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Attorney-General drags Power FM journalist to court for contempt

The Attorney-General (A-G) has dragged a journalist with Accra-based Power FM to court following comments he made against some justices of the Supreme Court.

The A-G has asked the Accra High Court to commit Oheneba Boamah Bennie to prison for making false claims against President-elect Akufo-Addo and 8 justices of the Supreme Court, including the Chief Justice.

“The respondent’s (Bennie) contumacious comments were absolutely false, as neither the Chief Justice nor any judge had either been to the Jubilee House or met anywhere with the President of Ghana following the declaration of the results of the presidential election.

The Attorney-General further explained that the said publication was “clearly intended to undermine public confidence in the Judiciary and administration of justice in Ghana generally, as well as court contempt and disaffection for the courts.”

This comes few days after the journalist was arrested and released by the CID following his publication of a video on his Facebook wall.

Oheneba in the video levelled various allegations against President Akufo-Addo including a claim that he had met with 8 justices of the Supreme Court, led by the Chief Justice, and had influenced them.

In the video published on Facebook, Mr Bennie stated that President used the supposed meeting to influence the Justices of the apex court to rule in his favour in the event of any election petition challenging his re-election as declared by the EC.

He further alleged to have urged Ghanaians not allow the Justices of the Supreme Court to destroy the country.

He also called on the military to stage a coup d’etat to register their displeasure over the EC’s declaration of President Akufo-Addo as president-elect.

He was invited and later arrested by the CID over the claims, but later released following the intervention of his lawyer, Francis Xavier Sosu.

Subsequently, he has now been dragged to an Accra High Court for contempt of court on grounds that the comment was aimed at causing disaffection for the Supreme Court.

The Attorney-General in an affidavit to support the application of contempt stated that the comment is a compromise on the powers of the Supreme Court and the Judiciary as a whole, and further undermines the independence of the Judiciary such that Mr Bennie, through the publication has created an impression as though the Judiciary cannot act unless with a directive from the presidency.

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