Achimota School

Lawyer, Martin Kpebu has explained that despite the Achimota School Board’s decision to appeal the ruling by the Accra High Court, ordering the School to enroll the two Rastafarians, the students can join their mates in normal school activities.

Speaking on JoyFM’s Top Story, Tuesday, June 1, Martin Kpebu said if the Headmistress of the School prevents the Rastafarians from enrolling, she risks being charged for contempt of court.

This, he stated, is because Achimota School is yet to file for and obtain a stay of execution, which if granted, would allow the School to prevent the students from enrolling pending the outcome of the appeal.

“After filing the notice of appeal, the losing party (Achimota School) has to file what we call, application for stay of execution. So from its name, you can hazard a guess, meaning that whatever is in the judgement should not be executed. That is, should not be carried out. In simple terms, don’t implement the judgement yet until after the appeal.

“So when the losing party’s lawyer files that motion, they’ll be given a date to go to court, so it will be served on the one who has won. In this case, Tyrone Marhguy and then his lawyers, so it actually will go to the lawyers,” he explained.

“In the absence of stay of execution, the students have earned the right to be enrolled in the School”, Mr Kpebu said.

He added that, even after an application for stay of execution is filed, the Court will give the lawyers of the winning party (the Rastafarian students) the opportunity to file an affidavit in opposition to persuade the judge why the earlier judgement needed to be executed while the appeal case was still being heard.

“So the one who is in favour, that is the losing party, will try to persuade the judge why the judge should hold the judgement in abeyance, that is, it should stop the victorious party from executing or implementing the judgement. Then the victorious party will also persuade the judge why it should be allowed to implement,” he said.

His comments follow Achimota School’s Board of Governors disagreement with the Court’s order to enroll the two Rastafarian students and subsequent directive to its lawyers to appeal the judgement.

He, however, advised that lawyers of the students need to submit the intro of judgement to the School to compel them to accept the students.

“So though Achimota says that they were in Court, but technically, before you can hold them to account for failing to implement the judgement, you have to file what is called intro of judgement, the summary of what you won and serve it on them.

“So they’ll be informed that the judge has allowed for the children to be enrolled and everything else that the judge ordered. So it’s only after they refuse that the children’s lawyers can start looking at contempt,” he explained.

He stated that in the absence of a stay of execution, should the students to be turned away from the school, the headmistress of Achimota School, Majorie Affenyi, could be dragged to Court for contempt.

“Ordinarily, unless there is something else that I don’t understand, it could be the headmistress in this case, because she’s the one who directly controls who comes and who doesn’t come in,” Martin Kpebu said.