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AG Advises Court to Reject Baseless Applications from Defendants

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The Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame has prayed the High Court presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe, a justice of the Court of Appeal, sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court Judge, to dismiss two applications filed separately by lawyers of the two remaining accused persons in the case of the Republic versus Cassiel Ato Forson (1st accused), Sylvester Anemana (discharged, 2nd accused) and Richard Jakpa (3rd accused).

Lawyers of the two accused persons, Richard Jakpa and Cassiel Ato Forson, filed their applications on Tuesday, 28 May, and Thursday, 30 May 2024, separately. The motions are expected to be moved in court on Tuesday, 4 June 2024 when Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe’s court reconstitutes.

Jakpa’s claims

The lawyer for 1st accused person, Abdul Baasit Aziz Bamba, in his application, is asking the court for an order for an enquiry into the conduct of the Attorney General, an order of mistrial in the ongoing criminal case, an order of injunction to restrain the prosecution from any further prosecution of his client pending the determination of the applicant’s motion for mistrial and/or an order for stay of proceedings in the ongoing trial.

Forson’s contention

Thaddeus Sory, the lawyer for 3rd accused person on the other hand, is seeking the court to strike out the charges preferred against his client and to terminate the proceedings against him or in the alternative, a stay of the proceedings before the court against his client, Richard Jakpa.

The two applications are essentially based on claims by the 3rd accused person during the court’s sitting on Thursday, 23 May 2024, that the Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, has “on several occasions had meetings with him privately at odd hours both in person and on phone in respect of this case to cooperate or answer questions in a manner that will make his case better against the 1st accused person.”

Response to 1st accused

However, the Attorney General (AG), Godfred Yeboah Dame, in his affidavits in opposition filed in response to the applications by the accused persons notes in the motion of the 1st accused person that “no proper grounds have been canvassed by the applicant to warrant a grant of this application which is unknown to the laws governing criminal law and practice in Ghana.”

“The instant application [by the 1st accused person] is a smokescreen and a veiled attempt by the applicant to abort his legitimate prosecution for actions committed as a public officer which led to the State losing colossal amounts of funds. Same is incompetent as no one has immunity from prosecution under the laws of Ghana,” the Attorney General’s affidavits in opposition read.

“It is totally untenable for the applicant to be left off the hook on account of fabricated allegations by the 3rd accused person aimed at assisting the applicant to gain unwarranted advantage in this trial.

“The integrity of the proceedings before this court remains intact as the proceedings of the court have been conducted in open court with all parties given the opportunity to test the evidence given for and against them in court in accordance with the common law tradition,” the AG’s affidavits further read.

Reply to 3rd accused

The Attorney General in response to the application of the 3rd accused person states that “even though the applicant (Richard Jakpa) levels many untrue and wild allegations against the Attorney General in his affidavit in support, none of them attacked the integrity of the court or question any decision or action by the trial court which impedes the capacity of the court to administer justice in this case.”

“The attempt by counsel for the applicant to mislead the court into thinking that they were not aware of the mischief of the 3rd accused before the proceedings of 23 May 2024, only highlights the manipulation of facts and untruths the entire application is laced with,” the affidavits in opposition deposed to by a Principal State Attorney at the Attorney General’s Department read.

“On the contrary, the Attorney General has proven to be an honest, strong, and effective prosecutor who has refused to yield to the untold pressure the applicant himself has brought on him to subvert the ends of justice by withdrawing the charges against him. Wherefore, I swear to this affidavit in opposition to the application as frivolous, vexatious, and a complete waste of this court’s time,” the affidavit further read.

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