The Chief Justice, Ani Yeboah and key figures manning Ghana's judiciary, must be having sleepless nights over what looks like a possible collision course with the nation's Parliament, as well as the Presidency, following contempt charges slapped on Kennedy Agyapong for publicly insulting and threatening a High Court judge.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong, is a friend and financier of President Akufo-Addo, and they belong to the same political party; the New Patriotic Party (NPP)and had made political gains from the jailing of the infamous Montie 3 over a contempt case filed in the run up to 2016 election.
Ken Agyapong's attack on the judiciary, according to a High Court Judge, Sulemana Issifu, is worse than the Montie 3 which sent Salifu Maase alias Mugabe, Alistair Nelson and Godwin Ako Gunn to jail, while the owners of the radio station; Harry Zakour, AtoAhwoi, Edward Addo, Kwesi Kyei Atuah and Kwesi Bram Addo, were fined various sums.
High Court Judge, Sulemana Issifu, argues that Mr Agyapong's case is graver, especially being a conduct from a lawmaker.
Indeed, the case has left many asking, whether Ken Agyapong, who is standing for election on the ticket of the NPP, could be committed to prison if found guilty or merely made to pay a fine and walk away because of his status as an MP?
Others have also tried to know whether President Akufo-Addo, could grant a Presidential pardon if his party man, friend and financier is convicted just like President John Dramani Mahama in 2016 months into their jail term, but got lashed by ordinary Ghanaians, civil society organizations, among others for disrespecting the judiciary.
President Mahama, had at the time bowed to severe pressure from supporters of the then ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) in petitions and vigils at Radio Gold, where Montie was located.
However, many agree that setting Ken Agyapong free unpunished, will not bode well for the image of the judiciary, particularly when he makes laws for the ordinary citizens to respect.
Kennedy Agyapong, had on the Seat Show of Net 2 TV on Wednesday, September 2, 2020, five times described the High Court Judge as "stupid" for granting an injunction against him without conducting any due diligence.
The MP, said he has a vendetta against such judges in the country who abuse their power in their line of duty.
Agyapong's apparent anger, insults and threats against such judges stems from what he held to be baseless issuance of injunctions, especially when it comes to land disputes adjudications.
"Listen to the reason why I am angry. The lawyer wrote the thing on August 5, and the judge scheduled appearance on August 13. I didn't get anything from them; then on September 1, you granted an injunction on the property. You are a stupid judge; I will face you. You are a stupid judge. 18 years that I've had the land nobody served me and then I get called and told that an injunction has been placed on it. You are a stupid judge," he declared.
He added, "You think I fear someone? I am not like Anas who will take a bribe from you. I will deal with you…nobody served me anything. I didn't know what was going on. Then all of a sudden you say I should not go to the land. You are an animal of a judge."But the High Court Judge, Sulemana Issifu, who has since petitioned the Chief Justice over the matter, said, "Your Lordship, that, Mr Agyapong's conduct is graver in scope and impact than the infamous 'Montie 3'. This is because of the influence he wields and the coverage of the channel on which he made these dangerous comments compared to the 'Montie 3' in these respects."
The Herald has sighted an "Order to appear in court" issued by another High Court judge, Justice Amos Wuntah J, of the High Court, Land Division in Accra dated 9th September 2020 and signed by one Issahaku Musah, a registrar asking Kennedy Agyapong, will appear before court on Monday 14th September 2020 at 10:00, to show cause why he should not be severely punished for Contempt, if the matter are proven against him to the satisfaction of the court".
The case in question is between Susan Bando of No. 64 Patrice Lumumba Road Airport Residential Area, Accra Christopher Akuetteh Kotei as the plaintiffs against Ibrahim Jajah, Nana Yaw Duodu alias Sledge, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong and the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the defendants.
The order read; whereas the attention of the High Court (Land Court 12) has been drawn to a Television and Radio programme allegedly aired on NET 2 TV and OMAN FM Stattions on 2nd September 2020at or around 9:00 pm in which KENNEDY OHENE AGYAPONG, 3rd Defendant herein, allegedly scandalized and threatened this Court in this case, pending before this Court in a manner which is proven against him amount to Contempt of Court".
"I HEREBYSUMMON the said KENNEY OHENE AGYAPONG per a Warrant issued under my Hand and Seal to appear before the High Court (Land Court 12) on Monday,14th September 2020 at 10:00 to show cause why he should not be severely punished for Contempt, if the matter are proven against him to the satisfaction of the court".
Since the order issued Assin Central MP, has adopted the style of the Montie 3 by rendering an unqualified apology to the Chief Justice, Judges, and Magistrates Association of Ghana after referring to judges as 'foolish'.
In a letter dated September 8, 2020, sighted by The Herald, the NPP MP apologized to Judges in Ghana, adding that he "believes in our judicial system and can never denigrate its integrity."
Parts of his statement read, "…upon sober reflection, "I have come to the realization that without prejudice to the substantive case, my expression about the court's opinion was harsh thus I find it necessary to render an unqualified apology without reservation whatsoever to the Honourable Chief Justice, Judges and Magistrates and any individual who have been offended by my uncomplimentary comments."
"Thus prior to the publication of this letter, I have appeared on the same platform on 7th day of September 2020 and rendered same apology to the Hon. Chief Justice, Judges, and Magistrates."
"I must conclude that I strongly believe in our judicial system and can never denigrate its integrity. Indeed I was set free by the court when I was charged with treason in 2012."
The letter addressed to Chief Justice and copied one Justice Frank Aboadwe Rockson said in full, "I am writing this apology letter in my capacity as Ghanaian and Member of Parliament for the Assin Central Constituency of the Central Region of the Republic of Ghana.
Respectively, I have been sued as Defendant in the case titled Emmanuel Mompi and 2 ORS vs Hon. Kennedy Ohene Agyapong (Suit No. LD/1028/2020).
Subsequent to the Suit, an order was made against me without my knowledge which made me very furious and angry, thus causing me to express my dismay and anger towards the Court Order on a live television programme called 'The Hot Seat' on Net 2 television station on the 2nd day of September, 2020.
However, upon sober reflection, I have come to the realization that without prejudice to the substantive case, my expression about the court's opinion was harsh, thus I find it necessary to render unqualified apology without any reservation or whatsoever to the Honorable Chief Justice, Judges and Magistrate and any individual who have been offended by my uncomplimentary comments.
Thus prior to the publication of this letter, I have appeared on the same platform on the 7th day of September, 2020 and rendered same apology to the Hon. Chief Justice, Judges and Magistrates.
I must conclude that, I strongly believe in our judicial system and can never denigrate its integrity.
Indeed I was set free by the court when I was charged with treason in 2012".