an extensive interrogation after which he was granted bail without the money.
On March 31, 2014 when he went to EOCO with his lawyer to enquire the reason for the seizure of the money, he was re-arrested and whisked to an Accra Circuit Court and prosecuted for money laundering and later granted bail.
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By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson
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