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Ato Forson, Jakpa Applications Frivolous – AG

The Office of the Attorney General (AG) has described as frivolous and a complete waste of the court’s time, two applications filed by Minority Leader, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson and businessman Richard Jakpa, seeking to essentially terminate their trial in the €2.37 million ‘defective’ ambulance case.

Affidavits filed in opposition to the applications before a High Court in Accra aver that “the accused persons are bent on using any means necessary, fair, or foul, to abort their legitimate prosecution for crimes committed against the Republic and must not be aided in that illegitimate endeavour through a grant of the instant application.”

Dr. Ato Forson and Richard Jakpa, are standing trial for willfully causing financial loss of €2.37 million to the state, through a contract to purchase 200 ambulances for the Ministry of Health, among other charges.

The MP’s lawyers have filed an application asking the court for order of injunction against the Attorney General or his office from further prosecuting their client.

He is also seeking a mistrial which will essentially terminate the case and also a stay of proceedings until the application is determined.

Jakpa, on the other hand, is asking the court to strike out the charges against him on ground that it violates his right to fair trial.

The two applications are grounded on claims by Jakpa that the Attorney General has met with him and impressed on him to incriminate Ato Forson in order to secure his (MP’s) conviction.

But the Office of the Attorney General in affidavits in opposition avers that it is in the public interest that the case be brought to a firm conclusion based on the credible evidence before the court.

In the particular case of Dr. Forson, the affidavit in opposition argues that continuing his prosecution to its logical conclusion would uphold the principle of equality of all persons before the law and defeat the perception that the powerful and politically connected can get away with crimes on account of undue pressure and false allegations.

Responding to claims by Jakpa, the affidavit in opposition indicates that although he levels many untrue and wild allegations against the Attorney General in his affidavit in support, none of them attacks the integrity of the court or questions any decision or action by the trial court which impedes the capacity of the court to administer justice in this case.

Response To Ato Forson

The affidavit in opposition to the application filed by Dr. Forson avers that his application is unfounded, unmeritorious and unknown to the law as no proper grounds have been canvassed by him to warrant a grant of his application, which is unknown to the laws governing criminal law and practice in Ghana.

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“That the instant application 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,” it avers.

It argues that the Attorney General is vested with the constitutional responsibility to prosecute all crimes within the Republic, and cannot be prohibited from discharging this constitutional duty in respect of any person in Ghana as all persons are equal before the law.

It observes that the depositions in the affidavit in support of Dr. Forson’s application are laden with spurious allegations which are carefully and mischievously calculated at creating needless doubts about the ability of the court to dispense justice in this case.

The affidavit in opposition also denied an allegation that the Attorney General filed a nolle prosequi to discontinue the trial of Dr. Sylvester Anemana because he had given evidence which favours Dr. Forson.

It insists that the former Chief Director of the Ministry of Health was only dropped from the trial because of illness, which has delayed the trial for several months as reflected in the court’s records.

The affidavit also denies any collusion between the AG and Jakpa, and avers that the businessman’s testimony under cross-examination by counsel for Dr. Forson rather shows collusion between the accused persons and not the Attorney General.

The affidavit further avers that the Attorney General before the trial, duly filed all the evidence he intended to rely on and furnished all parties to the action with copies and, therefore, does not need to collude with any party to incriminate another party in this action.

“That, rather, it is obvious that the applicant’s collusion with the 3rd accused has led him to wholeheartedly believe in the truth of the fabricated allegations of the 3rd accused person,” it pointed out.

“All further indicates that the Attorney General has demonstrably upheld the rights of all parties in this matter and has performed his duties to uphold the ends of justice with credit.

“That the Attorney General has always served the Republic of Ghana diligently and without fear or favour to all manner of persons, including the applicant herein,” it added.

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Again, it says a suspicion about the prosecution or motives for prosecution is not evidence upon which the court makes decisions and, therefore, the instant application is completely frivolous.

“That the Respondent states that the evidence led so far by the 3rd accused person both in his copious and voluminous witness statement and oral evidence in chief, does not show any manipulation by the Attorney General on basis of which it can be said that the 3rd accused provided suborned testimony,” it stated.

The affidavit also points out that the prosecution of Dr. Forson, who in the course of the trial was made the Minority Leader, has courted untold pressure from all quarters and this application, which is without merit, is one of the stratagems being deployed to frustrate the prosecution of the case.

“That it is totally untenable for the applicant to be left of the hook on account of fabricated allegations by the 3rd accused person aimed at assisting the applicant to gain unwarranted advantage in this trial,” it pointed out.

It adds that the integrity of the proceedings before the trial 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.

Response To Jakpa

The affidavit in opposition to the application filed by Jakpa argues that his application is a ruse and a desperate smokescreen set up by the accused to abort his legitimate prosecution for the role he played in causing colossal financial loss to the state in the purchase of ordinary vans purporting to be ambulances.

“The application, anchored on untruths and a skillful manipulation of facts, seeks to cloth the applicant with immunity from prosecution and to this extent, is incompetent and offensive to Ghanaian law,” it avers.

It also argues that the businessman’s application is an extension of the public theatrics the accused persons have resorted to in a bid to discredit the prosecution

of this case and cast doubt about the integrity of the proceedings before the trial court, “all of which the Attorney General has so far observed utmost professionalism about, in spite of the persistent insults and abuse to his integrity by persons associated with the accused persons.”

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“That the prosecution of the accused persons in this case is based on cogent evidence unearthed after painstaking investigations conducted. Credible witnesses called by the prosecution have already been cross-examined by counsel for the applicant and the other accused persons, after which this Honourable Court held that a prima facie case has been duly made against all the accused persons.”

The affidavit in opposition also argues that the depositions in the affidavit in support of Jakpa’s application are laden with spurious allegations which are carefully and mischievously calculated at creating unnecessary anxiety about the capacity of the court to dispense justice in this case.

It criticized the spin being placed on the AG’s meeting with the accused and clarified that the AG had never met Jakpa anywhere outside the courtroom except in the residence of a Supreme Court judge who is the accused person’s cousin.

It also denies Jakpa’s allegations of AG’s assurances to stop his prosecution or to assist the applicant in any way, indicating that “same are obvious untruths and a product of the fertile imagination of the Applicant.”

It says although the accused claimed in court that he has a recording of the said meeting, he has “conspicuously failed to attach same to his affidavit. Respondent says that applicant knows that his so called evidence will not support any of the untruthful allegations he makes in his affidavit. Hence the failure to attach same.”

It avers that the entire application is motivated by mischief of the deepest dye, grounded on outrageous falsehood and has no basis in law.

“That the Respondent states that alleged promises by the prosecution, suspicions about the prosecution or motives for prosecution are not evidence upon which the court makes decision and therefore the instant application is utterly frivolous,” it stated.

The affidavit in opposition says the evidence led so far by Jakpa, both in his copious and voluminous witness statement and oral evidence in chief, does not show any manipulation by the Attorney General on the basis of which it can be said that Jakpa provided suborned testimony.

“That 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,” it added.

 

 

 

Source: dailyguidenetwork.com

Mr Riddims

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