The public hearing of the presidential commission probing the operations of the [email protected] Secretariat started with an objection by counsel for the former Chief Executive of the secretariat, Dr Charles Wereko-Brobbey, relating to the jurisdiction and the procedure being adopted by the commission.
After the commission’s Chairman, Mr Justice Isaac Duose, had made his brief opening remarks on the mandate of the commission, he indicated that he had received a complaint from Mr Akoto Ampaw of Akufo-Addo, Prempeh & Co, a law firm, raising an objection to the role of the commission.
According to counsel, he did not see the role of the commission regarding its terms of reference, especially in view of the fact that the Auditor-General’s Report on the activities of the secretariat, which was before Parliament, had not implicated anybody for wrongdoing.
Counsel wanted to know the procedure by which the commission would carry out its enquiry and to be given fore-knowledge of allegations witnesses intended to make to enable him to determine whether or not the evidence affected his client in order to prepare for a response.
Counsel referred to Article 281 (2) of the Constitution of Ghana which requires that rules of procedure setting out how commissions should go about their work should be available, saying that those rules were very fundamental.
He said the commission had a constitutional obligation to let the world know its procedure and for that matter counsel and his client were entitled to some knowledge on that.
Responding, Mr Justice Duose said the commission had not received any specific allegations yet, adding that there was no written procedure guiding the probe but that it would be conducted along the rules of a High Court.
“All rules of evidence will be employed in due course, since anything done outside the rules will be a default on our part,” he said. Later, when the first witness took the box and was led in evidence by Mrs Barbara Tetteh-Charwey, one of the counsel/secretaries of the commission, and he was also cross-examined by another counsel, Mrs Evelyn Keelson, Mr Ampaw raised objections that that was not the practice.
Mr Justice Duose took notice of the point, admitting that it was a procedural error which did not go to the root of the issue, although it was very patent.
After the first witness, things normalised, although there seemed to be a problem with the public address system in the chamber.
Source: Daily Graphic
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|