An investigation has been launched into a Court of Appeal Judge, Emmanuel Ankamah’s handling of a case involving the estate of a deceased pastor while he was a High Court Judge at Tema.
Justice Ankamah and then Registrar of the court, Sebastian Agbo, are under scrutiny by a five-member Supreme Court panel for potential damage to the image of the Judiciary.
The case in question pertains to a dispute over who should administer the estate of Rev Emmanuel Dorgbadzi.
Justice Ankamah is said to have dismissed documents filed to prevent proposed administrators of the estate from gaining permission without a hearing.
The Supreme Court ruled that the case was handled irregularly, pointing to possible bias against the applicants.
A five-member Supreme Court panel, with retired Justice Victor Jones Dotse presiding, called for the investigation insisting that the conduct of the Judge and then Registrar of the court, Sebastian Agbo, has the potential to affect the image of the Judiciary.
The case arose following the death of one Rev Emmanuel Dorgbadzi, as to who should administer his estate. The matter ended up at the Tema High Court presided over at the time by Justice Ankamah.
The documents were filed to prevent proposed administrators of the estate from getting permission to administer it.
Justice Ankamah is said to have struck out these documents, even though they were not listed for hearing and failed to give the parties in whose favour they were issued a hearing.
According to Justice Dotse, the irregular manner in which the case was handled pointed to the fact that the presiding judge “appeared to be biased against the applicants.” Due to this irregularity, Justice Dotse ruled that the court breached the rules of natural justice.
Aside from setting aside the decision by the Tema High Court, the Supreme Court also prohibited Justice Ankamah and the Registrar of the High Court from ever dealing with the case. Justice Dotse further expressed concern about how properties belonging to the deceased were valued.
A hospital at Obuasi was valued at GH¢60,000, a school at Obuasi at GH¢35,000, and the house of the deceased at Tema valued at GH¢30,000.
The Judicial Secretary has meanwhile announced in a statement that the Registrar of the Tema Land Court, Sebastian Agbo, has been dismissed for fraudulently preparing 30 court orders.
The case was heard by Justices Victor Jones Dotse, Avril Lovelace-Johnson, Issifu Omoro Tanko Amadu, Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, and Emmanuel Yonny Kulendi.
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