A-G not opposed to Tsatsu’s application

A-G, Betty Muold IddrisuThe Ministry of Justice and Attorney General, says it is not opposed to Tsatsu Tsikata’s application seeking leave of the Supreme Court to file further evidence to prove that Justice Henrietta Abban acted in “collusion with the Executive” in certain determinations preceding his sentencing on June 18, 2008.

“I owe it a duty to the court to place on record that I am also unable, in good conscience, to oppose the application by counsel for Mr.Tsikata to call for further evidence to establish the issues he seeks to bring before the court,” Attorney General and Minister of Justice Mrs Betty Mould Iddrisu has said.

If indeed, there was evidence to this effect, it would be in the interest of justice that such evidence be heard, she said in statement filed at the court last Friday.

This came to light Wednesday when a Chief State Attorney, Mathew Amponsah, who represented the Attorney-General in court, moved the statement to withdraw two applications he had earlier filed at the court on behalf of the A-G’s Department.

The first application is a statement of case on the effect of the presidential pardon on Mr.Tsikata’s application for review of the court’s decision of October 16, 2008, that ruled out any wrongdoing on the part of Justice Abban in convicting him. The application was filed in response to the court’s directive of February 25.

The other one, which was filed on April 6, was an affidavit in opposition to Mr. Tsikata’s motion to the court to vacate its February 25 decision to look into the effect of the presidential pardon granted him.

Minutes before the withdrawal of the two applications in court Wednesday, the seven-member panel chaired by Justice William Atugubah, dismissed the application by Mr.Tsikata to the court to vacate its move to look into the effect of the pardon on his review application.

The court held that the application was “misconceived”.

Professor E.Y.O. Dankwa, counsel for Mr.Tsikata, the former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, had on February 10 moved an application for extension of time to file supplementary statement of case and called for additional evidence in the motion for a review of the October 16, 2008 decision.

In a supporting affidavit, Mr.Tsikata averred that for a judge to voice out what she would do when an application to give fresh evidence was before her is an exceptional circumstance, for which the court should give him the opportunity to provide evidence.

“For a judge to act in concert with the Executive about steps to be taken in relation to a decision when an application is before her is an exceptional circumstance,” he argued.

Mr. Tsikata said the further evidence he is seeking to give the Supreme Court is “conclusively establishing that Justice Henrietta Abban had predetermined the outcome of the application filed by my counsel to call further evidence before her sitting at 8 am on June 18, 2008 to hear the application.

“In having me imprisoned on June l8, 2008 immediately after striking out the said application, she was rather acting in collusion with the Executive, contrary to her constitutional mandate, and her judicial duty to act fairly,” Tsikata said.

The Supreme Court has fixed May 13 to rule on whether or not to grant Mr. Tsikata’s application for extension of time to file supplementary statement of case and call for additional evidence in the motion for a review of the court’s decision of October 16, 2008.

Mr. Tsikata was sentenced to five years imprisonment by an Accra Fast Track High Court after he was found guilty of three counts of causing financial loss of GH¢230,OOO to the state and misapplying GH¢2,OOO in public property through a loan guaranteed by the GNPC for Valley Farms in 1991.

However, he has since his sentence accused Justice Abban, the trial judge, of bias and embarked on a legal battle to prove his innocence and to reverse his conviction.

Source: Ghanaian Times