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General News
Rule on Abodakpi''s bail application on April 19 3/30/2007
Accra, March 29, GNA - Ms Gertrude Aikins, Acting Director for Public Prosecution (DPP), on Thursday told an Accra Fast Track High Court that the 10-year jail term imposed on Daniel Kwasi Abodakpi, Member of Parliament (MP) for Kata, was legal and as such his application for bail pending appeal should not be considered. Opposing a motion in respect of the bail application Ms Aikins said no one was above the law and the assertion of Abodakpi''s counsel that his client was a sitting MP and therefore should be considered on special grounds should not be entertained.

"Under the constitution, all persons are equal before the law. No one is above the law. The sentence cannot be faulted, it was within the law," she said.

She debunked assertion of appellant''s counsel that the court did not consider the defence put in by him but went ahead to draw its conclusion in the matter.

According to the acting DPP there was evidence of guilt, which aided the court to come to that conclusion.

Commenting on the allegations that some monies were in a bank, Ms Aikins said that was not sufficient for the court to act differently. Ms Aikins said submission by Abodakpi''s counsel that he had a good record was irrelevant adding, "To whom much is given, much was expected".

She pointed out that the best place for the motion to be heard was the Court of Appeal where the trial would be looked at its entirety. "The court of appeal ought to have heard this motion. If the Fast Track Court continues to hear this, the trial would be a joke and waste of time and resources."

According to her the court gave reasons why it did not believe in the defence put up by the appellant and the grounds for bail were not exceptional.

At the last sitting, Mr Charles Hayibor, Counsel for Abodakpi, stated: "We are of the humble view that the Appellant Court would take a second look at the judgment, as we know that the sentence would be reduced."

The convict was sentenced to a 10-year-jail term in hard labour after a 29-month-long trail.

He was convicted on all seven counts of conspiracy, defrauding by false pretences and wilfully causing financial loss of 400,000 dollars to the state.

The prosecution had said between May and December 2000, Abodapki and the late Victor Selormey, former Deputy Minister of Finance, allegedly transferred 400,000 dollars into the local bank account of Dr Fred Owusu-Boadu, a Consultant, through ECOBANK (Ghana) Limited. The money, whose transfers were authorized by Selormey, was to be used as fees for feasibility studies towards the establishment of Science and Technology Valley Park Farm Project.

The project contract was to have been witnessed by the legal officers at the Ministry of Trade and Industry or the Attorney General''s Department, but this was not done.

The transfers had no official correspondence between Dr Owusu-Boadu and either the Ministry of Finance or the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The prosecution said both Abodakpi and the consultant signed what was purported to be a contract but there was no witness and the contract document was not initialled page by page as required. The contract lacked the detailed information required in a feasibility study, such as market analysis, financial projections and analysis to determine the financial viability and risk analysis of the project, the prosecution said. It said there was the highly irregular use of letterheads from a Texas University, with bills amounting to 400,000 dollars when the University was not a party to the contract. 29 March 07

Source:
GNA


 
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