Judgement Debt: Mahama must set aside findings against Akufo-Addo, Kufuor et al

A law lecturer has shredded the Judgement Debt Commission’s findings against former President Kufuor and 2016 NPP presidential aspirant Nana Akufo-Addo, and has asked President Mahama to set the findings aside in its White Paper.

According to Yaw Oppong Donkor, a lecturer at the Central University College, the failure of the Commission to invite these former statesmen and others and yet made adverse findings against them is “outrageous…it defies every logic…and every basic standards”.

Speaking on Joy FM/Multi TV news analysis programme, Newsfile, Mr. Yaw Donkor said in law, no adverse finding should be made against a person without being given adequate opportunity to be heard.

He quoted copiously Article 282 to buttress his point. The article stipulates: “(1) Any person whose conduct is the subject of inquiry by a commission of inquiry, or who may, in any way be implicated or concerned in the matter under inquiry, is entitled to be represented by a lawyer at the inquiry; and any other person who may consider it desirable that he should be represented by a lawyer shall be allowed to be so represented.

“(2) A person referred to in clause (1) of this article may also be assisted by such other expert as may be reasonably necessary for the purpose of protecting his interests at the inquiry”.

Though they were not invited by the Judgement Debt Commission, despite their indication to appear before it , a leaked document containing the Commission’s report questioned the appropriateness of a 2.64 million US Dollar land compensation payment which former President Kufuor made to a British family on his last day in office.

Nana Akufo-Addo was also accused of causing financial loss to the state in the GNPC drill ship scandal.

But the law lecturer rather faulted the Commission for what he described as its ‘procedural inappropriateness”.

Mr. Yaw Donkor therefore counselled the “excellent” lawyers at the Attorney General’s Department to advise the president on the best practice.

“[They should] advise the president to issue a white paper to set aside all adverse findings made against any persons whether Nana Addo, Hanna Tetteh, Kufuor because it has the effect of also preventing somebody like [Dr. Benjamin] Kunbuor from becoming a parliamentarian under Article 94, Hanna Tetteh the same.”

Sharing his thoughts on the same matter, a member of the NDC legal team, Abraham Amaliba said the findings of the Commission were grounded on facts, which “doesn’t need Nana Akufo-Addo to come in …unless there is something else which needed clarification”.

He maintained that Nana Akufo-Addo, ex-president Kufuor and those who appeared before the Commission were not on trial but only witnesses of the Commission.

Mr. Amaliba noted that persons criticising the Commission have also not been able to state what extra information the Commission needs which should have warranted the invitation of Akufo-Addo and the others.

Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Isaac Essel | [email protected] | Twitter: @isaacessel

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