Freddie Blay Buses Saga: CHRAJ In ‘Bizzare’ Court Moves

Freddie Blay leaving the Court Complex in Accra yesterday

In a ‘bizarre’ turn of events, lawyers for the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) have taken issues with the National Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Freddie Blay, for responding to their contempt application although they have not officially served him.

Lawyers for the commission had proceeded to an
Accra High Court claiming Mr. Blay was avoiding them in their attempt to serve
him.

CHRAJ had filed a motion at the court to commit
Mr. Blay for contempt after they claimed he failed to respond to several
requests from the commission to provide it with information about the 275 buses
he donated to his party’s constituencies ahead of the NPP delegates’ conference
in July 2018.

They attached documents alleging that the NPP
chairman had received the motion but ‘failed’, ‘refused’ and or ‘neglected’ to
oblige the commission with his comments as requested and subsequently urged the
court to hold Mr. Blay in contempt.

However, the court, presided over by Justice
George Koomson, urged the lawyers for CHRAJ for serving Mr.  Blay in his home, when it came to his notice that
they had only tried serving him with the summons to appear before them at his
various offices.

Blay
Action

Although CHRAJ could not serve Mr. Blay as
directed by the court, the NPP Chairman went ahead to obtain a copy of the
application and subsequently filed an affidavit in opposition.

However, this did not go down well with lawyers
for CHRAJ who made abjection to it when the case was called yesterday.

CHRAJ
Objection

Appearing before the court yesterday, Bede Tuuku,
who represented the commission, told the court that he had two preliminary
objections to the affidavit in opposition filed by lawyers for Mr. Blay led by
Nana Obiri Boahen.

The first objection was why Mr. Blay had filed
affidavit in opposition when he had not been served, and the second being Mr.
Blay’s averment that it was his lawyers who applied for photocopies of the
court, as his application for copies has still not been met.

Judge’s
Intervention

The presiding judge, however, wondered how that
could be a ground for a preliminary objection when they had earlier claimed
that they were finding it difficult to serve him in person and creating the
impression that the NPP Chairman was evading service.

Justice Koomson told the lawyer to “thank God”
that Mr. Blay has done his (lawyer’s) work for him by filing an opposing
affidavit although he had not been served.

Blay Affidavit

In his affidavit in opposition, Mr. Blay averred
that he had not been served by any processes emanating from the court of CHRAJ
but “ironically, the impression has been wrongly created in the minds of the
whole world that I am running away from justice.”

He averred that the application is “incurably
flawed” and “procedurally incompetent” as there is no proper evidence “directly
or remotely that I have been personally served with any processes from the
applicant’s office.”

The NPP Chairman added that he had not looked
down upon CHRAJ neither had he disobeyed any directives, orders nor
instructions of the commission

Final Judgment

Meanwhile, the court has ordered both parties to
simultaneously file their written submission in 14 days.

The court will give its judgment on July 24 to determine whether or not Mr. Blay should be held for contempt.

BY Gibril Abdul Razak

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