Monday, June 24, 2013

ISOFOTON to refund US$325,472 Judgement Debt

By Stephen Kwabena Effah

June 22, 2013

The Supreme Court yesterday laid to rest, one of the country’s questionable judgement debts when it ordered Spanish energy firm, Isofoton SA, to refund to the Government of Ghana, some US$325,472 and all other monies paid to it as judgement debt in March 2011.

Bench warrant for ex-NIB Boss

By Stephen Kwabena Effah

June 21, 2013

A bench warrant has been issued for the arrest of former Managing Director of National Investment Bank, Daniel Charles Gyimah, who is standing trial for fraud in the importation of Indian rice into the country by the government in 2008.

Court summons former Attorney General

By Stephen Kwabena Effah

June 18, 2013

The Accra Commercial Court has ordered former Attorney General Joe Ghartey, to appear before it next Monday to give evidence in the case in which six Ghanaians are challenging the government’s sale of 70 per cent shares in Ghana Telecom to Vodafone.

It has accordingly directed that a hearing notice be served on him by June 20.

Mr. Ghartey who was served with a subpoena and a hearing notice on June 14 through the Clerk of Parliament, was expected to have appeared in court yesterday but when the case was called at exactly 12:45pm, he was absent; prompting the judge to give the order.

He is expected to give evidence on the Sale and Purchasing Agreement (SPA), as well as matters relating to the sale of the 70 per cent shares to Vodafone International in July 2008 for 900 million dollars.

Monday, June 17, 2013

'Refund All the Money' - Supreme Court Orders Waterville

By Stephen Kwabena Effah
     June 15, 2013

The Supreme Court yesterday ordered Waterville Holdings (BVI) Limited to refund to the State an amount of 25 million Euros paid to them in 2010.

In its judgement the nine-member panel of Justices unanimously declared as unconstitutional the basis on which the amount was paid to the construction firm.

It, however, declined to order businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome to refund the GHC 51 million paid to him by the State in judgement debt on jurisdictional grounds, since the issues relating to Mr. Woyome are matters within the purview of the High Court trying the case.

According to the court, the issue that Mr. Woyome has no contract with the government and should not have been paid any money is an issue for determination by the Commercial Division of the High Court.

The court held that the two agreements on stadia projects dated April 26, 2006 which formed the basis of the payment in 2009 was “inchoate” in view of the fact that the government on August 1, 2006, cancelled the contracts, rendering them null and void.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

NLC drags Fair Wages, Pharmacists to court

By Stephen Kwabena Effah
      June 13, 2013

The National Labour Commission has applied to the Accra Financial High Court to compel members of the Government and Hospital Pharmacists Association (GHOSPA) to call off their strike action which has caused major upset in government health facilities across the country.

It is further seeking an order compelling the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission to enforce its (NLC) judgement of January 25, 2013 relating to the conversion difference of the members of GHOSPA.

The case, which came up in court yesterday, was, however, adjourned when it emerged that the NLC was short-served with the affidavits in opposition filed by the GHOSPA and FWSC on June 11 and yesterday, respectively.

When the case was called, counsel for NLC, Afiba Amihere, told the court, presided over by Justice John Ajet-Nasam, that in view of the short service of the respondents’ affidavits on them, they would need time to study it and respond appropriately.

She said that has become necessary because of certain depositions made by the FWSC in their affidavit in opposition which she described as “highly unprofessional”, hence prayed the court for time to clarify those issues raised therein.

“My lord, they (FWSC) are taking all of us for a big ride,” she told the court.

Gbagbo ally fears torture, killing in home country

By Stephen Kwabena Effah
     June 13, 2013

The former Ivorian Budget Minister, Justin Katinan Koné, has told a Magistrate’s Court in Accra that he would be killed if extradited to Ivory Coast where he is wanted for prosecution over an alleged robbery.

Although, he said he was ready to defend himself on the charges of conspiracy and robbery in his home country, he claimed, “they will torture me and eventually kill me”.

Mr. Koné, who is also the spokesman for former Ivorian President, Laurent Gbagbo, and has been in Ghana as a refugee since April 2011, is facing extradition proceedings in Accra following a warrant issued by the Ivorian Government.

He has since his arrest on August 24, 2012 by Ghana’s security agencies, been fighting his extradition before the Magistrate’s Court presided over by Mr. Aboagye Tandoh.

To avoid extradition, Mr. Kone is expected to lead evidence to establish that there is no extradition treaty between Ghana and Ivory Coast, as well as evidence that the charges on which he is being sought for is politically motivated.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Kone Accuses Ivorian Government of Political Victimisation

By Stephen Kwabena Effah
June 12, 2013

Justin Katinan Kone, Spokesman for former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, has described attempts by the Ivorian Government to have him extradited to that country to face robbery charges as politically motivated.

He told a Magistrates’ Court in Accra yesterday that there was no justification whatsoever in the attempts to extradite him to Ivory Coast where he was wanted for prosecution on 20 counts of conspiracy and armed robbery.

“I did not commit any of these offences. I think that the case is a political case,” he told the court when he mounted the witness box to give evidence in the ongoing extradition proceedings against him.

Per extradition documents issued by the Ivorian authorities to their Ghanaian counterpart, Mr. Kone, was said to have conspired with some people and led troops to rob banks in Abidjan on April 19 and April 20, 2011.

However, Mr. Kone, who is in Ghana on a refugee status, yesterday told the Magistrates Court hearing the extradition proceedings that he was in Ghana at the time that the alleged robbery was said to have taken place.

“I left my home 10 days before our president (Gbagbo) was overthrown...From March 27, 2011 to today, I have never put any foot in my office in Abidjan. It is therefore not possible to have led our troops to rob any bank,” he said in his evidence to the court yesterday.

Deeba To Be Extradited To UK

Stephen Kwabena Effah
June 8, 2013

A Magistrate Court in Accra yesterday ordered the extradition of popular hip-life musician, Deeba Acheampong, to the United Kingdom where is alleged to have raped his eight-year old step daughter.

The Interior Ministry is expected to prepare the extradition order as per yesterday’s ruling for the court’s approval before Deeba, who has a 15-day window of appeal, is extradited to the UK.

His lawyer, Augustine Obour told journalists after proceedings that he would apply for a copy of the ruling by the Magistrate, Aboagye Tandoh, and consider the next line of action to take in the case.

The Ghanaian fugitive has been fighting extradition since his arrest in January this year at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra during an undercover operation for alleged rape and assault of his step daughters.

The court said yesterday that it found as a fact that prima facie case has been made against Deeba on the five counts of defilement under Ghanaian laws ( under UK laws, the offence fall under rape) which was preferred against him for the purposes of the extradition proceedings.

“Having considered the totality of the evidence, I am of a candid opinion that a prima facie case has been made against him on the charges of defilement,” Mr. Tandoh said and remanded Deeba to Prison custody pending this extradition.

The court, however, discharged Deeba on the one count of assault since it found no sufficient basis for that charge under Ghanaian laws to meet the extradition law.

This means that Deeba upon his extradition would be tried only on the charges of rape.

According to the court, the charge of rape as Deeba was charged under the UK laws and defilement under Ghanaian laws is within the scope under the Extradition Act 22, 1960, indicating that the charge is not politically motivated.

“I find as a fact per a summary of evidence before me that the charges are not politically motivated,” Mr. Tandoh said.

The Magistrate rejected the defence team’s claim that Ghana and UK has no extradition agreement, noting that Ghana upon attainment of independence from the British rule inherited an extradition agreement between the Britain and UK.

In December 2012, INTERPOL Accra received a request of arrest warrant from its counterpart in London to the effect that between 2005 and 2008, while living in the UK, the accused person had a relationship with a woman who already had two daughters, aged eight and six, from her previous relationship.

Subsequently Deeba and the woman had two children from their union.

Initially, they lived separately but when the woman went on night shift Deeba took care of the home and cared for the children.

That, prosecutors said, continued until September 2008 when Deeba returned to Ghana to pursue his musical career.

But two weeks after his departure from the UK, Deeba’s step-daughter told her mother that her Deeba had sexual intercourse with her on several occasions whenever her mother went to work at night.

According to prosecutors, on those occasions, Deeba invited the girl into the bedroom to watch pornographic films with him, after which he would lay her on the bed, kiss her mouth, apply baby oil on his penis and have sex with her.

The little girl also alleged that the accused person sometimes had anal sex with her and that after each act he put a sanitary towel in her panties to avoid evidence of bloodstains and also hid his stained bed sheet.

She further alleged that Deeba threatened to beat her if she disclosed the acts to anyone.

Deeba, prosecutors said, assaulted the little girl’s sister between June 1 and 4, 2008 when she attempted to satisfy her inquisitiveness about what was happening to her sister and that led to a cut on the back of the girl’s head.

A medical examination on the little girl by a forensic physician, Dr. Ainsley Kassie, revealed extensive damage to her hymen as a result of vaginal penetration.

Deeba was said to have denied the offence when he was confronted by his fiancée, who later lodged a complaint with the Police, following which a warrant was issued by the Northampton-Shire Magistrate’s Court for the arrest of the accused person.

Deeba was arrested at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra during an undercover operation.

He has, however, denied the offence in his caution statement to the Police