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General News
African C’ssion Turns Down Tsikata''s Plea 1/25/2007
The quest by the former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Tsatsu Tsikata, to seek the favour of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights in a complaint of unfair trial for causing financial loss to the state has failed.

The commission dismissed the complaint at its 40th Ordinary Session held in Banjul, The Gambia and described it as “inadmissible for non-exhaustion of local remedies”. That was after the Republic of Ghana raised a preliminary objection that the complainant did not follow the guidelines for its submission.

It said although the complaint presented a prima facie case of a series of violations of the African Charter, a close look at the file and the submissions indicated that Tsikata was yet to exhaust all the local remedies available to him. In the light of the submissions, the commission noted that Tsikata’s allegations were in respect of an ongoing/unconcluded trial and that information provided by him even stated that the case was still pending before the courts of Ghana.

“Should the ongoing trial end against the complainant’s favour, he has further rights of appeal to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Ghana, in accordance with articles 137 and 132 of the Constitution of Ghana,” the Commission noted. The former GNPC boss had a brush with the law when in 2002, the state charged him with three counts of willfully causing financial loss of about ¢2.3billioon to the state through a loan he, on behalf of the GNPC, guaranteed for Valley Farms and another count of misapplying ¢20million in public property.

Valley Farms contracted the loan from Caisse Francaise de Development in 1991 but defaulted in the payment and the GNPC, which acted as the guarantor, was compelled to pay it in 1996. Tsikata has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is on self-recognizance bail.

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