NDC Loses 13 Cases

The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) risks losing the legal suit against embattled Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, his legal counsel, Nii Ayikoi Otoo, has warned. This is likely to add up to a series of high-profile legal cases lost by the ruling NDC since assuming power in 2009. At the last count, the NDC government had lost 13 cases in three years. Nii Ayikoi Otoo is quoted to have advised the Attorney General and the Mills administration to drop the charges against his client or risk losing the case in court. In the latest of the cases initiated by the Mills government, beleaguered Kennedy Agyapong has been slapped with several charges for uttering what has been described as a hate speech. The charges include attempted genocide, treason felony and terrorism. Kennedy Agyapong has however been granted a GH¢200, 000 bail by an Accra High court. While ordering his bail, an Accra High court judge, advised state prosecutors to revise the charges. Fruitless ICC Recent actions by groups linked to the ruling NDC have gone on to reinforce the perception that the Mills government was unsure about how to handle the Kennedy Agyapong case. On Wednesday, a group calling itself the Ghana Coalition for the International Criminal Court (ICC) petitioned the ICC in The Hague to prosecute Mr. Agyapong. This move has been widely viewed as a joke because other politicians had made similar pronouncements, yet it has not struck the group to drag these people to court. “Let me state that these persons are jokers, they just want a distraction and we are not going to be distracted,” Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, General Secretary of the NPP, told an Accra radio station on Thursday. “I believe the laws of this land are adequate to deal with all such situations and so wherever they take us to, whether they go to the moon, the man’s innocence will be brought to bear.” Nii Ayikoi Otoo has described as regrettable the decision by the group. He told Citi FM, “if you have the judicial system which would work, you don’t need any ICC, so I’m surprised that somebody has been charged before our court, he’s yet to be tried and somebody goes to say he should be taken to ICC”. “Is that what the law permits? What the law is saying is that if you don’t have the judicial competence to try certain cases, please bring those cases up for us to deal with. Therefore, they are completely wrong and out of order to be doing what they are doing,” Lawyer Otoo pointed out. High-Profile Cases Many of the high-profile cases the government has lost involved suits against officials of the previous New Patriotic Party (NPP) government. Key among the high-profile cases include financial loss charges levelled against former Transport Minister Dr Richard Anane, former Chief of Staff Kwadwo Mpiani and Head of Ghana @ 50 celebrations Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby. On Joy FM’s ‘News File’ on Saturday, Samuel Atta Akyea, who also represents Kennedy Agyapong, pointed out that it was “juvenile” on the part of the NDC to say they would jail members of the opposition simply because they were at the helm of affairs. According to him, “There are thresholds in criminal law which was not invented by the NPP and proves beyond reasonable doubt. I have even said this in parliament that the Judiciary isn’t the rubberstamp of any political party’s manifesto. If your whole idea is to keep telling the people that you are an anti-corruption crusader and you are unable to put your argument together in a meaningful way, what do you expect? You would lose.” Among other recent failures include the financial loss charges against former Foreign Affairs Minister Akwasi Osei-Adjei, and former National Investment Bank boss Daniel Charles Gyimah, who were both discharged and acquitted of all wrongdoings in the issue of the rice importation from India. The Mills government has also failed to fulfill one of its most politicized and prioritized legal cases: The Yaa Naa murder trial. About 15 people charged for committing the dastardly act have been discharged by an Accra High court for failure of the State prosecutors to provide concrete evidence against the accused. Atta Akyea hypothesized that even if the NDC was to make its General Secretary, Johnson Aseidu Nketia, the judge to preside over the Ya-Na case, the party would lose miserably since it was clearly evident that the case for the prosecution was not supported by facts. There are other relatively smaller cases that have also been wasted by the Mills government, DAILY GUIDE has gathered. Law Students “The president has surrounded himself with law students, instead of relying on the wise counsel of people like us. That is why the government is having problems,” said retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice F.Y Kpegah, on Metro TV recently. “Take for instance, the deputy Minister of Information; he is a law student. Rawlings is older than those young men, the President has surrounded himself with them, but he does not take our advice on legal or political matters,” he complained. “I have written several memos to President Mills like the Yaa Naa issue and the need for him, as a constitutional matter, to probe the NPP administration because of probity and accountability, which is enshrined in the constitution, but he has refused,” Justice Kpegah revealed. “On the Yaa Naa issue, I told him to set up a commission of enquiry with a retired Chief Justice as chairman and they will send their recommendations to government rather than politicize the matter, but he refused. In the end, we wasted a lot of state money on prosecuting the matter in court,” said the visibly unhappy former Supreme Court Justice.