Before exiting office on January 7 the government of President John Agyekum Kufuor decided to drop charges against the former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings.
The Attorney-General’s Department consequently filed a notice at an Accra Fast Track High Court to discontinue the trial of the former First Lady for her alleged involvement in the divestiture of the Nsawam Cannery.
The notice, which was filed last week at the Registry of the Fast Track High Court has been fixed for Thursday, January 15, for it to be discharged officially by Justice Edward Asante, a source close to the court told the Times yesterday.
When contacted, the Registrar of the Fast Track High Court, Rexford Gyimah, confirmed the filing of the notice by the former Attorney General, Joe Ghartey but declined to comment further.
When contacted, counsel for Mrs Rawlings, Tony Lithur, said he was aware of the notice by the former Attorney General but said “no reasons were given”.
Mrs. Rawlings is facing eight counts of conspiracy, causing loss to public property, dishonestly obtaining public property by false pretences, obtaining public property by false statement, conspiracy to utter forged documents and uttering forged documents.
She is being tried together with Emmanuel Agbodo, former Executive Secretary of the Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC), Thomas Benson Owusu, former DIC Accountant, Kwarne Peprah, former Finance Minister and DIC Chairman and Fanny Sherry Ayittey, Director of Carridem Development Company Limited.
They have all pleaded not guilty and are on self-cognizance bail.
The prosecution’s case was that in the late 90s, government received approval to divest the Nsawam Cannery to Carridem which had won the bid through the normal process.
Carridem was supposed to have paid a 10 percent non-refundable commitment fee in the purchase of the cannery. In addition, some amounts of money should have been submitted with the final Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) which was 2.7 billion cedis paid within 12 months, among other conditions.
It was after the Auditor-General, in pursuance of Article 121 of the Constitution decided to conduct a routine audit of organisations that he detected the anomalies in the Nsawam Cannery affair.
Source: Ghanaian Times