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General News
MPs express shock at Abodakpi''s sentence 2/6/2007
Accra, Feb. 5. GNA - Some Members of Parliament from the Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Monday expressed shock and disbelief at the verdict handed down to Dan Abodakpi, 57, Member of Parliament (MP) for Keta, describing it as a sad day for democracy. Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, Member of Parliament, (MP) for Lawra/Nandom, told the GNA in Parliament that the Judge after convicting Abodakpi, did not go ahead to take mitigation from the Defence Counsel before sentencing the accused, which was unusual.

He said it was not only a sad day for democracy in Ghana but in Africa as well.

Ms Akua Dansua, NDC-North Dayi, said it was as if the Judge had a pre-conceived mind in passing the sentence, adding; "it is up to us to appeal".

She said it was strange for the Judge to err in his summing up by pronouncing National Democratic Congress as National Defence Council and added that it pointed to the mind set of the Judge.

Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, NDC-Asawase, said it was sad that in an effort to serve one''s country one should end up jail.

Mr Jonathan Tackie-Kommey, NDC-Odododiodio, said Abodakpi had served his country very well by being selfless and it was shocking for him to end up this way.

He said there was a question mark on the whole sentence and that it was a case for the posterity to judge.

Many of the NPP Members were not available at Parliament for reactions.

Mr Kwabena Okerchiri, First Deputy Majority Chief Whip, declined to comment when the GNA contacted him for his reactions.

Mr P. C. Appiah-Ofori, NPP-Asikuma/Odoben/Brakwa, said he was not happy about the sentence adding that Abodakpi''s absence from the House would be a great loss to Parliament and Ghana.

He described Abodakpi as an asset to the House in terms of his experience and work especially on the Finance Committee. "It is sad that he has to go through this," Mr Ofori-Appiah said. An Accra Fast Track High Court on Monday sentenced Abodakpi to 10 years'' imprisonment.

The Court presided over by Mr Justice S. T. Farkye, an Appeals Court Judge sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court Judge, found him guilty of conspiracy, defrauding by false pretences and wilfully causing 400,000-dollar financial loss to the State. Abodakpi was standing trial with Victor Selormey (Deceased), Former Deputy Finance Minister.

Abodakpi and Selormey were being tried on seven counts of conspiracy to commit crime; defrauding by false pretences and wilfully causing a total loss of 2.73 billion cedis to the State. The Court sentenced him to 10 years'' imprisonment on each of the seven counts. The sentences are to run concurrently.

Abodakpi denied all the charges and was on self-recognisance bail in the sum of three billion cedis.

The trial, which commenced since 2002 saw 10 witnesses testifying for the Prosecution while three, gave evidence for Abodakpi. Selormey passed away during the trial.


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