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16.02.2007 General News

Jailed MP Applies For Bail

By Ababio, Akwasi
Jailed MP Applies For Bail

The jailed Member of Parliament (MP) for Keta, and former Minister of Trade and Industry under the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Administration, Daniel Kwasi Abodakpi has applied for bail, pending hearing of his appeal. The bail application is slated for hearing on Tuesday, February 20, 2007. If granted by the Accra Fast-Track High Court, Abodakpi would return to Parliament and continue representing the people of Keta until the appeal against his sentence had been heard.

This was confirmed at the Fast-Track Court Registry by a court clerk who spoke on condition of anonymity. The NDC MP for Tamale Central, and deputy Ranking Member for Constitutional Affairs, Hon. Inusah Fuseini, who confirmed the bail application of Abodakpi who was jailed 10 years for causing financial loss to the state, spoke to Daily Guide in an interview.

According to him, he had taken a look at the bail application of the Keta MP, and the case of securing a bail stood the chance of success.

Hon. Fuseini noted that in view of his incarceration, and present role as MP, the Speaker of Parliament would have to announce the seat of Keta vacant for a by-election, which meant he would have lost his position before the appeal was heard. He believed Abodakpi, if granted bail, would not leave the country by virtue of his position as MP, before the appeal was heard.

Explaining further, he said if the appeal went in favour of the former Deputy Minister, he would maintain his position as Keta MP, but if he lost, then he would finally give up the seat to pave way for a by-election.

The Keta MP was found guilty by Justice S.T. Farkye, an appeal court Judge, sitting as an additional High Court Judge, on all seven counts of conspiracy to commit crime, defrauding by false pretences and wilfully causing financial loss to the state to the tune of $400.000.

The Judge, in his judgment, noted that the accused person made a false representation to Ecobank to pay for a feasibility study on the Science and Technology Valley/Park project which was never conducted.

Abodakpi was co-chairman with Victor Selormey, deceased, of the Trade Investment Programme (TIP) and their correspondence was through Dr. Boadu.

Correspondences to Ecobank were made in August 2000, but the investigator, during the trial, indicated that there were no correspondences in the Ministry of Trade and Industry's logbooks, which the court found abnormal.

According to the court, the prosecution was able to prove to the court that the late Selormey made payment of $400,000 to Dr. Owusu Boadu and the correspondences were to Abodakpi and Owusu. The court concluded that the amounts, which belonged to the Government, were lost, hence the charge of wilfully causing financial loss to the state was proved.

The trial started in 2002 with Victor Selormey, who was also accused of causing financial loss to the state to the tune of ยข2.73 billion, until his death possibly freed him from answering any charges.