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Counsel for Bawku MP to appeal against court’s ruling

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Counsel for the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, Adamu Dramani Sakande, who is standing trial over his nationality status has expressed surprise at the ruling of a Fast Track High Court (FTHC).

Mr Yonny Kulendi was commenting about the declaration of the court that it had the discretion to recall a witness in the matter.

The court ruled that the recall of witnesses, although was discretionary, should clear ambiguity, establish truth and authenticate a version which was unforeseen in a matter.

According to Mr Kulendi, counsel for the MP, the ruling should not have bordered on the recall of witnesses by the court, rather on the improper manner that the prosecution requested his client to identify documents which bordered on the renunciation of his British citizenship and which were purported to have emanated from the National Security Secretariat (NSS) and other agencies.

Mr Kulendi said he was therefore going to procure a copy of the exhaustive ruling and appeal against the FTHC’s decision.

He noted that the ruling delivered was central to the matter as such he needed some time to study and advise himself as well as his client.

“In the interest of justice, we need time to evaluate the ruling so that we can advise ourselves and our client,” he added.

On May 24, Mr Kulendi opposed moves by the prosecution to cast doubt on his client’s defence.

According to Mr Kulendi, it was improper for the prosecution to request his client to identify documents which bordered on the renunciation of his British citizenship and which were purported to have emanated from the NSS and other agencies.

Mr Anthony Rexford Wiredu, a Principal State Attorney, urged the MP to look at what he termed an “authenticated version” of the documents he (the MP) had earlier tendered in evidence to prove that he had renounced his British citizenship before seeking to be elected as a parliamentarian.

However, Mr Kulendi vehemently opposed Mr Wiredu’s action and said the document, dated November 5, 2010 and signed by the NSS Co-ordinator, Lt Col Larry Gbevlo Lartey (Rtd), had no bearing on his client’s evidence-in-chief.

He argued that the MP had not tendered in evidence any document with characteristics similar to that of the NSS so as to be called upon to identify them.

Mr Kulendi argued that the MP was not a member of staff of the bodies to which the letter was copied to warrant him to answer questions on it, adding that the document was, in any case, labelled “Confidential”.

The bodies to which the letter was copied were the Attorney-General’s office and the Ghana Police Service.

Mr Kulendi, who kept referring to the document as the “thing”, in apparent reference to Mr Wiredu’s earlier description of it, argued that the prosecution was acting improperly by calling on his client to identify the document.

Defence Counsel said the document was concocted, arranged and procured after the doors of justice were shut on the prosecution in apparent reference to the prosecution closing its case, only to turn around to ask his client to authenticate a document when he had opened his defence to prove to the world he was not a British citizen.

Mr Kulendi therefore prayed the court not to endorse what he termed “unlawful, improper and unwarranted” attempts by the prosecution to request the MP to identify a document with which he (the MP) had nothing to do.

He also accused the prosecution of using state resources to fabricate stories against his client and questioned how the court was going to allow the defence to cross-examine staff of the Commonwealth and British Home Office, who were alleged to have been signatories to a document which contradicted his client’s defence.

Mr Wiredu, who opposed to Mr Kulendi’s argument, explained that the MP took the prosecution by surprise when he tendered documents claiming he had renounced his British citizenship and for that reason the prosecution had to verify the authenticity or otherwise of the documents from the relevant authorities.

He explained that the prosecution could not have direct access to the British High Commission and so had to contact the NSS to do checks on its behalf.

According to him, the documents tendered by the MP were forged.

Mr Wiredu further argued that the British Home Office had also stated that the MP’s name was still in the database of British citizens as of November 3, 2010, but Mr Kulendi argued that that assertion was a fabrication from the state in an attempt to subvert justice.

On July 31, 2009, the MP was arraigned, charged with nine counts relating to his nationality, perjury, forgery of passport, election fraud and deceiving public officers to be elected as an MP but was exonerated on six of those charges on July 8, 2010.

He is currently facing three charges of false declaration of office, perjury and deceiving a public officer.

Source: GNA

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