General News of Wednesday, 25 January 2017
President Akufo-Addo, has initiated a probe into one of his ministerial appointees designated for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Catherine Afeku.
Information gathered by Myjoyonline.com indicate the minister-designate for Tourism, Arts and Culture is being probed after reports emerged that she, together with her husband, were defendants in a case of fraud in 2007.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for the Evalue-Gwira Constituency in the Western Region, and her husband, Seth Afeku, were directed by an Accra High Court to pay $217,464.00 plus 50% interest to a US couple in the fraudulent charges brought against them.
The Court, presided over by her Lordship Barbara Ackah-Yensu, found Catherine Afeku and her husband guilty of fraud and ordered them to pay the US couple, Patricia and Bill Gick the amount with interest.
Afeku and her husband have, however, failed to pay the money, an action which compelled Mr. and Mrs. Gick to file a fifa application at the court to auction both movable and immovable properties of the Ex MP and husband. The court granted the application.
The Evalue-Gwira MP filed an appeal in 2013. The appeal is yet to be heard.
Catherine Afeku was one of 36 ministerial nominees named by president to be approved by Parliament.
However, a group calling itself Truth and Accountable Governance (TAG), petitioned President Akufo-Addo to drop the name of Catherine Afeku as Minister designate of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
This, they said, will to save the integrity the president’s nominees.
Checks indicate that the President invited Catherine Afeku to answer questions on the allegations.
Myjoyonline.com has sighted a Memorandum dated January 19, 2017 from her lawyer, Godfred Yeboah Dame to the president on the matter.
The Memorandum, titled, “COURT ACTION BETWEEN HON. CATHERINE AFEKU AND PATRICIA GICKS, BILL GICKS, DAVID THOMAS AND FRANCIS NOKOE” gives into detail developments so far.
In the memo, Godfred Dame conceded that the court granted a number of reliefs against his client but was quick to add that there was no finding of fraud or criminality against her.
Mr Dame explained to the President Akufo-Addo in the Memo that, he found credible evidence and therefore filed a fresh action on November 22, 2013.
According to him, “We proceeded to file an application for an order restraining the enforcement of the earlier judgement dated 30th November, 2007 given in Suit No. 245/06 until the final determination of the new suit. This was granted by the High Court, Accra coram Bright Mensah J. on 5th March, 2014.”
“The suit has been pending in court since, with the various pre-trail processes completed. Same was ready to be heard in November, 2016, when the defendants made an application to submit the video recording forensic examination. We are awaiting the report of the Police Forensic Laboratory,” the Memo read.
On June 5, 2008, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Constitutional and Legal Committee, after an investigation into the matter arrived at the conclusion that she was fit to contest the party’s primaries.
The report: “REPORT OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL AND LEGAL COMMITTEE ON PARTICIPATION IN THE NEW PATRIOTIC PARTY PARLIAMENTARY PRIMARIES IN THE EVALUE-GWIRA CONSTITUENCY BY MADAM CATHERINE AFEKU” was signed Rt. Hon. Peter Ala Adjetey, then Chairman of the committee.
“After an exhaustive examination of this matter we are unanimously of the view that there is nothing in the judgement forwarded to us which should prevent Ms Afeku, on constitutional grounds, from participating in the Parliamentary primaries of the NPP in the Evalue-Gwira constituency,” the report said.
It’s unclear what the outcome of the presidential probe will be but Myjoyonline.com has gathered that Catherine Afeku could be dropped as the minister-designate for Tourism, Arts and Culture.