A supposed petition raised against the nomination of Catherine Afeku as Minister for Tourism, Creative Arts and Culture is unmeritorious and lacks any significant substance that can be used to revoke her nomination, Lawyer Godfred Dame, counsel for the nominee, has said.
Truth and Accountable Governance (TAG), an anti-corruption group, has petitioned President Akufo-Addo over Catherine Afeku’s nomination and raised allegations of fraud against her.
The petitioners alleged that Catherine and her husband were found guilty of fraud in a court case filed against her by an American couple.
Godfred Dame explained, however, that the fact that the case in reference is a civil case and not a criminal one is enough to let any objective mind know it was not a case of fraud because fraud cases are of a criminal nature and prosecuted by the Attorney General.
He was categorical that no court or judge in Ghana or anywhere in the world has found Catherine Afeku and her husband of fraud.
“There has not been any judgment whatsoever by any court of competent jurisdiction in Ghana, or anywhere in the world convicting Catherine Afeku of fraud or any other criminal offence…The case between the Americans was a civil one; a civil one instituted by them in 2005 and judgment was given by the Commercial Division of the High Court in 2007. The judgments were for the specific reliefs of the recovery of the sum of $217,000. That is not a criminal offence; is it?
“Catherine Afeku and the Americans entered into some business transactions, the object of which was to incorporate a company in Ghana. The Americans who claimed to have an interest in the company were not satisfied with certain payments that were made, and it was specifically in relation to that the action was filed,” Godfred Dame told Citi FM’s Eye Witness News.
He said even the judgment that Catherine and her husband should pay some money to the American couple has been challenged and there is a pending appeal to that effect.
“The case took another turn in 2013 when Mrs Afeku appealed the 2007 judgment alleging fraud on the part of the Americans who filed the initial lawsuit. She had come by evidence suggesting that the judgement itself was procured by fraud. So Catherine Afeku filed another action and I executed it on her behalf in 2013, seeking to set aside the earlier judgement on the basis of fraud,” Godfred Dame added.
Catherine Afeku first entered parliament in January 2009, but she lost the December 2012 elections and has fought hard to return to parliament in January 2017.
In her first encounter with parliament, Catherine Afeku served on three Committees; the Road and Transport Committee, the Communications Committee as the Deputy Ranking Member and the Business Committee.
She also became the government spokesperson for infrastructure during the regime of President John Agyekum Kufuor.
Catherine Afeku is reputed as a strong lobbyist and an affable person who has a listening ear for all manner of persons and ideas.
By Halifax Ansah-Addo