GIL Board Chair Cited For Contempt

The Chairman of the Board of the Ghana Institute of Languages (GIL), Dr Mawuli Adjei, will on Tuesday, September 15, 2015, appear before the Human Rights Division of the High Court to purge himself of contempt charges. The action, which was instituted by three lecturers of the GIL, is calling on the court to imprison Dr Adjei to uphold the dignity and sanctity of the justice system. Joined in the action are the Director of the GIL, Dr John Rex Amuzu Gadzekpo and a lawyer, Mr Kofi Kukubor. The initiators of the action are Messrs Iddrisu Yakubu, Kelly Y. Gavor and Pius K. Bito. The court, had on June 5, 2015, given a ruling on an ex-parte motion restraining Dr Adjei from going ahead with the appointment of Dr Gadzekpo as director of the institute pending the outcome of a substantive case challenging his appointment. Stay of execution denied However, on June 11, 2015, Dr Adjei and Dr Gadzekpo filed a notice of appeal against the restraining order and further filed an application for stay of execution pending appeal. On July 17, 2015, however, the application for stay of execution was dismissed. Affidavit An affidavit in support of the motion for an order for contempt said on August 4, 2015, a durbar was called for all staff of the GIL at which Dr Gadzekpo and his lawyer, Mr Kukubor, were present. At the said durbar, Mr Kukubor addressed the gathering and informed the staff that he had filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal in respect of the restraining order and that by virtue of that application, the restraining order by the high court was no longer binding. That, Mr Kukubor said, was because the rules of the court of appeal were different from the high court and, therefore, the restraining order and the dismissal of the stay of execution had become ineffective. In view of that, he said, Dr Gadzekpo was to resume work from August 4, 2015. Thereafter, the affidavit said, Dr Gazekpo, in disregard of the court’s order, resumed work as director of the GIL. “The conduct of the respondents undermines the administration of justice and the sanctity of the court and that respondents’ conduct is intentional and aimed at disrespecting and disregarding the solemn orders of this honourable court, especially so, when all the respondents are well educated and understand the consequences of their actions. “This is an appropriate case for this honourable court to punish respondents by imprisonment,” the affidavit maintained. Substantive case In the substantive case, the three lecturers averred in their statement of claim that in March 2010, the board of the GIL contracted Dr Gadzekpo as director of the school. According to the statement, in October, 2014, while his term was still subsisting, the board chairman, Dr Adjei, wrote to the Minister of Education seeking clearance to engage some proposed persons, including Dr Gadzekpo, as contract staff for the institute. It said in view of that the plaintiffs caused their solicitor to write a petition to the board chairman drawing his attention to the subsistence of the contract involving Dr Gadzekpo and the anomaly of subsuming the subsisting contract under another one. They also drew attention to the fact that Dr Gadzekpo, in the performance of his contract, had caused financial and economic loss to them specifically and a steep decline in the stature of the institute as a tertiary institution in the eyes of its patrons but nothing was done. “Defendant’s attitude towards plaintiffs petition clearly implied that instead of appointing a substantive director after the expiration of the contract of the current director as was originally intended, defendant intends to use inappropriate means to wrongfully impose Dr Gadzekpo on the institute in disregard of plaintiffs’ interests in particular and that of the institute in general,” the statement said. Reliefs The plaintiffs have, therefore, prayed the court to declare the intended extension or the re-contracting of Dr Gadzekpo as wrongful, irregular and contrary to established norms and practices. They are also asking for an order directed at the board chairman and the board to revert to the public search for and appointment of a director after the expiration of Dr Gadzekpo’s contract. Furthermore, the three lecturers are calling for a perpetual injunction restraining the board chairman from going ahead with the proposed extension of the contract or the re-contracting of Dr Gadzekpo.