Franklin Cudjoe battles it out Dela Coffie and Michael Dokosi

Court News: “Your application has the same chances of an ice cube in hell,” Franklin Cudjoe’s lawyer tells Daily Post in court. Judge dismisses application and award costs.

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By Brian Dzansi

courtThere was drama in the High Court yesterday when the hearing of the defamation case brought by IMANI boss, Franklin Cudjoe against Dela Coffie and Michael Dokosi (Daily Post) resumed sitting. Dela Coffie’s lawyer, Justice Sai, had filed a motion for default judgment against Franklin Cudjoe for failing to file a Defence to his Counterclaim.

Dokosi’s lawyer, David Annan, had also filed a motion for the court to compel Cudjoe to amend his Writ of Summons to, among others, include his (Dokosi’s) residential address.

When the case was called, the judge pointed out that he had seen Cudjoe’s documents on the docket. Mr. Sai then asked to withdraw his application and then asked for costs. This brought Cudjoe’s lawyer, Mr. Ace Ankomah to his feet. He argued that Coffie was not entitled to any costs because the application that had been filed was incompetent in the first place.

He said that even if it had been moved, it would have failed because it was brought under the wrong order under the Rules. Both Justice Sai and David Annan spoke in response. In his ruling, the judge struck out Coffie’s application because he had withdrawn it, and then stated that he would not award any costs, agreeing with Mr. Ankomah that the application for default judgment had been brought under the wrong rule.

Then, after a long but unsuccessful attempt to have the case stood down, Mr. Annan was compelled to move his motion. He argued that the Plaintiff, Cudjoe, should be ordered to amend his Writ because it did not state all of his client’s addresses, that it did not disclose the lawyer’s licence number, and that the plaintiff could not be represented by a law firm.

Mr. Ankomah argued in opposition to the motion, calling it “a creature unknown to the law.” He stated that it was unheard-of for a party to compel his opponent to amend his papers before the court. He also pointed out that the lawyer’s licence number was on the Statement of Claim, and that there was nothing illegal about a number of lawyers working together in a firm, representing a party in court.

In a short ruling, the judge dismissed Mr. David Annan’s application, saying that it was unmeritorious.

But there was more drama when Mr. Ankomah then asked for costs against Michael Dokosi and Daily Post. This brought Mr. Annan to his feet arguing strongly that no costs should be awarded against his client. Mr. Sai supported Mr. Annan. But in a sharp rebuttal, Mr. Ankomah insisted that costs should be awarded particularly when Dokosi filed an application that “did not even stand the chance of an ice cube in hell.”

The court awarded costs of GH¢1,000 against Dokosi, saying that it would have awarded GH¢1,500 but for Mr. Sai’s intervention.

Brian Dzansi is a freelance researcher and writer

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