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General News
"I''ve Never Stolen A Pesewa Or A Dollar – K. Rawlings 6/1/2007
Former First Lady and President of 31st December Women Movement (DWM), Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, has cried out to the world that she has never in her life stolen a pesewa (Ghana`s lowest currency unit) or a dollar before. Nana Konadu said this on Accra-based radio station during their midday news ; in reaction to the news that 30 counts of conspiracy, causing financial loss to public property, conspiracy to obtain public property by false statement and obtaining public property by false statement against her and five others have been reduced to nine by the state.

Three of her co-accused, Messrs Larry Adjetey and George Mould as well as Madam Georgina Okaiteye and had earlier in the course of the trial been discharged at the instance of the prosecution.Nana Konadu and her five other co-accused have been standing trial at an Accra Fast Track High Court in the past year and three months on various counts bordering the DWM`s acquisition of certain properties and its inability to make scheduled payments to Government, which in the prosecution''s view has occasioned financial loss to the state.

The former First Lady maintained that she had submitted the documents concerning the charges to various legal brains and institutions within and outside the country for examination but none of these bodies have identified any element meriting criminality in the actions of the DWM and its officials. `I have taken the document to people who are serious about the judiciary and they have looked at it critically with the required provisions and not one group, whether in Nigeria or South Africa or United States or the UK or the EU, not one group has told me that the document that I have given to them even merits criminality,`she stressed.

When asked if her move did not amount to desperate attempts to win international favour as many have imputed, Nana Konadu resisted that assertions vehemently, stating that her actions were not desperate attempts to win favour internationally but rather to defend herself, redeem her image as well as that of her family because she had been wrongfully accused by the ruling government of stealing.

The former First Lady maintained: `I am mot like that. I will definitely redeem my name and the name of my family because I have never stolen a pesewa or a dollar in my life let alone what they are claiming we have done.` She said, there are people in this country who are stealing in and `..there are certain people like me who have not stolen anything.` As to how she has been feeling facing 30 criminal charges, the former First Lady retorted thus: `Put yourself in my shoes when you are facing 30 criminal charges.`

Ms. Gertrude Aikins, Chief State Attorney and Acting Director of Public Prosecutions, had told the Fast Track High Court on Monday that the 30 counts against the former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings and five others alleged to have willfully caused financial loss to the state would be reduced to nine. Nana Konadu and five others are standing trial for allegedly causing financial loss to the state in respect of the divestiture of the GIHOC Cannery at Nsawam.

The other five accused persons are Emmanuel Amuzu Agbodo, a former Executive Secretary of the Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC), Thomas Benson Owusu, a former Accountant of the DIC, Kwame Peprah, a former Minister of Finance and former Chairman of the DIC, Sherry Ayittey, Managing Director of Carridem Development Company Limited, property of 31 December Women`s Movement and Carridem as an entity. They are variously charged with 30 counts of conspiracy, causing financial loss to public property, conspiracy to obtain public property by false statement and obtaining public property by false statement.

They have all denied the offences and have been admitted to self-recognisance bail. Earlier, Georgina Okaitey, General Manager, Larry Adjetey, Director Secretary and George Mould, a Director, all of Carridem, were discharged at the instance of the prosecution. The accused persons were alleged to have caused loss to public property running into billions of cedis, following the acquisition of state-owned GIHOC Cannery at Nsawam by Carridem Development Company Limited. The prosecution had stated that the accused persons failed to complete interest payment, which accrued on the purchase price of the cannery.

The G. Observer

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