Nana Oye Lithur, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, has disclosed that she was thoroughly grilled by Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie aka Sir John when she was summoned by the Justice Samuel Kofi Date-Bah (rtd.) Committee investigating allegations of complicity by some Supreme Court Judges who sat on the just-ended presidential election petition.
According to the Minister, who was speaking on TV3’s Hot Issues programme on Saturday, during the inquiry, she insisted her hands were clean.
Nana Oye’s disclosure was the first time the public had been given a sneak peek into some of the processes in the closed-door inquiry of the committee investigating allegations that before the Supreme Court verdict on the landmark election petition was read, the Minster whose husband is President John Dramani Mahama’s lawyer in the case, clandestinely went to ‘see’ the judges in a bid to influence their judgements.
The two were summoned on December 16, 2013 for questioning on the highly sensitive matter. Sir John, who had earlier appeared before the Justice Samuel Kofi Date-Bah Committee alone, described his encounter as ‘civil and very frank’.
As at press time, Daily Guide could not reach Sir John, the General Secretary of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) who filled the petition with the Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood, which necessitated the constitution of the committee of inquiry.
“I will never do anything like that [try to influence judges]. The works I have done [over the past years] speaks for itself,” Nana Oye Lithur said. She was indicted in the infamous leaked tape ‘Vikileaks’ where the sacked deputy Minister of Communications, Victoria Lakshmi Hammah, not knowing that she was being secretly taped, stated emphatically that the Gender Minister was very instrumental in the verdict that favoured President Mahama whose electoral victory in the December 2012 elections was being challenged.
“The sort of value, the sort of approach I have for work will not make me do that,” she stated on the TV Programme.
“It is very, very wrong. It is totally false,” she said of the allegations, adding that her statement on November 11, 2013 duly dismissed the suggestions.
When the tape went viral recently Nana Oye Lithur issued a statement saying, “The allegation is untrue and preposterous. For the records, I do not have any sort of relationship with any of the judges who sat on the petition, which would form the basis of any discussion or meeting with any of them in relation to ti.
Sir John’s Doubt
Despite her denial, source told Daily Guide that Sir John argued that there must be some iota of truth in the Vikileaks, because Ms. Hammah made the statement without being prompted. She was indeed alleged to have made the statement in the comfort of her car while having a conversation with her colleague, with no gun pointed at her.
Mr. Owusu Afriyie had petitioned the Chief Justice to investigate claims by Victoria Hammah that Nana Oye Lithur might have clandestinely influenced the final verdict of the election petition.
In the tape, the embattled former minister was heard telling her confidant that”…I learnt even before the [Supreme Court] verdict, Nana [Oye Lthur] was with the Justice and all that. You don’t know the role she has played for us to win the court case…”
In the tape, Ms Hammah specifically indicated that a night before the Supreme Court election petition panel headed by Justice William Atuguba would deliver their final verdict, Nana Oye-Lithur went to ‘see’ some of the Justice.
Lawyer Lithur is said to wield too much influence in the Mahama administration as captured on the Vikileaks, controlling three ministries.
According to source, Sir John pleaded with the committee to critically listen to the tape to make up their minds, since he had every reason to believe in the statement made by the dismissed deputy minister.
For Sir John, Nana Oye Lithur and her husband are very influential in the current Mahama-led administration, and the fact that the President is a close friend to Tony Lithur, emphasizes his conviction.
That closeness, he said, was not in doubt, with the appointment of Tony Lithur’s wife as a minister, a partner at his firm Lithur Brew & Co as Attorney General, topping it up with him being appointed chairman of the Ghana Airport Company under the Minister of Transport.
Source: Daily Guide
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