Lawyer Osafo Buabeng has been asked by a Kumasi High Court to pay a fine of GH¢10,000 or risk spending one month in prison after convicting him of contempt of court.
Lawyer Buabeng was found guilty of contempt of court for his role in the re-opening of Jospong Group of Companies to conduct business in flagrant disregard for the orders of the court.
Justice Samuel Obeng Diawuo, who presided over the court ruled that Mr. Boabeng, who swore an affidavit in the civil case on behalf of the company, interfered with the administration of justice as per his action.
He was accordingly convicted and sentenced, but other contemnors in the persons of Joseph Siaw Agyapong, chief executive of Jospong, and Patrick Asagba, manager of the company, were left off the hook.
The three were cited for contempt of court by one Alhaji Abass who secured the orders from the High Court to lock up the company over its inability to pay judgment debt owed him.
The action led to the arrest of Osafo Buabeng and Patrick Asagba on February 9, 2018. They were subsequently granted bail with two sureties.
Somewhere in 2013, Mr Alhaji Abass sent his Yutong bus to the premises of J. A. Plantpool – a subsidiary of Jospong Group – located at Kodie in the Afigya-Kwabre District of the Ashanti Region, for services.
The court heard that Mr. Abass was denied access to his bus by officials of the company when he went for it after maintenance work was finished.
According to court documents, Abass was told the bus had been impounded on behalf of his bankers who financed the purchase of the vehicle.
Despite protests,he company refused to release the bus to him, thereby forcing the plaintiff to commence an action against the company at the High Court.
In a judgment, after a four-year trial, the High Court ordered that the vehicle be released to Mr. Abass and asked the defendants to pay GH¢1,350,000 damages to the plaintiff for wrongful seizure of the bus.
The company, which could not pay the amount involved, was closed down by the court.
Osafo-Buabeng, who acted as counsel for the defendants, brought a motion. As the motion was listed, the plaintiff discovered the defendants had re-opened the company to conduct business upon inspection on 19th December 2017, in flagrant disregard for the orders of the court.
Ahaji Abass immediately filed an application in court citing the Executive Chairman, Joseph Siaw Agyapong, the manager, Patrick Asagba, as well as the counsel, Osafo Buabeng, for contempt of court.