Registrar service

Supreme Court dismisses preliminary objections to substituted service on Assin North MP

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed preliminary objections to its ordered substituted service of the proceedings and notice of hearing in the case challenging the retention of James Gyakye Quayson as MP for Assin North.

The Supreme Court then ordered James Gyakye Quayson to file his responses to the proceedings against him by Wednesday, March 16, 2022.

The Supreme Court, on the last adjourned date, ordered substituted service of process on the embattled Member of Parliament, upon whom the petitioner had made several unsuccessful attempts to serve process.

The plaintiff was to post copies of the proceedings on the notice boards of the Supreme Court and the High Court of Assin Fosu. Moreover, he was also to cause it to be published in the Daily Graphic Newspaper.

Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, a lawyer for the challenged MP, however, argued in court that two posts were caused in the “Daily Graphic” newspaper, but the posts did not comply with court orders.

He argued that the postings, made on February 26 and March 1, 2022, contained only the order for a substituted service, plus a notice of hearing to the parties, but without the processes to be answered.

He also argued that the writ was not ripe for hearing, since the Notice of Hearing specifically stipulated a 7-day ripening period upon publication.

Admitting that what he said was an unintentional error in the first “Daily Graphic” publication of February 26, Frank Davis for the plaintiff however told the Court that they had done “exactly as the Court ordered”. .

He argued that “there were three other alternate modes of service” and that “the other modes of service gave him (the defendant) sufficient notice for this hearing”.

The Court also found that Mr. Justine Teriwajah, in Mr. Quayson’s case, had previously written to the Clerk of the Court “upon execution of substituted service” in order to obtain the proceedings. This request, the Registrar told the Court, has been duly complied with.

While the Attorney General told the Court that Mr. Teriwajah’s letter which he “wrote in good faith settled the matter”, Mr. Tsikata insisted that “it is a real confusion that has was created”.

The President of the Court, Dotse JSC, in reading the Court’s decision, said that “the essence of substituted service was to bring to the attention of a party the expectation of a suit”; and that in making its order for substituted service, including publication of a newspaper, “this Court does not expect that all of the pleadings be published”.

Further, finding that Justine Teriwajah’s letter to the Registrar of the Court “speaks for itself”, the Court dismissed the objection.

On the question of whether the writ had expired for the hearing pursuant to the Notice of Hearing issued with the Substituted Order of Service, the “Court, in a 6:1 majority decision, dissenting Kulendi JSC, finds that the 1st defendant was duly served as of February 28, 2022.

The case was adjourned to Wednesday March 16, 2022.

His Lordship Jones Dotse as President
His Lady Agnes Dordzie
His Lordship Nene Amegatcher
His Lady Mariama Owusu
His Lady Getrude Torkornoo
His Lordship Prof. Henrietta Mensah Bonsu
His Lordship Yuoni Kulendi