Chairman of the governing NPP has been cited for contempt over his refusal to honour Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice’s invitation to assist with investigations into the procurement of 275 buses for his party.
The Commission is asking for a prison sentence for Freddie Blay should he be found guilty of contempt.
This follows the former First Deputy Speaker of Parliament claim that he had not been invited and dared the Commission to arrest him if it believes he breached the law.
“CHRAJ has not invited me to their offices, they some time [ago] claimed that they sent letters to where I have offices…if you want to invite me personally come with the letter. If you have not come to me with a letter but you keep telling the whole world you have invited Freddie Blay and so forth…” he told Joy News’ Kwesi Parker-Wilson.
Some of the 275 buses said to have been procured by Mr Blay
“Go to court and ask for an order and then come and arrest me for being recalcitrant and disobeying a court order,” he added.
But on Tuesday, CHRAJ called the bluff of Mr Blay and proceeded to the High Court to cite him for contempt asking for prison custody if he is found guilty.
CHRAJ attached to their application the certificate of service of document and letters as evidence. A letter dated August 20, 2018, was entrusted to the registrar of the court, on August 23, 2018, to serve Mr Blay.
The covering letter required Mr Blay’s comment on the substance of the complaint filed but on August 23, 2018, they delivered the document first to the NPP National Headquarters.
Also, on September 25, 2018, another letter on the subject dated September 24, 2018, was handed to the registrar who said it was delivered to the Daily Guide office.
Although he met Mr Blay’s absence, he handed it over to the receptionist, Irene Anokye, who promised to deliver the letter to Mr Blay.
Joseph Whittal is the CHRAJ boss
Yet again, a subpoena was given to the registrar to be given to Mr Blay who said he delivered it to the same receptionist.
After all the notices CHRAJ, does not understand why the NPP National Chair would say he had not received any notification.
But the spokesperson for Mr Blay, Richard Nyama said they only got to know of the contempt citation on Joy FM.
“Be that as it may, if CHRAJ goes through the proper processes of having Mr Blay properly served, he is not afraid to appear before any court of competent jurisdiction,” he said.
Although Mr Nyama said he does not know the person who received the letter at the Daily Guide office, he stated that the onus lies on CHRAJ to provide that evidence in court.
“I think CHRAJ is playing political ping-pong with this matter because the law requires that there should be some prima facie established,” he said adding the Commission going by mere newspaper reports to invite Mr Blay is akin to chasing ghosts.
Mr Nyama said CHRAJ has the capacity to follow leads to the bank, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) – where Mr Blay is the Board Chair – and other places of interest to verify whether there was any breach of any form.