Contempt case against Stellar Logistics suffers another delay

The judge hearing proceedings on a contempt case brought against Stellar Logistics and its management by four residents of Sekondi-Takoradi has expressed his frustration at the manner in which a case that could have commenced earlier had to suffer further adjournment.

Justice Edward Amoako Asante said he was not going to tolerateany more adjournments stressing that he could rule on the case without hearingarguments from counsels of both sides.

He made the statement when counsel for the plaintiffs, Anthony Matthews told the court he was yet to receive an affidavitin opposition from one of the respondents and was also in the process of filing a response at the time the court was sitting.

Counsel for the respondents told the court that all the processes had been served on the plaintiffs’ counsel and there was a proof of service to that effect.

The judge also confirmed that all the processes were on his dockets and that he was ready to go ahead with the case.

Justice Edward Amoako Asante adjourned the case to the 28th of October, 2015. But before he deferred the case, he warned that he would give his final ruling on the contempt case on the said date irrespective of whether all processes have been filed or not.

On the last adjourned date of 25th June, 2015 Justice Amoako Asante directed lawyers for both parties to file all the necessary court documents to enable it hear all the legal submissions to enable him rule on the matter on July 16, 2015.

Four residents of Sekondi-Takoradi brought an action of contempt against the respondents for supposedly disobeying a High Court order restraining the company from removing Ammonium Nitrate under their care.

The plaintiffs alleged that the company loaded several trucks of Ammonium Nitrate from their facilities whilst the injunction was in place, an action the plaintiffs deemed contemptuous.

As a result, the plaintiffs Professor Kofi Blay, Hon. Joseph Badu-Ansah, Madam Joana Quayson and James Paa Kwow Pyne petitioned the court regarding the actions of the respondents in view of a restraining order that had been served them; and that the court should take action against the respondents.

The four plaintiffs in the case had earlier filed a motion at another High Court praying it to declare that the respondents had been reckless and negligent, as well as breached its duty of care in the handling and storage of Ammonium Nitrate.

The respondents maintain that they have all the necessary evidence to prove that although they did load eleven 3rd party vehicles, this process and their contractual obligations were completed before they were served with the restraining order by the High Court.

Counsels for the respondents have always maintained that their handling and storage of Ammonium Nitrate has received the approval from the EnvironmentalProtection Agency (EPA) and the Minerals Commission, the two government institutions who have responsibility for the safe storage and handling of Ammonium Nitrate in the country.

According to the management of Stellar Logistics Limited they have always acted with professionalism and in accordance all relevant laws and regulations surrounding the storage and handling of Ammonium Nitrate under its care, for over a decade.

The counsels of Stellar Logistics Limited maintain the case has no merit, is unfounded, baseless and has questioned the motives behind the plaintiffs’ actions.

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