NHIA loses round 2 of Adom FM journalists’ case

NHIA loses round 2 of Adom FM journalists’ case
Source: Ghana|myjoyonline.com
Date: 19-01-2017 Time: 01:01:41:pm

The High Court (Human Rights Division) Thursday morning dismissed a case brought by the NHIA seeking to freeze the execution of a judgment against it.

It said the NHIA, represented by private law firm, Lithur, Brew & Company, failed to show sufficient reason why the judgment should not be enforced.

The Court last year gave a judgment in favour of Adom FM's news editor, Afia Pokua, and two of her colleagues whose human rights were abused by National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) officers at Ablekuma in Accra, in September 2014.

Afia Pokua

Court of Appeal judge, Justice A.M. Domakyaareh, sitting as an additional High Court Judge held on the 23rd of June 2016 that the rights of the journalists were abused.

The court also ordered a written apology to be published in a national daily within 14 days and a compensation of GHC 7,500.00 to be paid to the journalists.

But Lawyers for the NHIA filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal and proceeded to the Human Rights Court to stay execution of the judgment pending the outcome of the appeal.

On January 12, 2017, the judge hearing the case said the NHIA and their lawyers failed to show up in court to argue their case and did not also give any reasons for their absence in court.

She, therefore, struck out the application, awarding cost of GHC500.00 against them. 

Lawyer for Afia and the others, Samson Lardy Anyenini, after that ruling, said it was likely that the NHIA will refile the application, and that he was ready for whatever they intended to do.

Consistent with his prediction, the NHIA and its lawyers went to court arguing it heard the case earlier than the agreed time.

The application was, therefore, restored and heard on its merits.

 The judge, after listening to arguments of both sides, however, dismissed it, holding that there was no substantial basis to grant the request to suspend the enforcement of the 2016 judgment against the NHIA.

The court also awarded costs of 1,000 cedis against the applicants.

The lawyer for the journalists, Mr. Anyenini believes his opposing counsel and his clients may not give up just yet.

They may go up to the Court of Appeal and even to the Supreme Court as they are legally entitled to.

He is, however, certain that they are simply delaying issuing the apology and paying the money as the High Court ordered

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