Robert Kempes – Ofosu Ware, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Parliamentary Candidate (PC) for Tema East constituency in the Greater Accra region has been cited for contempt of court by an Accra High Court.
The court’s action on Tuesday 19th July, this year, follows a blatant refusal by the Chief Executive of Korle-Bu, Dr. Gilbert Buckle and 11 other Board members including, Mr. Ofosu Ware who wrongly dismissed the Pharmacist, Charles Offei-Palm, who double as the President of the Korle-Bu Senior Staff Association (KOSSA).
The NDC candidate and his other colleague board members of the hospital, according to the court have disobeyed its orders for going on to dismiss the Pharmacist, though it asked authorities to stay its intended action until the court had ruled on the case.
Their fate would therefore be determined by the High court on 29th July. Information revealed that the NDC candidate and his colleagues are likely to face prison terms if found guilty on the day.
Other board members who have also been cited for contempt are Professor Anthony Mawuli Sallar, Dr. Gilbert Buckle, Professor Jennifer Wellbeck, Mrs. Perpetual Praise Annan, Mr. Henry Atta Paidoo, Dr. Samuel Asiamah, Mrs. Florence Ama Nkansah, Mr. Benjamine Abrakwa, Mrs. Victor Quaye, Mr. Nurudeen Mohammed, Mr. Kwame Gyamfi, Mr. Samuel Akutua Atweri and Mr. Stephen Pedison Aryeh.
On March 24, 2016, a letter written and signed by Mr. Samuel Akutua Atweri, for and on behalf of the CEO of the hospital interdicted the pharmacist on grounds that he (the Pharmacist) granted an interview to Class 91.3 Fm on matters bothering on the management of the hospital without recourse to the media policy of the hospital, thereby constituting a breach.
The letter further stated that “pronouncements made during the said interview tarnished the image of the hospital and also brought the name of the hospital into disrepute. The pronouncements constitute an act prejudicial to the management of the hospital”.
Meanwhile, in a writ filed at the human rights division of the high court against the board members, the Applicant indicated that, his interdiction was wrong since the pre-condition requirements were not satisfied before he was interdicted.
He stated that in his supporting affidavit that, the precondition requirements have been provided under the Hospital’s Disciplinary Policies and Procedures as reflected in the Ghana Health Service Code of Conduct and disciplinary procedures.
He averred also that, by the stated code of conduct and disciplinary procedures, the CEO could interdict a staff after certain conditions have been satisfied, but those have been glossed over by the CEO who deemed it appropriate to sack him without recourse to laid-down procedures.
The applicant mentioned in his affidavit that, before an act of interdiction could take place, the offence is first reported by the officer-in-charge of the unit under which the offending staff works, and the said officer shall document the incident and make formal report within three working days to his immediate superior authority where applicable.
“That the officer-in-charge shall institute a preliminary investigation into the case to establish its authority and further details within three working days of the receipt of the report… that the investigation take the form of interview with the person concerned or letter of enquiry and inspection of documents and premises. That where the result of the preliminary investigation point conclusively to a minor offense, the officer-in-charge shall apply the appropriate sanctions within three working days”
He also pointed out that but where the results point to a major offense the officer-in-charge shall proceed with formal disciplinary proceedings and take any action including interdiction, issuance of query or setting up a committee of inquiry.
The applicant stated that, all the afore-stated grounds of interdiction were not met before the action was taken to sack him from his position; hence the position to take legal action against the board and management for the action since it is against his fundamental human rights.
However, having been satisfied that the applicant had not been served with notice to appear, their chairperson postponed the disciplinary committee hearing and directed that he, (the applicant) be served with notice to appear before the committee.
He prayed the court to grant his application to declare his interdiction null and void and commit the respondent to prison for contempt.