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Mills has surrounded himself with law students – Kpegah


Photo ReportingMills has surrounded himself with law students – Kpegah

Emmanuel Archibald Laryea, a labourer who was arrested with 15 biometric voter identity cards, has been arraigned before an Accra District Magistrate Court.

A former Supreme Court Judge, Justice F.Y. Kpegah, is in no mood to defend the John Evans Atta Mills government.

He said the President treats elderly people like him with “contempt” and he has taken a decision to withdraw support for the Government.

“The President has surrounded himself with law students,” said Kpegah. “Instead of relying on the wise counsel of people like us. That is why the government is having problems.”

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The Mills government has lost almost all courtroom battles initiated against former officials of the John Kufuor administration. The most recent was the unsuccessful case against former Foreign Affairs Minister, Akwesi Osei Adjei, and former National Investment Bank boss, Daniel Charles Gyimah. An Appeals Court in Accra acquitted and discharged the men of all charges related to public funds and several tonnes of rice ordered from India during their tenure in office.

Last week, a judge in Accra released Assin North Member of Parliament, Kennedy Agyapong, on bail. The judge, in ordering the release of the detained MP, asked state prosecutors to revise the charges of treason felony, attempted genocide, and terrorism. The Attorney General’s Department filed charges against the NPP MP for making what has been described as hate speech on Oman FM recently. The judge explained that the facts of the case did not support the severity of the charges against the fiery Assin North MP.

Previously, the State lost high profile cases such as the Yaa-Naa murder trial, the Ghana at 50 trial and others initiated against former state officials of the John Kufuor administration. Justice Kpegah said this pattern of failure has a simple impetus.

“Take, for instance, the Deputy Minister for 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 said, adding, “If my support for the government is giving me personal damage then I must withdraw and look at them from afar.”

He went on, “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. “Again, on the Yaa-Naa Issue, I told him (President Mills) to set up a Commission of enquiry with a retired Chief Justice as Chairman and they will send their recommendations to government rather than politicise the matter, but he refused. In the end we wasted a lot of state money on prosecuting the matter in court. That is why I have decided to take a back seat.”

Justice Kpegah became an ardent critic of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) after the government of John Kufuor overlooked him, the senior most judge of the Supreme Court at the time, to nominate Justice Georgina Wood as Chief Justice.

In noticeable protest, Justice Kpegah subsequently resigned his position from the Supreme Court and has since been a stern critic of the party whose government failed to make him the third most powerful public official in the land. Also, he has over the last three years made public statements on matters of law and national politics in support of the Mills government.

Last year, Justice Kpegah kicked a major storm within the judiciary when he described as “awful” the trial judge who acquitted and discharged the 15 persons charged for the murder of Ya-Naa Yakubu Andani in 2002.

He said Justice E.K Ayebi’s ruling showed he was totally confused by the case.

Justice Kpegah told Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana show that if the ruling by the judge was submitted to his desk for promotion as is done by judges, he would have awarded Justice Ayebi less than one percent due to his poor ruling on the case.

The Fast Track High Court on Tuesday March 29, 2011 acquitted and discharged all the 15 accused persons on trial for the murder of Ya Na Yakubu Andani II. They were acquitted and discharged on three counts of rioting, conspiracy to murder and murder.

In its ruling, the court presided over by Mr Justice E.K. Ayebi said facts presented by the prosecution had no locus and failed to establish any complicity of the accused persons in the murder of the Ya Na.

“From now on, I will just take a back seat and watch them because that is what my family and chiefs from the Volta Region have advised me to do,” Justice Kpegah concluded in an interview with The Globe.

Source: The Globe newspaper



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