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Godfred Dame must step aside – Prof Appiagyei-Tua

Prof Appiagyei Tua

A Professor at the University of Ghana Law School, Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua, has stated that Attorney-General Godfred Dame should resign following the allegations made against him by the third accused person in the Ato Forson trial, Richard Jakpa. Prof. Appiagyei indicated that the allegations raise credibility issues for the Attorney General if they are proven to be true.

“If what the NDC version that I heard is true, it raises a lot of credibility issues for the Attorney-General,” he said on the Ghana Tonight show on TV3 Tuesday, May 28. He added, “The most honourable thing will be for the A-G to resign.” The National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Johnson Asiedu had described the court action against the Minority Leader Dr Cassiel Ato Forson as persecution.

He says the government has been “persecuting” Dr Forson since 2021. Addressing a press conference in  Accra on Tuesday, May 28, he said “The Akufo-Addo government has been persecuting the Minority Leader over the purchase of an ambulance.” “This is political witch-hunting and persecution,” he stressed.

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He further stated that the NDC is compelled to set the records straight regarding this court action following deliberate falsehood by Attorney-General Godfred Dame and New Patriotic Party (NPP) propagandists.

In the context of repeated falsehood, deliberate misinformation, and distortion churned out by Godfred Dame and NPP propagandists, we are compelled to correct certain misconceptions about the transaction. “It will be irresponsible on us to sit a loof to sit and allow the deliberate misinformation to fester.”

NDC’s press conference was responding to the claim made against Attorney-General Godfred Dame by the third accused in the Ato Forson trial, Richard Jakpa. The Minority Leader Dr. Ato Forson, Sylvester Anemana as well as private businessman, Richard Jakpa, are standing trial for willfully causing a financial loss of €2.37 million to the state through a contract to purchase 200 ambulances for the Ministry of Health, among other charges.

The state has, however, discontinued the case against Sylvester Anemana. It is recalled that during court proceedings on Thursday, May 23, 2024, Mr Jakpa fumed at the Attorney-General for accusing him of defending Ato Forson, in his testimony.

The businessman, who was under cross-examination by counsel for the Minority Leader, had earlier been warned by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe to be direct in his responses rather than going around it and wasting the Court’s time. Attorney-General Godfred Yeboah Dame, reacting to the judge’s caution, accused Richard Jakpa of defending the Minority Leader.

This triggered the third accused, who retorted that the Attorney-General appeared pained because he had engaged him to help the state make a case against Dr Cassiel Ato Forson.

“The A-G has on several occasions engaged me at odd hours to help him make a case against A1 and I have evidence for that.. If he pushes me, I will open the Pandora’s box. I don’t understand why the A-G will accuse me of defending A1 when I’m here to defend myself,” Jakpa fumed in court. However, the A-G’s department said that the Republic has never required or desired the cooperation of any of the accused persons.

The Deputy A-G Alfred Tuah-Yeboah said this while revealing that Richard Jakpa, initiated plea bargaining through several requests to the state through the Attorney-General, Godfred Dame Yeboah. The A-G said the plea-bargaining proposal has, to date, not been accepted. Tuah-Yeboah further stated that Mr Jakpa repeatedly requested to enter plea negotiations with the state.

In a statement issued last Thursday Mr Tuah-Yeboah, it emphasised that the state has not in any way engaged any of the accused persons to help the prosecution.

“The Republic has never required or desired the cooperation of any of the accused persons in the matter, in which it has already succeeded in establishing a prima facie case against all the accused persons. Neither the Attorney-General nor any officer from the Office of the Attorney-General has approached any of the accused persons with the view to obtaining evidence from them.

“It is rather the third accused who, by various letters dated 27th April 2023, 16th May 2023, 30th May 2023 and 12th June 2023, has proposed to the Republic through the Attorney-General to engage in plea bargaining or plea negotiations. This plea bargaining proposal has, to date, not been accepted by the Attorney-General,” excerpts of the A-G’s statement read.

Meanwhile, the A-G said it has video evidence of the first accused, Minority Leader Ato Forson, to plead with the A-G to discontinue the case. “The Attorney-General has video evidence of the first accused, person, Cassiel Ato Forson, coming to meet him and to plead with him to discontinue the prosecution. This, the Attorney-General has refused to do.”


By:  Laud Nartey

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