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Thursday, December 7, 2023

High court orders arrest of Water Resources Minister (Details)

Dr. Agyemang-Mensah
The Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Dr. Kweku Agyemang-Mesah has found himself on the wrong side of the law, as  the High court in Ho has issued a bench  warrant  for his arrest.
The court issued the warrant after the minister failed to appear before it on several occasions to answer to contempt charges brought against him and two other directors of ministry over destructions caused to some communities in the Keta municipality as a result of the Ada sea defense project.
Two persons, Marshall Koblah Fenu   and Zikpuitor Benjamin Atsu Fenu in early 2015, filed a writ in court seeking an interlocutory injunction on the Ada sea defense project being undertaken by  Dredging  International  Company from Netherlands, due to its adverse impact on the Gamenu, Fuveme and Kporkopor-Kedzi communities along the estuary. 
They also asked the court to order the ministry and the contractor to take immediate remedial steps to safeguard the communities. An order the court presided over by his Lordship Patrick Bayerh granted, giving the ministry 40 days to carry out the remedy. This was however not heeded to by  the ministry,  prompting  the plaintiffs to return to court with contempt charges against the minister, the chief director and the director of hydrological service.
However, since the start of the  contempt hearing in December 2015, the minister Dr. Agyemang-Mensah has never appeared in court, though the chief director, Alhaji Ziblim Yakubu and director of hydrological services, Mr Owusu Ansah were present on most occasions.
The conduct of the minister, according to court sources infuriated the presiding judge during the last two hearings, hence the decision to issue a bench warrant for the minister’s arrest at the last adjourn date of Wednesday, March 23, 2016. The judge accordingly directed the Inspector General of Police to arrest and bring before the court, the Water resources, works and housing minister on April 15, 2016, when the court is likely to rule on the contempt case.
In an exclusive interview with Volta online, one of the plaintiffs who is also the counsel on the case, Marshall Fenu said, they resorted to the court after the ministry and the Attorney General failed to act to several correspondents sent to them about the devastative effect of the project on the other communities in the Keta municipality. 
He said for almost 9 months after the court gave the initial order to the ministry to take remedial action to safeguard the affected communities, no one from the ministry visited the areas to assess the situation. 
The communities have been on the receiving end of the devastating tidal attacks in recent time, which has caused  damage to homes, schools and farmlands.
Source: Voltaonlinegh/Lambert A. Coffie

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