24 May 2012

Ghana: Amidu Revisits Woyome Scandal

After keeping silent for some time, the former Attorney General (A-G) and Minister of Justice, Martin Amidu, has once again, hit hard at the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.

The fearless former A-G, who lost his job over the controversial GH¢51 million judgement debt saga, has blamed some members of the NDC legal team for interfering in the judicial process of the case.

He added that the NDC legal team was meddling in the affairs of the Attorney-General's Department, which could undermine the prosecution of the infamous Alfred Agbesi Woyome case.

In a statement issued in Accra by the former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General (A-G) to buttress a claim by his former colleague, Ayikoi Otoo, about the seeming delay in prosecuting Mr. Woyome, said the Director of Public Prosecution's office should be given a free hand to handle the case.

"What I fear is the so called "NDC Legal Team," some of whose members unethically make it their business to meddle in the professional affairs of the office of the Attorney-General, while at the same time acting as lawyers for clients whose interest are opposed to those of the Republic," Mr. Amidu said.

He added: "I have every confidence that if the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is given a free hand to direct the police investigations, the resulting police docket will be solid for prosecution."

"The case, to the best of my knowledge, is complex, and could lead to others being charged for prosecution as well. The police cannot just rely on the report and materials supplied by EOCO without taking their own statements and going through the requisite motions. EOCO has the capacity, if left alone, to assist the police to trace assets and do many other helpful things for the police," he pointed out.

Mr. Amidu said if the trial of the case does not commence as scheduled on the next adjourned date on June 4, it will "definitely create the impression that the government is deliberately buying time by pushing the trial to after the legal vacation in October, and thus avoid the conclusion of the trial before the elections in December."

"But, I also have an additional worry from Hon. Otoos. I hope the Director of Public Prosecution's Office will have a free hand to review the docket professionally, and advise the Attorney-General," he added.

Mr. Amidu revealed that when the case first broke, he "insisted on Mr. Prosper Agblor, the Director-General/CID, and his very able professional staff, being allowed to investigate this matter for possible criminal prosecutions. The President told me to allow the Economic and Organised Crime Office to investigate the case and submit a report first. The government's inexperienced faction supporting Mr. Woyome did not want any type of police criminal investigations, and surprisingly, had their way."

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