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General News
Abodakpi''s appeal adjourned sine die 4/24/2007
Accra, April 23, GNA - An appeal filed by Daniel Kwasi Abodakpi, the jailed former of Minister for Trade and Industry, was on Monday adjourned sine die by the Court of Appeal.

The adjournment was after a member of the panel, Mr Justice Anin Yeboah, had informed his colleagues that he was among a panel which earlier ruled on Abodakpi''s submission of no case at the same court. The Court said to ensure fairness on the appeal, the panel would have to be reconstituted.

Other members on the panel are Mr Justice B.T. Aryeetey (presiding) and Mrs Justice Henrietta Abban.

Abodakpi''s counsel, Mr Charles Hayibor also informed the Court that he had not been served with any hearing notices and he hid not have the record of proceedings.

"If I had been served with the hearing notices, I would have gone for the record of proceedings myself," Mr Hayibor said.

A Fast Track High Court in Accra last Thursday struck out an application filed by Abodakpi, which prayed the court to admit him to a bail pending an appeal against his 10-year jail term.

Abodakpi who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Keta was convicted and sentenced on February 5, this year by the Fast Track High Court, which found him guilty of seven counts of conspiracy and wilfully causing 2.73 billion cedis financial loss to the State.

The convict was standing trial with the late Victor Selormey, former Deputy Finance Minister. The trial lasted for 29 months. Giving grounds for refusing the application, Mr. Justice S.T. Farkye, an Appeals Court Judge sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court Judge, explained that the application for the bail was unmeritorious.

Between May and December 2000, Abodapki and Selormey 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 a Science and Technology Valley Park Farm Project.

The project contract was to have been witnessed by 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.Source:

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