Ghana@50: Wireko-Brobbey and Mpiani’s case adjourned indefinitely

An Appeal filed by the Attorney General’s Department to overturn a decision by an Accra Fast Track High Court not to prosecute Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby aka Tarzan and Kwadwo Okyere Mpiani, for causing financial loss to the state in the matters of the  Ghana@50 celebrations has been adjourned sine die (indefinitely).

This was after Mr Justice Yaw Appau, who presided at the CA had stated that Mr Justice Isaac Douse, a panel member of the CA, was the Chairman for the Commission of Enquiry for Ghana@ 50 probe, and as such could not sit over the issue.

The court therefore adjourned the matter sine die in order for the panel to be reconstituted.

The other panel member was Mr Justice Sir Dennis Adjei.

Both Dr. Wereko-Brobby and Mr. Mpiani who were in court were represented by Mr Akoto Ampaw and Mr Yonni Kulendi respectively.

On August 10, 2010, an Accra Fast Track High Court presided over by Justice Samuel Marful-Sau of the Court of Appeal stopped an attempt by the state to prosecute Dr.Wereko-Brobby and Mpiani for causing financial loss to the state in the matters of Ghana@50.

The court had held that the Attorney General’s attempt to prosecute the two men “would lead to judicial absurdity”.

In his ruling Justice Marful-Sau, Court of Appeal judge, described the Attorney General’s action as “unconstitutional” and said the action was an “abuse of the AG’s powers under Article 88 of the 1992 Constitution.”

The court said the prosecution of Dr. Wereko-Brobby and Mr. Mpiani was based on the white paper issued by the Government after the Ghana @ 50 Commission of Enquiry report, adding that the Constitution frowned on any attempt to mount criminal proceedings against any person who testified before a commission of enquiry, and that the prosecution was based on adverse findings of that Commission.

The judge had said the essence of a commission of enquiry was to afford the president the opportunity to establish an independent body to investigate any wrongdoing and make adverse findings. Once the president went ahead to issue a White Paper, the findings became a judgment of a High Court.

“If the intention is to prosecute public officials, then the way to go is not to use findings of a commission of enquiry. The state is at liberty to use the traditional way of prosecuting public officials so that the AG can exercise the powers rightly,” the presiding judge said.

Dr. Wereko-Brobby, a former Chief Executive Officer of the defunct Ghana @50 Secretariat, and Mr. Mpiani, former Chief of Staff in the erstwhile NPP administration and also the Chairman of the National Planning Committee for the celebration, were put on trial by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government for the various roles they played during the 50th independence anniversary and the 2007 African Union Summit hosted by Ghana.

However, the two contested the trial and insisted that the charges preferred against them by the state “is a violation of their constitutional right under Articles 278 (1) (a) and 280 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) of the 1992 Constitution,” but the state insisted the two men had a case to answer in the Ghana @ 50 celebrations.

At their maiden appearance, the two accused persons pleaded not guilty to four counts of wilfully causing financial loss to the state and were granted GH¢35 million self-recognizance bail.

Source: GNA

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