Zita Completes Testimony Against Asamoah-Boateng

The Minister of Tourism, Mrs Zita Okaikoi, has completed her testimony in the GH¢86,915.85 renovation works at the Ministry of Information trial involving Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng and his wife, Zuleika. The court discharged Mrs Okaikoi, also a former Minister of Information, at its sitting in Accra yesterday after lawyers for Mr Frank Agyekum, a former Deputy Minister of Information, and Yasmin Domua, a manageress, had indicated that they had no questions for Mrs Okaikoi. She had, on previous dates, been cross-examined by the other defence lawyers. When the matter was called yesterday, Messrs Egbert Faibille, counsel for Mr Agyekum, and Thaddeus Sory, counsel for Yasmin, told the court that they had no questions for Mrs Okaikoi, who began testifying in the case from September 2009. A Chief State Attorney, Mr Anthony Gyambiby, described the lawyers' decision as a "pleasant surprise" but indicated that he had not brought fresh witnesses to court yesterday because he had expected the lawyers to cross-examine Mrs Okaikoi. The court also granted permission to Zuleika to travel abroad after her lawyer had pleaded with the court to that effect. The presiding judge, Mr Justice Charles Quist, however, directed her to return before April 29, 2010, which is the next adjourned date. Mr Asamoah-Boateng and his wife are standing trial with Mr Agyekum, Kofi Asamoah-Boateng, a former Director of Finance and Administration at the Ministry of Information, Kwabena Denkyira, a former Deputy Director of Finance and Administration at the ministry, Domua, Prosper Aku of Supreme Procurement Agency Ltd and the company as an entity. Mr Asamoah-Boateng, together with his wife and the others, are standing trial for allegedly conspiring to contravene the Procurement Act by not following due processes in obtaining a contract amounting to GH¢86,915.85 for renovation work at the Ministry of Information. Sarpong is facing six counts of conspiracy, contravention of the Procurement Act, attempt to defraud, altering document and deceit of public officer, while Agyekum has been charged with conspiracy, contravention of provision, attempt to defraud and deceit of public officer. Domua, a manageress and cousin of Zuleika's, is charged with conspiracy to commit crime, after which she was granted a GH¢10,000 bail with two sureties. Kofi Asamoah-Boateng faces six counts of forgery of official document, possession of forged document and forgery and possession of false document, while Denkyira also faces a charge of conspiracy. Prosper has also been charged with four counts of possessing and forgery of document of architects, engineering certificate and a false tender document. All the accused persons have pleaded not guilty to the charges and have all been admitted to bail.