Legal representatives for Cecilia Dapaah have leveled accusations of contempt for the court against the Office of the Special Prosecutor regarding their approach to the petition aimed at removing Justice Edward Twum.
On Thursday, lawyers from the Office of the Special Prosecutor failed to appear in court, even though they were scheduled to file an application for the confirmation of seizure and freezing orders, and commence proceedings related to the charges of failure to declare assets against Cecilia Dapaah.
Consequently, the judge was compelled to adjourn the proceedings to a later date, pending a response from the Chief Justice regarding the request for Justice Edward Twum’s removal from the case.
Cecilia Dapaah’s legal team expressed their discontent with the Office of the Special Prosecutor’s lack of notification about the petition. Victoria Barth described the petition as a deliberate strategy to obstruct the morning’s hearing, especially the confirmation application, and as a desperate attempt to avoid their own poorly executed application by Kissi Agyabeng.
Moreover, the court could not proceed with the case involving the former sanitation minister’s charges for failure to declare her assets due to the absence of lawyers from the Office of the Special Prosecutor. This absence was attributed to the petition seeking the judge’s removal from their cases.
Cecilia Dapaah’s legal representatives also voiced concerns about the decision of the Office of the Special Prosecutor’s lawyers to abstain from the proceedings. Victoria Barth stressed in court that there was no legal provision or procedural rule that exempts the absence of a lawyer or prosecutor, even if they have filed a petition with the Chief Justice concerning a matter for which they had been duly notified and had initiated. She asserted that the Office of the Special Prosecutor had not demonstrated respect and fairness towards the court.
“In our capacity as lawyers, we have an ethical obligation to show respect to the court and to treat all individuals engaged in the administration of justice fairly, and that has not occurred today. The OSP is not exempt from the law,” Victoria Barth stated in court.
In the meantime, the Office of the Special Prosecutor, through a social media platform, explained that the petition aimed to have Justice Edward Twum removed from all pending cases involving the Office of the Special Prosecutor. They contended that Justice Edward Twum had displayed bias against the Office and its Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyabeng.