Judicial Service: A registrar was sacked for preparing fraudulent court orders

Sebastian Agbo, the Registrar of the Land Division of the High Court in Tema, has been dismissed from his position by the Judicial Service due to his involvement in fraudulent activities. The dismissal was effective from May 18, 2023, as confirmed by a notice issued on June 7, 2023, by Justice Cynthia Pamela Addo, the Judicial Secretary.

The notice explicitly cautioned the public and Judicial Service staff against engaging with Sebastian Agbo, emphasizing that he no longer holds a position within the Judicial Service. It stated that Mr. Agbo was dismissed for fraudulently preparing thirty (30) court orders, a serious offense under Section 37(a) of the Conditions of Service for Senior and Junior Employees of the Judicial Service.

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“The General Public and Staff of the Judicial Service are hereby informed that Mr. Sebastian Agbo formerly of the Land Court, Tema was dismissed from the Judicial Service of Ghana on 18th May 2023 for fraudulently preparing thirty (30) Court orders, a major offense under Section 37(a) of the Conditions of Service for Senior and Junior Employees of the Judicial Service. In view of the ongoing, Mr. Sebastian Agbo no longer represents the Judicial Service.

In a related development, the Supreme Court referred a case involving the estate of a deceased pastor to the Chief Justice for investigation into the conduct of Justice Emmanuel Ankamah, who presided over the case at the High Court in Tema in 2022 (now a Justice of the Court of Appeal), and Sebastian Agbo, the then Registrar of the High Court in Tema. The referral was made by a five-member panel of the Supreme Court, led by Justice Jones Dotse, in a unanimous decision on June 6, 2023.

“In our collective wisdom, we deem it appropriate to refer this case to the Chief Justice to cause further investigations into the conduct of the learned trial judge and Sebastian Agbo, then Registrar of the High Court, Tema under whose tenure the sordid affairs happened.

This should cover all officers who played any role in this shameful specie of conduct,” the court said.

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The Supreme Court granted a certiorari application, quashing the decision of Justice Ankamah, who had struck out a caveat challenging the letters of administration for the sharing of properties in the estate. The court found that Justice Ankamah failed to give the caveators a hearing before striking out the caveat, thereby breaching the principles of natural justice.

According to Justice Dotse, the irregular manner in which the case was determined pointed to the fact that the presiding judge “appeared to be biased against the applicants”.

The irregular manner in which the case was handled raised concerns about bias and procedural misconduct.

“We further advice and urge the Hon Chief Justice to cause investigations into the apparent device by the interested parties herein to undervalue the Estate of the deceased.

“It is therefore clear that the affidavit filed by the applicants herein that had raised serious issues of fact and law as regards priorities of a grant of the letters of administration. That being the case, the learned trial judge should have been circumspect in casually dismissing this caveat,’ the court held.

Learned Counsel who filed the application for and on behalf of the interested parties should be made to give an explanation as to the basis for the valuation in respect of the properties stated herein,’ the court added.

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Furthermore, the Supreme Court questioned the undervaluation and deceptive listing of property values in the letters of administration. The court referred the interested parties and their lawyers who filed the letters of administration at the Tema High Court to further scrutiny.

It is important to note that the information provided is based on the available text, and the actual events and outcomes may have additional details or updates that are not reflected here.

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