Court throws out contempt case against Freddie Blay
National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Freddie Blay, has been acquitted and discharged of contempt charges brought against him by the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) by an Accra High Court.
The court which was presided over by Justice George Koomson, determined that CHRAJ did not present before it, proof of it’s writs,subpoenaing Freddie Blay to court. Justice George Koomson questioned why the Commission did not serve Mr. Blay in his office at the GNPC.
CHRAJ contested that, on July 6, 2018 the Coalition of Social Justice brought a formal complaint, requesting the Commission to investigate Mr. Blay for corruption in respect of his role in the purchase of 275 buses for the 275 constituencies of the ruling party, the NPP.
CHRAJ says after determining that it had the constitutional mandate to investigate the matter, it commenced investigations and subsequently wrote to Mr. Blay on August 20, 2018.
In it’s motion in court, CHRAJ stated that on August 20, 2018, it wrote to the respondent to submit his comments on the allegation “within 10 working days, unless he admits to the allegations”.
“The said letter was duly delivered to the respondent but he failed, refused/and or neglected to oblige the commission with his comments as requested,” it stated.
Subsequent to this, CHRAJ says it wrote a second letter on September 24, 2019, “reminding the respondent to submit his comments and extended the time to Friday, October 5, 2018 for him to submit his comments”.
According to the motion, Mr. Blay ignored this letter too.
On January 21, 2019, CHRAJ subpoenaed Mr. Blay to produce certain documents before it by Monday, January 28, 2019. This motion was also ignored according to CHRAJ.
CHRAJ says when this motion was also ignored by the respondent, it wrote a third latter on April 11, 2019, giving him a final reminder to present the documents before the committee.
Again, Mr. Blay did not respond, according to the motion.
“The respondent, by his conduct, has demonstrated that he has no respect for the law and will not obey the lawful request of the commission unless compelled by the authority of this honourable court,” CHRAJ stated in its motion.
However in it’s ruling, the court determined that CHRAJ did not provide substantial evidence of serving Mr. Blay the writ of subpoena, asking him to appear before it. Freddie Blay has subsequently been acquitted and discharged.