Muntaka's Case: Court’s Ruling Is Not A Blow Says Dep Attorney-Gen.

Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Hon. Ebo Barton Odro claims the government “just lost one leg of a triangle” in the court case involving the former Principal Accountant of the Youth and Sports Ministry, Mr. Adim Odoom, over the latter’s decision to seek the intervention of the High Court to prevail on government against his interdiction. Hon. Barton-Odro, stridently refused to regard the ruling as a blow and argued that is “the beauty of democracy.” “It cannot be a blow. This is why I’m saying that we don’t understand the beauty of democracy. You see…,so the government must always be right? That is a wrong perception and we’re not prepared to manipulate the judicial service in any way…As long as there is the opportunity for the person to be made to appear before the sub-committee of the Civil Service Council, I don’t see what the problem is. We are dealing with the rule of law,” he pointed out. A Fast Track High Court Judge in Accra this morning ruled as unlawful the decision by the President to interdict the former Principal Accountant at the Sports Ministry, Adim Odoom, following investigations by the Bureau of National Investigations into allegations of malfeasance against former Minister of Sports, Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak. Alhaji Muntaka resigned subsequently as a result of the scandal. Not happy with his interdiction, Mr. Adim Odoom went to court seeking a declaration that his suspension was unlawful. And the High Court on Monday, November 23rd, presided over by Justice Novise Aryene, ruled in his favour asking for his immediate reinstatement. But speaking to Citi News this afternoon on the implications of the court’s ruling, the Deputy Attorney-General sought to clarify that there are three ambits of the case, two of which had already been won by the state. “First of all, there were three limbs of this whole matter. The first had to do with the applicants’ contention that he had come under the Whistle-blowers Act and therefore was entitled to protection. We disputed that and the court upheld our stance,” he said. According to Mr. Barton-Odro, the second limb of the case “had to do with the contention that he (the embattled Accountant) was not allowed representation of Counsel before the Committee that was set up. Now, the court again ruled that since it was a fact-finding committee, refusal to grant him representation of counsel did not affect the case,” he stated. Touching on the third gamut which he described as procedural, the Deputy Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, indicated government’s preparedness to comply with the court’s ruling. “…the court said that the procedure was for the matter to be referred to the Head of the Civil Service,, who will then get the Civil Service Council to meet and form a sub-committee that will deal with the matter. And this third limb is what we’re saying that yes, we’re prepared to comply with it. According to him, prior to initiating of the (court) action, the Civil Service Council had set up a committee, but its operation had to be curtailed. “Indeed, even before the court action was instituted, the Head of the Civil Service through the Civil Service Council had set up a committee, but because the matter went to court, they couldn’t operate…We want to start afresh and then get all the processes dealt with and finally we’ll go into the merits of the matter through the right procedure. That is our view of the matter,” he stressed.