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Judge Barred From Hearing Fraud Case   
 
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10-Feb-2010  
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Circuit Court judge, D. E. K. Daketsey, has been prohibited by the Accra Human Rights Court from presiding over the case of two legal practitioners being tried for an alleged 850,000-dollar fraud.

High Court judge U. P. Deny held that Mr. Daketsey had shown evidence of bias from his actions and certain remarks he made about the case against the two accused persons.

The granting of the prohibition order Tuesday followed an application filed by one of the accused persons, Joseph Kwame Owusu Asomani, in November 2009 to prevent Mr. Daketsey from sitting on the case.

Mr. Daketsey did not oppose Asomani's application.

Although the Chief Justice transferred the case to another circuit court, counsel for the accused on January 22, 2010, maintained that it was purely administrative, and therefore urged the High Court to rule on the matter.

Asomani and Ekow Amua-Sakyi are facing charges of conspiracy, forging Judicial Service writ of summons, deed of assignment documents and uttering forged documents, to which they have pleaded not guilty. Each has been granted GH¢80,000 bail with two sureties to be justified.

Arguing for the order of prohibition, counsel for the accused, James Agalga said in June 2009, the police preferred criminal charges against the two lawyers.

He said his clients petitioned the Attorney General who caused the case to be suspended by the police for further investigations to be conducted but the police disregarded the A-G's directive and placed the docket of the case before Mr. Daketsey.

Mr Agalga said when the case was called on June 22, he explained to the judge that the A-G had suspended the prosecution of the case by producing a copy of a letter to that effect.

In spite of that, he said, Mr. Daketsey proceeded and issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the two lawyers following which they applied to a High Court which set aside the warrant and ordered that proceedings be stayed by Mr Daketsey.

Mr. Agalga said that notwithstanding the stay of proceedings served on the registrar of Circuit Courts and Mr Daketsey, the registrar caused the case to be listed and Mr. Daketsey also proceeded to call it on July 30, 2009.

According to him, Mr. Daketsey on that day asked that hearing notices be served on the two lawyers to appear before him, adding that "I was outraged by the conduct of the judge".

Counsel said on September 17, 2009, Mr Daketsey had the case called and he made certain outbursts to the effect that "if they (two lawyers) were farmers from Akontombra they will not absent themselves", Mr Agalga said.

"It is our case that the conduct of the respondent (Mr. Daketsey) in calling the cases flew in the face of the judicial hierarchy," he stressed.

Mr. Agalga, also took exception to the judge's remark that "they (two lawyers) are practicing an animal farm kind of justice" which his client believed clearly showed that the judge would be bias if allowed to hear the case.
 
 
Source: The Ghanaian Times
 
 

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