There was drama at the High Court in Bolgatanga last Friday (March 10, 2023) when two persons who attempted to influence the acting Supervising High Court Judge, Justice Alexander Graham, were convicted by the court.
The drama unfolded at the High Court Two in Bolgatanga.
The two who are influential people in Bolgatanga had gone into the chambers of the judge in an attempt to influence him.
The judge handed them over to the court warrant officer for arrest, and in the open court moments later, Justice Alexander Graham asked the two to repeat exactly what they had told him in chambers.
The two, Chief of Baare, Naab Nyakora Mantii and Richard Sunday Yinbil, were convicted after they pleaded guilty to contempt.
The court found them guilty of contempt and accordingly made them sign a six-months bond to be of good behaviour at the Upper East Regional Police Command before they were released.
This was after about 12 lawyers who were in court for various cases at the same court pleaded with the court to pardon them and not hand them a custodial sentence.
Events leading to conviction
The events leading to their conviction as narrated in court were that on Friday before the commencement of proceedings at the court, the two persons sought permission from the court clerks to see the judge in chamber for a private conversation which was duly granted.
The court heard that after entering the judge's chamber and being granted audience, they duly identified themselves that they had been sent to deliver a message to him.
They then informed Justice Graham that they were sent by a chief in the area, to invite him [judge] to his palace for him to properly explain to his understanding a number of mining-related cases from the area which are currently pending before the court.
The Presiding Judge realised that the action by the two persons was contemptuous since many mining cases were before the court he was presiding for determination.
While considering the action of the accused persons as entrapment to tilt his judgement towards a certain direction, he quickly walked out and ordered their arrest.
After that, they were charged with contempt and hauled before the court to tell the court what transpired between them and Justice Graham privately.
The two did not utter a word about what they had told the judge in chamber in the fully packed courtroom.
As a result, Justice Graham told the open court what the two persons had told him in his chamber.
Lawyers plead for clemency
Knowing the implications of the action by the two persons, the lawyers, in turns, pleaded with the judge not give them a custodial sentence.
The lawyers took turns to acknowledge that the action by the two was contempt of court, which offenders can be given a prison sentence, they however pleaded that they should be forgiven and not be handed custodial sentence they openly admitted their wrong in court.
According to them, the open rebuke of the accused persons in court was enough and that they were first time offenders as well.
After listening to the lawyers, Justice Graham, while delivering his judgement warned the public to desist from visiting judges in an attempt to get favourable outcomes.
"You are hereby convicted of contempt and directed to sign a six-months bond to be of good behaviour," Justice Graham said.
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