Obengfo pleads with High court to halt proceeding at lower court

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    By Joyce Danso, GNA    

    Accra, Aug. 30, GNA – An Accra High Court will
    on September 7, rule on an application, whether or not to stay proceedings
    against Dr Dominic Obeng-Andoh, Chief Executive Officer of Obengfo Hospital in
    Weija at an Accra Circuit Court.

    The court presided over by Mr Justice Abdullah
    Iddirsu, fixed the date for ruling after counsel for Dr Obeng-Andoh aka Obengfo
    had moved a motion on notice to stay proceedings at the Circuit Court against
    his client, on Thursday.

    The State led by Mr Ashong Okine, a Senior
    Attorney with the Attorney General’s Department opposed the motion in his
    response.

    Dr Obeng-Andoh is before an Accra Circuit
    Court for allegedly practicing without licence and operating an unlicensed
    health facility without lawful authority. He has pleaded not guilty and is on
    bail.

    He is also being held at a District Court over
    the murder of Ms Stacy Offei Darko, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of National
    Youth Entrepreneurial Innovation Programme at the Presidency, who allegedly
    died at his health facility following a cosmetic surgery.

    Moving the motion on notice for stay of
    proceedings, Nana Kofi Berkoe, who held the brief of Dr Maurice Ankrah, argued
    that, the Ghana Medical and Dental Council (GMDC) was not mandated under the
    law to close the facility on the basis that a medical doctor in charge of a
    facility was operating without a license.

    Nana Berkoe said the body mandated lawfully to
    shut down a facility is the Health Facility Regulatory Agency, under Section 2
    of Act 829 of the Health Institution and Facilities Act, 2009.

    According to counsel for Obengfo, GMDC could
    only close down a health facility on the suspicion that a medical doctor was
    storing hazardous material in a facility.

    Counsel further argued that the case pending
    at the Circuit Court was in “Bad faith” because the complainant in the matter
    is the GMDC and the council was aware of the suit at the High Court yet it went
    ahead to lodge a complaint against Obengfo at the Circuit Court.

    “My Lord the outcome of the suit before the
    Circuit Court would be gravely pre-judicial to the proceedings at the High
    court. This is because the standard of proof in the civil trial at the High
    Court is on the preponderance of probabilities…. we will have to point to the
    judgement of the circuit Court in case the applicant (Dr Obeng-Ando) is found
    guilty,” he said.

    Nana Berkoe contended that the Council has
    only engaged in “foreign Shopping” and it sought to use the coercive powers of
    the state against Obengfo.

    “We pray the court to stop the unlawful
    prosecution of the applicant in the interest of justice and fairness,” counsel
    stressed.

    Mr Ashong Okine, a Senior Attorney with the
    Attorney General Department, vehemently opposed to the motion saying that it
    was “frivolous, baseless and unmeritorious”.

    Mr Okine held that the two suits before the
    court were mutually exclusive with distinct suit numbers, adding that, in
    instances where the matters were the same, both suit could go concurrently.

    According to him, the motion to stay proceeding
    was also without any legal basis and same was not supported by any principle of
    law.

    “It is clear that the case before the Circuit
    Court is criminal whiles the other one before the High Court is a civil
    litigation,” Mr Okine explained.

    The Senior Attorney recounted that the matter
    before the High Court was about the capacity of the GMDC and the one before the
    Circuit Court was about the conduct of the accused person.

    Obengfo has filed another motion praying for
    the release of his passport. That motion is expected to be heard later.

    GNA

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