UCC VC dodges bailiff for contempt suit?


Lawyer for two construction firms praying a Cape Coast High Court to jail the Vice Chancellor (VC) of Cape Coast University (UCC) and one other for contempt has expressed his disgust at the dodgy attitude of the respondents who cannot be found for service of the contempt suit.

Charles Zwennes told The Chronicle that since his client was granted the writ of contempt suit to haul the respondents into the dock, several attempts by the bailiff to serve Professor Joseph Ghartey Ampiah, the UCC VC, and Philip Owusu Ntiw, UCC’s Director of Physical Development, have been futile as the two, Mr Zwennes said “are playing a hide-and-seek game with the bailiff.”

According to Charles Zwennes, only the Head of the Legal Section of the University, Solomon Faakye, had been served by the bailiff “but the other two are being evasive.”
The VC of UCC, Professor Joseph Ghartey Ampiah, Solomon Faakye, Head of Legal Section of the University, and Philip Ntim Owusu, the Director of Physical Development of the university have been sued by a contractor for a contempt of court.

The three have been cited for the contempt case for allegedly breaking into a controversial new School of Business block, which is a subject pending before the Cape Coast High Court.

According to a writ of summons, which was filed at the Cape Coast High Court, which The Chronicle has a copy, the Managing Director of construction firms-TACOA Construction Limited and Barony Company Limited-through his lawyer, Charles Zwennes is praying the court to convict the three respondents to prison for grossly disobeying an earlier order by the same court.

The writ of summons, E12/40/2020, was sworn on November 28, 2019, by Charles Zwennes of Gaisie Zwennes Hughes and Co, lawyer for Barony Construction Ltd and Henry Tackie-the applicants.

The applicants are praying the court “for an order to commit the respondents-Professor Joseph Ghartey Ampiah, Solomon Faakye and Philip Ntim Owusu-to prison for their contempt of the court in disobeying an order for transfer of an earlier suit to Accra to hear pending applications for mandatory injunction and the said order dated 30th October, 2019.”

The court moved on Thursday, December 12, 2019, at 9am, but the Vice Chancellor and Director of Physical Development did not appear because the bailiff could not see them to be served.

The Chronicle had earlier reported that the Management of the UCC could soon find itself in trouble for allegedly breaking into a new School of Business block it did not have to.
The facility is subject to a final determination by the Chief Justice.

The contractor refused to hand over the keys of the facility to the UCC authorities for non-payment.

As a result, the university dragged the construction firms-TACOA Construction Limited and Barony Company Limited-to a Cape Coast High Court to seek the court to compel them (contractors) to release the keys to the building executed by the firms to the university.

The High Court, on Wednesday October 30, 2019, presided over by Her Ladyship Patience Mills-Tetteh dismissed a motion to put a mandatory injunction on the firms.

Besides that, it ruled that the case be referred to Her Ladyship, the Chief Justice, for transfer to Accra.

The court, in its ruling, stated: “The order granted on the June 19, 2019 hereby vacated. Motion to notice to transfer this suit to Accra hereby granted. Registrar to refer the suit to Her Ladyship, the Chief Justice for transfer to Accra.”

But, few days after the decision by the High Court, management of the university allegedly broke into the building and started preparations to use it, pending the transfer of the case by the Chief Justice for determination.

It is in view of the alleged action by the management of the university that the construction firms have sued the UCC VC and the two others for a contempt of court, and praying it to jail the three for same.

Story By Kobina Ayisa

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