Managing Director of the State Housing Company Limited (SHC), Kwabena Ampofo Appiah, and the Estate Manager of the company, Edward Awuah have been fined GH¢15,000 each for contempt of court.
The Accra High Court after fining the two also added that they will serve 21 days each in prison.
The Court presided over by Mr Justice Kweku T. Ackaah-Boafo found Ampofo Appiah and Awuah guilty of contempt because the SHC leased a house that was the subject matter of a legal suit to the Ablekuma West Municipal Assembly (AWMA) before the final determination of the suit.
The Court says this move by the SHC had undermined its authority and interfered with the administration of justice.
“It is my finding that despite the denial, the SHC, through the 1st and 2nd respondents (Appiah and Awuah), adopted a tactic of disposing off the property which, to my mind, was a well-orchestrated plan to end-run and undermine the court’s authority and same was, therefore, a wilful and flagrant of the court’s authority,’’ Justice Ackaah-Boafo held.
A third respondent, Mr Jacob Beechem, who is the Head of the SHC Task Force, was, however, acquitted of contempt after the court absolved him of any wrongdoing.
In the ruling that found Appiah and Awuah guilty of contempt, the court also ordered that GHc10,000 of the total fine of GHc30,000 be paid to the applicant, Mrs Patience Atta-Affram, the 74-year-old widow of Mr Francis Atta-Affram, a former employee of the SHC, to help her offset part of her legal costs.