Health specialist testifies in Bawku MP’s case

Mr Marlon Praises Anipa, a United Kingdom based Specialist Consultant in Mental Health, on Wednesday told the Fast Track Court trying Adamu Daramani Sakande, Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, for an alleged multiple citizenship that the accused renounced his British citizenship in 2008 because of his interest to stand as MP.

He said Mr Sakande in early 2007 had discussed his intentions to come to Ghana to contest for Member of Parliament for his area and around June that year left for Ghana.

He said later when Mr Sakande came back to the UK he still had the ambition to contest for MP and he (Anipa) told him to go and see the Stanley Jones Law Firm who advised them on what to do.

Mr Anipa, who is a Defence Witness (DW) said Mr Sakande in 2008 renounced his British citizenship in accordance with the law as processed by the law firm and signed.

Mr Anthony Rexford Wiredu, Principal State Attorney, during the cross-examination, questioned the witness as to the veracity of his testimony since according to him there were certain inconsistencies in his statement.

However, Mr Anipa insisted the testimony was the truth and that he was around when the Bawku MP signed the document at the Law Firm in the UK.

When questioned as to the witnesses who were present when the MP signed the renunciation document, he answered that he (Anipa) together with the owner of the Law firm, Stanley Opoku, were present.

Mr Anipa also stated that even though he had known Mr Sakande in London since 1992, it is not a common practice among Ghanaians in the UK to be looking for those who have British Citizenship and those who do have.

Mr Wiredu in the cause of the cross-examination asked the witness to present his passport to the court to help him clarify issues regarding the stamps on the documented forms.

Mr Anipa even though agreed to present his passport, he claimed that he had left it in his car, however, Mr Justice Quist insisted that the cross-examination should go because the witness is not the one on trial and the prosecution can move on without the passport.

The case adjourned to November 17, 2011 for further cross-examination of the witness.

It is the case of the prosecution that the accused person was not a Ghanaian, and does not qualify to be elected as an MP, because he also holds Burkinabe and United Kingdom passports, on which he had traveled to Ghana.

The prosecution further noted that the MP never renounced his nationality of those countries before presenting himself to be nominated and elected as a parliamentarian in the December 2008 elections.

According to state prosecutors, the accused person, who is also a Security Management Specialist, entered the country on December 20, 2007, adding that the accused person, on October 15 2008, in Bawku, falsely made a statutory declaration to enable him qualify as a parliamentarian, having sworn a statutory declaration on October 15, 2008 that he was a citizen of Ghana.

The accused person is also alleged to have deceived a public officer, when on October 15, 2008, with the intent to facilitate the obtaining of an appointment, he deceived a public officer acting in the execution of a public office duty.

The accused is also alleged to have, before the 2008 elections, made a false statement in an application to have his name included in the voters register.

The accused is also alleged to have registered as a voter when the voters register was opened, and subsequently, went ahead to vote in the December 7, 2008 general elections, when he was not entitled to do so.

The prosecution further told the court that information reaching the complainant in the case,   Mr. Sumaila Biebel, a cattle dealer and native of Bawku, indicated that the accused person was Burkinabe, British, and Ghanaian.

According to the prosecution, the complainant, as part of his civic responsibility, reported the matter to the authorities, and investigations revealed that the accused person had a penchant for the acquisition of multiple nationalities.

The prosecution further indicated that investigations also revealed that the MP had a Burkinabe passport, number C10098625, which was issued in November 1999, and was expected to expire in November 2009.

The prosecution further pointed out that the accused person traveled to Ghana on the said passport, on March 19, 2004, and departed on March 30, 2004.

The prosecution had stated that the MP wielded a British passport, with number 094442659, on which he traveled to Ghana on   December 13, 2005, after he had sought, and obtained, an entry visa from the Ghana High Commission in London.

Source: GNA

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