Lawyers clash over documents in Asabee's case

Two lawyers on Monday clashed over documents tendered in evidence in the case of Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, former Minister of Information and National Orientation and seven others.

The clash erupted when Mr Anthony Gyambiby, Chief State Attorney, quizzed Mr Augustine Obuor, a defence counsel, over some documents he had requested.

Mr Obuor is representing Dominic Aloysius Yaw Sampong, former Acting Chief Director and Mr Kofi Asamoah Boateng, a retiree of the Ministry.

During the court’s last sitting, Mr Obuor had requested for the letters written to the Ministry of Finance in respect of payments for projects at the Ministry of Information and National Orientation.

The court asked Mrs Zita Okaikoi, former Minister of Information, to bring them to court on Thursday.

Mr Gymabiby expressed worry over the line of cross-examination saying the questions being thrown at Mrs Okaikoi were irrelevant.

Apart from the line of cross-examination bordering on the letters written to the Ministry of Finance in respect payments of projects and recordings of the Ministry’s minutes, Mr Obuor was also asking the court to compel Mrs Okaikoi to bring the Record Book of the Information Ministry to confirm correspondence.

Mr Gyambiby contended that Mr Obuor had failed to ask questions in respect of the letters and the recordings of the Ministry’s minutes on June 8, 2009 and questioned why he was requesting for the record book for further cross-examination.

He drew the court’s attention to the fact that Mr Obuor had come to court to fish for information hence he had been asking irrelevant questions.
Mr Obuor stated in response that he was not a fisherman and he needed to build a case for his clients who were being charged for forgery of documents.

But the court overruled Mr Obuor’s submission.

Answering questions from Mr Obuor, Mrs Okaikoi admitted querying Sampong over payments made by the Ministry of Information.

According to Mrs Okaikoi, Sampong’s query was also in respect of the purchase of mobile phones for directors.

The former Information Minister told the court on June 8, 2009 that she recorded a meeting held by management on her mobile phone.

According to her, she recorded what transpired at the meeting because the issues discussed were dear to her heart.

She said she could not remember the agenda of the June 8, 2009 meeting but said at her first meeting, she made her vision known to members of staff.

Asamoah-Boateng, his wife, Zulieka Jennifer Lorwia and six other public officers have been charged with conspiracy to defraud the state.

Also in court was a non-legal entity firm, Supreme Procurement Agencies Limited (SPAL).

The accused are alleged to have conspired to defraud the state of GH¢86,915.85 in renovation works carried out at the Ministerial Block of the Ministry during Asamoah-Boateng’s tenure.

The officials include Frank Agyekum, former Deputy Minister of Information and National Orientation,  Sampong, former Acting Chief Director, Ministry of Information and National Orientation, Kwabena Denkyira, former Director of Finance and Administration of the Ministry and Prosper Arku of SPAL and Yasmine Domua, business woman.

They have pleaded not guilty before the court presided over by Mr. Justice Charles Quist.

The court has admitted them to bail in the sum of GH¢10,000 each with a surety.

Hearing continues on March 11

Source: GNA

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