Court Adjourns AMA Case Again
Court Adjourns AMA Case Again Website
The contempt suit against the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and its Chief Executive, Stanley Nii Adjiri Blankson, for failing to eject hawkers at the Knustford Avenue in the Central Business District was on Monday adjourned for the second time to May 19 because the AMA boss had not been served. Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, counsel for Mr Labib C. Seraphim, owner of Seraphim Department Stores, told the Fast Track High Court that it was becoming difficult to serve Nii Adjiri personally. He said he had two options, either to serve the second respondent personally or substitute him with somebody they could equally serve. The court presided over by Mr Justice Victor Ofoe said he did not have any proof of service of the respondents. He said it was up to counsel for plaintiff to ensure that the second respondent was properly served. Mr Seraphim, a businessman, filed a motion on notice to impose a heavy fine on the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and commit its Chief Executive, Stanley Nii Adjiri Blankson, to prison for refusing to evict hawkers from the Knustford Avenue in the Central Business District. He is seeking orders that the AMA and its Chief Executive discharge their obligations by evicting hawkers from Knustford Avenue and provide vehicular access to stores in the area. On February 28, 2005, the plaintiff commenced action against the AMA and on April 10, 2006, the Fast Track High Court granted the plaintiff all the relief he had sought. The relief included an order compelling AMA to provide vehicular access to the Knustford Avenue and another order restraining the defendants from converting Knustford Avenue into a market. The court, in granting the relief in its judgment, declared that the action of the AMA in converting the Knustford Avenue into a market for hawkers was unlawful and asked the AMA to discharge its obligation of evicting the hawkers. It further asked the AMA to provide vehicular access to Knustford Avenue and restrain the Assembly from ever converting the place into a market for hawkers. The plaintiff said the AMA had for the past two years refused to carry out the orders and that the hawkers continued to exercise "absolute dominion" at the place. "Respondents' wilful violation of the orders of this court contained in its judgment is infringing on the constitutionally guaranteed property rights of myself and other property owners on the Knustford Avenue.” "The situation is gravely hampering the lawful business activities of myself and other property owners." The plaintiff contended that in spite of the orders of the court, AMA had erected pillars, which should have been removed as part of the process of executing the court's order. Plaintiff said the refusal of the respondents to carry out the orders of the court was calculated at interfering with and obstructing the due administration of justice as well as undermining the authority of the court.