Bawku MP Seeks More Time
Egbert Faibille, counsel for Adamu Daramani Sakande, the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central who has been accused of perjury, yesterday asked the court to give them additional time for them to file their written addresses.
He told an Accra High Court presided over by Justice Charles Quist that they had not finished filing their addresses and would therefore need more time.
Counsel for the MP prayed the court to give them time and the trial judge consequently had the case adjourned to May 11, 2012.
Rexford Wiredu represented the state.
Mr. Faibille, at the last hearing date, indicated that they had gone through the records and were okay with it, but noted that there was an omission of a few lines in which the MP said he was Ghanaian, and as a result the judge allowed more time for the corrections to be effected.
The prosecution, during the trial, called an immigration officer, Nolasco Nhyiedu; the Municipal Electoral officer of Bawku, John Bosco Anyigire and Sumaila Bielbiel, who claimed the MP was British.
The MP, who denied any wrongdoing, brought Marlon Praises Anipa, the friend who accompanied him to the lawyer to renounce his British citizenship, and Stanley Opoku, an immigration and asylum consultant with Stanley Adam & Co Chambers in the United Kingdom (UK), who prepared his renunciation papers.
The immigration consultant, at the last hearing, testified that he prepared the renunciation documents for the MP and said that the documents were genuine.
He also refuted Rexford Wiredu's allegations that he had no right to quote any law in England without bringing the said law, explaining that the British Nationality Act he quoted was easily accessible.
The witness said this when he was under cross-examination by Wiredu.
The witness, who was accused of not being a lawyer, was asked by Mr. Wiredu to tell the court which Inn he was called to, but Mr. Opoku noted that it was only barristers who were called to the bar, and when asked of his solicitors license, replied that it was only solicitors who were given solicitors license in the UK.
Explaining further, the witness said he was a non-practicing lawyer who specialized in immigration and asylum law and was not a barrister, as only barristers argued cases in court while solicitors did solicitors work, adding that there were various categories of the law, as a result of which lawyers in the UK were regulated by different bodies depending on their area of specialization.
Wiredu put it to the lawyer that he was a 419 man who just paraded about as a lawyer, to which the court said it found the language unacceptable.
The immigration consultant had earlier told the court that he flew from his base in London to come and testify because as a lawyer, he was interested in helping the court to arrive at the truth.
He said he had been practicing for the past 16 years and had never come across a situation like that of the MP's, and because of that felt he should come because he was the one who had processed the MP's renunciation forms. He also noted that he did not want to keep his side of the story away from the court as he might lose clients as a result.
The witness had stated that he took the MP's British passport and sent it to the Home Office as part of the renunciation process.
He noted that after an applicant paid the statutory fees, the person processing the renunciation documents was only required to post the documents to the Home Office, after which the applicant would no longer be considered a British citizen.
By Fidelia Achama