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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

I’ve Never Seen MP’s Passport

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Adamu Daramani SakandeSUMAILA BIEBIEL, the cattle dealer who has accused the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Adamu Daramani Sakande, of multiple nationalities yesterday admitted before an Accra Fast Track High Court that he has never seen any of the passports that the MP is allegedly holding.

He said he rather saw photocopies of the MP’s passports in the newspapers, adding that he read the stories about his multiple nationalities in the media.

The principal witness in the case where the MP is being tried for allegedly having multiple passports admitted these when he was under cross-examination by Egbert Faibille, junior counsel for the accused person.

He said he is not an immigration officer thus he does not have access to the passports of Sakande, an Accredited Security Systems Specialist.

Speaking through an interpreter in a court presided over by Justice Charles Quist, the cattle dealer said he is not a lawyer so he did not know that if a Ghanaian has the citizenship of another country all he had to do was denounce his citizenship of that country to enable him contest for public office in Ghana.

When Mr. Faibille put it to him that he was aware that the MP hailed from Bawku and even knew his relatives, the witness said he did not know any relatives of accused person but had heard the MP claim that he was a native of Bawku. But as to whether it was true or not he did not know.

Bielbiel however insisted that the information he heard concerning the MP having multiple passports while standing for public office was true when Mr. Faibille suggested he was lying.

He said he would not know whether or not the MP had denounced his British citizenship before standing for public office.

When it was put to him that he met the accused person in London who claimed he was a British citizen, Mr. Faibille said the accused person never met him anywhere, to which the witness maintained that he indeed met the accused person in London.

In his evidence in chief led by state attorney Rexford Gyimah, the witness said he got to know the accused person when he went to London to attend the engagement of the younger sister of the late MP for Bawku Central, Hawa Yakubu, in 1998.

He said he met the MP who introduced himself as a Ghanaian having British citizenship.    

He explained that he stayed in London for about five months before returning to Ghana where was surprised to see the management specialist during the 2008 elections campaigning for the position of MP in Bawku.

He later heard on radio that it was illegal for a non-Ghanaian to contest elections. He added that he also heard Sakande had a Burkinabe passport.

Furthermore, he noted that he consequently contacted a lawyer who also said it is illegal for any person with the citizenship of another country to stand elections. He was thus advised to report the matter to the police, which he did.

He noted that the police took on the issue and conducted investigations, after which he saw photocopies of the MP’s passports in the Daily Graphic newspaper. The case has been adjourned to February 2, 2009 for continuation.  

The MP was ordered by an Accra High Court to vacate his seat in a default judgment, but an Appeal Court has ordered that the order be stayed pending the final outcome of his appeal against that ruling.

By Fidelia Achama

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