Supreme Court Flays Lower Courts over undue Delays of Cases

The Supreme Court (Civil Division) has expressed misgivings about what it termed undue delay of cases before them that lead to needless litigations.

The Court could not contend how a simple application like a mandamus should take more than five (5) years before it could see the light of the day. “Is it not regrettable that a simple application like this mandamus should take more than five years to see the light of the day?”, the court wondered.

These misgivings came to the fore via proceedings of the court as it sat on January 26, 2021.

With suit No J5/9/21, the court sat on the case, “The Republic Vrs the High Court Tema, with Nana Kwandoh Brempong III, Nana Kwaw Amoah II and Nana Ampong Kwesi II (applicants as ex-parte). Also, the National House of Chiefs and Odeneho Akrofa Krukoko II served as interested Parties.

In the said case, counsel for Odeneho Krukoko is seeking an application for mandamus from the Sekondi High Court but that has been lingering on, for the past five years without success.

“During this five year period, the parties have had to pursue interlocutory appeal processes from the High Court via the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court on two occasions. It should also be noted that the parties and their counsel should spare the communities from which the parties come, the agony of embarking upon another set of needless litigation” the court observed.

While granting the success of the appeal, the court ruled further that, “The case is remitted to the High Court for the substantive application of the Mandamus to be heard and its merits. We are in 2021 and the same application for mandamus and its related matters are still lingering on, and lawyers are satisfied and parties have abandoned the case in the Western Region, and have now sought refuge in the Tema High Court. We do not understand all these things. In the final analysis it is the communities that suffer!” the court indicated.

Prior to this observation and ruling, Presiding Judge Dotse JSC had to point out, “I just want to draw your attention to an advice I gave the parties in this case. On the 2nd of December, 2009, it is reported in 2010, Supreme Court of Ghana Law reports; The Republic Vrs. Republic no. 2, National House of Chiefs, Odeneho Akrofa Krukoko II, Enamel VI, Interested Party no.2 it is Supreme Court of Ghana Law Report (SCGLR), page 134. I gave my advice at the end of my opinion on page 181.

The court had the following Justices sitting on that case, that day, Tuesday, 26th January, 2021: V.J.M. Dotse, A.M.A Dordzie (Mrs). I. O. Tanko Amadu, Prof H. J. A. N. Mensah – Bonsu (Mrs) and E.Y. Kulendi, all Justices of the Supreme court, with Dotse JSC as the Presiding Judge.

By S O Ankamah

 

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