The Fast Track High Court, Accra, is today expected to resume hearing of the case in which former Information Minister, Stephen Asamoah Boateng and Frank Agyekum, Spokesperson for former President Kufuor and six other persons are standing trial on various charges relating to alleged breaches of the Procurement Act.
Today’s hearing will see the respective defence counsel continuing the cross examination of Mrs. Zita Okaikoi, Minister of Information. Mrs. Okaikoi had testified at the last date as to developments over the award of a contract for the renovation of the main ministerial block and a washroom at her ministry to Messrs Plexiform Ventures.
The court, presided over by His Lordship Justice Quist adjourned the case to today on September 17, 2009. At the last sitting, lead Counsel for Mr. Asamoah Boateng and his wife, Nene Amegatcher ‘grilled’ the Information Minister during cross examination.
Mr. Okaikoi told the court under cross examination that she does not know Mrs. Asamoah Boateng and has not met her before. Mr. Atta Akyea, lead Counsel for Mr. Denkyira, a Director of Finance and Administration at the Ministry of Information, who is also a co-accused in the case also took his turn at the last sitting to cross examine the Information Minister.
Lead Counsel for Frank Agyekum, Yonny Kulendi is yet to cross examine the Information Minister likewise other counsel for the remaining accused person. The case itself has taken some interesting turns with the substitution of charge sheet at least twice at the instance of the prosecution.
State prosecutors in the early days of the trial dropped five counts out of seven counts originally preferred against former Information Minister Stephen Asamoah Boateng in the case. Asamoah Boateng now faces the charges of Conspiracy to commit a criminal offence, namely, contravention of the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, contrary to Section 23(1) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960, ACT 29 and Section 92 and parts (iii), (iv) and (v) of the Public Procurement Act, 2003, ACT 663 and Contravention of the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2003, ACT 663 contrary to Section 92 and Parts (iii), (iv) and (v) of the Procurement Act 2003, ACT 663.
This follows the withdrawal of Suit No: AC48/2009 and its replacement with Suit No. 50/2009 at the High Court, Accra, which is hearing the case. Also joined to the suit as co-accused is Mrs. Zuleika Asamoah Boateng, wife of Asamoah Boateng. On the 17th August, 2009, when Stephen Asamoah Boateng and the eight other accused persons appeared in court for the first time, the Suit Number of the case was Suit No: AC 47/2009. Upon an application by the prosecution that day, a new charge sheet was substituted with a new suite number, namely, Suite No. AC48/2009.
On Suit No: 48/2009, Stephen Asamoah Boateng faced seven counts and it was based on these seven counts. Meanwhile signal picked up by the Ghanaian Observer (GO), have it that the court may not sit as Justice Quist is still on his annual vacation; following the return of his colleagues judges from their legal vacation. Justice Quist sat during the months of August and September when his colleague judges were on leave.
Source: The G. Observer
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