State Prosecutors in the trial of Alhaji Alhassan Imoro, the embattled executive director of the National Service Secretariat (NSS), appear to be having a tough time completing their investigations into the case.
Fred Awindago, Assistant State Attorney, yesterday told the Economic, Financial and Tax Division of an Accra High Court that the prosecution requires more time to complete investigations into the matter.
For more than three sittings, Prosecution asked the court – presided over by Justice Georgina Mensah-Dats – for more time, leading to adjournments of the case.
At the hearing of the case yesterday, counsel for Alhaji Imoro, Samuel A. Jinapor, was emphatic that the defence counsel could oblige the prosecution the adjournment.
He said he would rather draw the attention of the court to the delay in the commencement of the trial by the prosecution, describing it as unacceptable.
According to Mr. Jinapor, the prosecution had had about five months to conduct its investigations but had not begun the trial yet.
With particular reference to a book, ‘Practice and Procedures in the Trial Court and Tribunals of Ghana/ authored by Justice S. A. Brobbey, Alhaji Imoro’s lawyer said the intention of the prosecution ought not to be conviction at all cost.
Mr. Jinapor stated, “Always the principle holds that the prosecution is concerned with justice first; justice second and conviction a very bad third.”
Counsel’s request to the court to vary the aspect of the bail condition which required that the accused reported to the BNI every Wednesday, was not granted by the trial judge.
Mr. Jinapor had argued that all that Alhaji Imoro did when he went to the BNI was just to write his name, fill a form and go back, a situation he said restricted the movements of his client.
Mr. Awindago in a quick rebuttal, stated that the prosecution also seeks justice and not conviction, a reason why it was not in a hurry to start the trial.
Justice Mensah-Datsa accordingly adjourned hearing of the case to April 21, 2015.
The NSS Boss is standing trial over allegations that he had between September 2013 and July 2014, at the NSS headquarters in Accra, stolen GHÈ»86.9 million belonging to the government of Ghana.
According to the prosecution, investigation so far had revealed that for every month – from September 2013 to July this year – an amount of GHÈ»7.9 million was paid to 22,612 non-existent or ‘ghost’ service persons.
Meanwhile, Alhaji Imoro has pleaded not guilty to the charge of stealing GHÈ»86.9 million belonging to the government of Ghana through payments to ghost or nonexistent service personnel.
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