Wild Blay Storms Court …Accuses CHRAJ Of Playing Politics
Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party, Freddie Worsemao Blay made his first appearance in an Accra High Court yesterday in a contempt case brought against him by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).
CHRAJ had dragged Mr. Blay who is also the Board, Chair of the National Petroleum Company (GNPC) before the court inviting it to commit the respondent for contempt for failing to honnour an invitation to appear before the anti-graft body.
The Coalition for Social Justice, filed a petition with CHRAJ in July 2018 asking CHRAJ to investigate Mr. Blay for the procurement of the vehicles.
But there appears to be some hide and seek game between CHRAJ and the NPP Chairman.
CHRAJ had claimed that Mr. Blay even refused to honour subpoenas but the politician has rejected all the accusation and launched his own, accusing CHRAJ of playing politics.
The respondent had among other things claimed that he had not been invited and dared the Commission to arrest him if it believes he breached the law.
CHRAJ subsequently proceeded to the High Court to cite the former First Deputy Speaker of Parliament for contempt asking for prison custody if he is found guilty.
Appearing in court yesterday with a sizeable crowd of loyalists and lawyers after weeks of his supposed disappearance, the former Ellembele MP, insists has been in the country.
The court presided over by Justice George Koomson has set July 24, 2019 to deliver its ruling whether or not Mr. Blay is guilty of contempt.
The court also gave the parties 14 days to file their written addresses.
Lawyer for the applicant, Bete Duku said he has two preliminary legal objections to raise the first being that Mr. Blay has filed an affidavit in opposition to the case.
She said CHRAJ has not been able to serve Mr. Blay with the court documents, a position the judge wondered if it was relevant in view of the fact that Mr. Blay has filed his opposition to the case although he (Blay) has not been officially served.
In a three page affidavit in opposition to the motion filed by Nana Obiri Boahen, lawyer for the NPP National Chairman, he said his attention has been drawn to myriads of publications online news portals, newspapers among others concerning the case adding that as at the time of repairing his affidavit in opposition to the case, he has not been served with the processes by CHRAJ.
It said the application for committal for contempt as filed by CHRAJ “is fatally and procedurally incompetent”.
The affidavit in opposition to the case further argued that there is no proper evidence directly or remotely that he has been personally swerved with any process from the court.
Mr. Blay’s lawyer maintained that his client has not “exhibited any conduct contemptuous of the court or CHRAJ” or “maligned, disrespected, insulted, disobeyed any directives, orders, instructions of CHRAJ”.
In his view, the instant case before the court “does not and cannot meet the standard of nay proper application for attachment for contempt”
Mr. Blay told journalists that reports claiming he is missing are only laughable.
He said he has a house, an office and that he has been all over the place.
“I am in this country, I am not running away, I am not a fugitive of justice; if they want us to talk about buses, they should come.”
He added: “they have made it seem as if Freddie Blay is corrupt, I am ready for them.”
CHRAJ attached to their application the certificate of service of document and letters as evidence. A letter dated August 20, 2018, was entrusted to the registrar of the court, on August 23, 2018, to serve Mr. Blay.
The covering letter required Mr. Blay’s comment on the substance of the complaint filed but on August 23, 2018, they delivered the document first to the NPP National Headquarters.
Also, on September 25, 2018, another letter on the subject dated September 24, 2018, was handed to the registrar who said it was delivered to the Daily Guide office.
Although he met Mr. Blay’s absence, he handed it over to the receptionist, Irene Anokye, who promised to deliver the letter to Mr. Blay.