Court overrules Oliver Barker-Vormawor’s application to refer his trial to the Supreme court

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A High Court in Accra on Monday, May 27, struck out an application by the defence team of #FixTheCountry Convener, Oliver Barker-Vormawor that sought to challenge the jurisdiction of the High Court and the constitutionality of the offence.

Mr Baker-Vormawor was charged with treason felony in 2022 when he was picked up by National Security operatives for threatening a coup if Parliament went ahead to pass the then controversial E-Levy bill which was subsequently passed into law.

In court today, Monday, the sitting judge was expected to pass a ruling on an application filed by Mr Barker-Vormawor challenging the constitutionality of the offence committed and the jurisdiction of the high court to sit on the case.

Senior State Attorney, Dentaa Yankah who represented the AG changed the original position of the state and argued that the state’s position has not been that the accused was going to subvert the executive powers of the country because in her argument, Mr Barker-Vormawor is not a violent person.

However, according to the Senior State Attorney, the Facebook publication by the accused had the potential of inciting those with resources and character to undertake a coup.

On the matter of jurisdiction, the State Attorney argued that it was within the rights of the High Court to continue with the trial and that the legal team of Mr Barker-Vormawor was only trying to stultify proceedings.

Justice Srem Sai, who led the legal team for the accused, reiterated his challenge about the court’s jurisdiction and the constitutionality of the offence Mr Barker-Vormawor is said to have committed.

Justice Srem Sai also referenced Act 130 which essentially states that “Where an issue that relates to a matter or question arises in any proceedings in a court other than the Supreme Court, that court shall stay the proceedings and refer the question of law involved to the Supreme Court for determination”.

After listening to both arguments, the sitting judge who also referenced Act 130, struck out the application filed by Mr Barker-Vormawor’s legal team and said it is well within the jurisdiction of the High Court to continue with the trial.

Addressing the media after the court ruling, Barker-Vormawor expressed his disappointment and questioned the State Attorney’s new interpretation of his 2022 Facebook post, the grounds on which he was picked up at the airport.

“If I say I will do the coup myself how am I inciting others to go and do a coup? But we have always said that the coup is about mindset. That the ‘fa ma Nyame’ attitude of our people who have allowed themselves to be oppressed for years, we will end it, and we will do it either alone or together with others.

“We do not care about their regime of oppression,” Mr Barker-Vormawor said at the entrance of the court complex on Monday.

Responding to the judge’s ruling on jurisdiction, Mr Barker-Vormawor said that is no longer consequential.

“Whether this court (High Court) will hear us or the Supreme Court will hear us, we will always continue to match in our conviction that finally the words on our coat of arms, ‘Freedom and Justice’ would have meaning for our people whether they like it or not “.

He also described the charges against him as illegitimate. The case has been adjourned to June 3 this year for commencement of the trial.

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