The pro-National Democratic Congress (NDC) radio station presenter, who allegedly threatened the life of President Akufo-Addo during a rant on social media, has landed himself in fresh trouble.
After being detained by the police on Monday over the threats, Oheneba Boamah Bennie of ‘’ has also been cited for contempt for allegedly claiming that the Chief Justice led a team of judges to the President at the Jubilee House to discuss how to “subvert the will of the people” by throwing out any petition that will be brought before them by former President John Mahama who claims he won the December 7, 2020 Presidential Election but says the Electoral Commission (EC) Chairperson, Jean Mensa, declared President Akufo-Addo instead.
The contempt action was filed at an Accra high court on Wednesday by Deputy Attorney General (AG) Godfred Yeboah Dame.
Court documents cited by My News Ghana indicated that the contempt motion is expected to be moved on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 9:00am.
“Take notice that this honourable court will be moved on the December 23, 2020 at 9:00am in the forenoon or so soon thereafter as counsel for applicant may be heard on an application for an order for committal of contempt of court directed against the respondent: (1) by committing the respondent, Oheneba Boamah Bennie, to prison for contempt through statements made by the respondent tantamount to bringing the judiciary into disrepute and intended to lower public confidence in the judiciary, contained in publications attached to the affidavit in support,” the notice of originating motion stated.
In the affidavit in support of the motion, the AG’s department averred that in the immediate aftermath of the elections, the opposition NDC and its leader, John Mahama, refused to accept the results alleging manipulation and rigging of the outcome, and their intention to contest the results.
“That as at December 16, 2020 no petition challenging the outcome of the presidential election held on December 7, 2020 had been filed by anybody in the Supreme Court in accordance with Article 64 of the constitution,” it said.
The affidavit said “that this notwithstanding, on December 9, 2020, the respondent (Oheneba Boamah Bennie) in a video and audio recording on his Facebook wall, published to the entire world, alleging among other things that, eight judges led by the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana, had been invited by the President of Ghana and President-elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, following the announcement of the results of the presidential election, to the Jubilee House.”
“The respondent specifically asserted in Twi language, among other things that Ghanaians would not sit down for the judges to be used as agents to destroy the nation, and that Ghanaians had voted for change and would not sit down for the President to defy the expression of the will of the people by using unlawful means to stay in power at all cost,” the documents read further.
“The respondent further admonished that in the circumstances, the military had to stage a coup d’etat and take over the important organs of state like the National Communications Authority (NCA) and the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) in order to facilitate a complete insurrection,” it stated.
“That the respondent insinuated that the Chief Justice had led eight judges to the Jubilee House, pursuant to the invitation by the President of Ghana, with the intention to discuss means to ‘subvert the will of the people’ expressed through the ballot box.”
According to the AG’s averments, “the respondent’s 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 by the Chairman of the EC, as constitutionally declared.”
“The respondent’s statements suggest, very dangerously, that courts in Ghana act pursuant to directives or ‘discussions’ with the President or members of the Executive, contrary to Article 125 (1) and (3) of the constitution.”
The AG documents averred that “the respondent by his publication, which he knew to be false, intended to bring the entire Judiciary and administration of justice into disrepute and opprobrium,” adding “the respondent being fully aware of the probability of a challenge of the presidential election at the Supreme Court in accordance with Article 64 through his false publication, 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.”
It also averred that “the respondent’s willful conduct was motivated by disrespect for the courts and calculated at bringing the authority of the judiciary into disrepute,” and said that “it makes him liable to be committed to prison in order to vindicate the undoubted authority of the Judiciary enshrined in Article 125 of the Constitution.