The High Court in Accra has yet again dismissed an application for Stay of Proceedings from the founder of defunct capital bank William Ato Essien.

Lawyers of Ato Essien had told the court that, they had yet again lodged an application at the Court of Appeal and want the High Court to halt the trial pending the determination of an appeal against one of its rulings.

The Court presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, a Judge of the Court of Appeal, sitting as an additional High Court Judge, ruled that, the grant of a stay was a discretional exercise and that the applicant had not demonstrated any exceptional circumstance.

This comes two days after the Supreme Court had dismissed his two applications filed on May 25 – one was for special leave to appeal against the refusal of the Court of Appeal to Stay the Proceedings of this court and the second was an independent application to Stay the Proceedings of the High court.

Ato Essien, Tettey Nettey of MC Management Services and Rev. Fitsgerald Odonkor, the then Managing Director of the Bank, are standing trial for allegedly misappropriating some GHS620million liquidity support offered to Capital Bank by the Bank of Ghana.

While moving the application, Baffour Gyau Bonsu Ashia, said they’ve filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal which has been fixed for July 6, and wanted the court to stay temporary proceedings pending the determination of the hearing.

But, the prosecution led by Marina Appiah Opare, a Chief State Attorney opposed to the and said the trial should go ahead.

By Court

The court after listening to the parties ruled that, the court of appeal rule C.I 19 especially rule 27 has no room to entertain an application for stay proceedings.

The court said, the applicant’s earlier application filed “before me to stay my proceedings not to test the correctness of any decision but only for the collateral purpose to stultify the proceedings before I was dismissed.”

From this, the court said, “it’s not difficult to discern a calculated trend to exploit the lapses in the rules to ensure that this trial which is just on the verge of completion is never completed.

“The rules of court are not made to be exploited and abused in that manner and this court will thwart this exploitation of the rules to achieve such unjust desires where on the day, the application for stay of proceedings is to be moved at the court of appeal this appellate court is of the view that I should not conduct further hearing until the interlocutory hearing of the first accused has been heard, I’ll have no choice but to comply.

“But for now, in view of the approach that the first accused has adopted, as shown in this ruling, I’m compelled to continue with my proceedings. I find no merit in this application and I dismiss same,” the court ruled.

Source: Inusah