On last Friday, March 10, 2023, there was a drama at the Bolgatanga High Court when the court found two people guilty of attempting to influence Justice Alexander Graham, the acting Supervising High Court Judge.

The scene took place at Bolgatanga’s High Court Two.

In an effort to influence the judge, the two powerful individuals from Bolgatanga entered his office.

The judge handed the two over to the court warrant officer for arrest, and moment later , Judge Alexander Graham requested them to repeat what they had told him in private in the open court.

The two, Chief of Baare Naab Nyakora Mantii and Richard Sunday Yinbil, were found guilty of contempt and were convicted.

They were made to sign a six-month bond promising to behave well at the Upper East Regional Police Command after the court found them guilty of contempt and ordered their release.

This happened after about 12 lawyers representing different clients in the same courtroom begged the judge to forgive them rather than giving them a custodial sentence.

According to the story told in court, the two people asked the court clerks on Friday for permission to speak privately with the judge in chambers before the start of the court’s sessions, and they were duly given.

The court was informed that after being given audience and entering the judge’s chamber, they introduced themselves properly and stated that they had been sent to convey a message to him.

They then told Justice Graham that they had been sent by a chief in the region to invite the judge to his palace so that he could fully explain a number of mining-related cases from the region that are now being heard by the court to his understanding.

Given that there were numerous mining cases pending before the court over which he was presiding, the presiding judge realized that the two individuals’ actions were disrespectful.

The Presiding Judge realised that the action by the two persons was contemptuous since many mining cases were before the court he was presiding for determination. 

He quickly left and ordered for their arrest while viewing their behavior as an attempt to influence his decision in a particular direction.

They were then accused of contempt and brought before the court to explain what had happened in private between them and Justice Graham.

In the jam-packed courtroom, the two remained silent about what they had informed the judge in chambers.

As a result, Justice Graham revealed what the two people had told him in private to the entire court.

Lawyers plead for clemency knowing the implication of their action. 

The lawyers begged the judge not to sentence the two people to custodial sentence.

The lawyers took turns admitting that the two had openly disobeyed the court, which is a crime for which a prison sentence may be imposed. However, they pleaded that they should be pardoned and not receive a prison sentence.

They claimed that the accused persons public rebuke in court was sufficient and that they were also first-time offenders.

After hearing from the lawyers, Justice Graham warned the public not to approach judges in an effort to influence their decisions. He made this warning during the delivery of his ruling.

Judge Graham declared, “You are hereby convicted of contempt and directed to sign a six-months bond to be of good behaviour”.