General News of Friday, 13 March 2015
A private legal practitioner has introduced a new dimension to the verdict given in the controversial Alfred Woyome judgement debt scandal.
Samson Lardy Anyenini said the judge, Justice Ajet-Nassam who obviously was disappointed with the prosecution’s case, could have subpoenaed key witnesses he thought could have helped the court unravel the true facts of the matter.
Ajet-Nassam acquitted and discharged Alfred Woyome, accused of defrauding the state by illegally receiving ¢51 million for work he did not do.
He was charged for causing financial loss to the state and defrauding by false pretence.
After a protracted legal battle at the High Court, Justice Ajet-Nassam freed the suspect on Thursday but chided the prosecution for doing a “shoddy” job.
Among other issues, Ajet-Nassam did not understand why key actors in the scandal, including former Attorney-General Mrs Betty Mould Iddrisu, her deputy Ebo Barton-Oduro and other key state officials were not brought before the court as witnesses in the case.
In his disappointment, he was left with no choice but to free the suspect.
The ruling has generated pretty much the same controversy as the arrest of Alfred Woyome in 2012.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Samson Lardy Anyenini said while he agrees with the sentiments shared by the judge in his ruling, he thought Ajet-Nassam could have done more in unraveling the facts of the case.
He said the judge could easily have hauled Betty Mould Iddrisu, Ebo Barton-Oduro, and others before the court in order to unravel the facts.
However, Yaw Oppong another lawyer disagreed with Lardy Anyenini’s postulations.
He said if the case were a civil one, perhaps Anyenini’s arguments would have been fair but for a criminal case where the liberty of an individual is at stake, the judge would have to remain a fair and an impartial arbiter.
Hauling witnesses before him would have inured to the advantage of one of the parties and a ruling that is given on account of such process could easily be overturned on appeal, Yaw Oppong averred.