Ambulance Trial: Godfrey Dame must heed Judge's advice — Appiah-Kubi 

  Sun, 16 Jun 2024
Headlines Ambulance Trial: Godfrey Dame must heed Judge's advice — Appiah-Kubi 

Mr Andrew Appiah-Kubi, a Private Legal Practitioner, has urged Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, the Attorney-General (AG) and Minister for Justice, to heed the advice of the Presiding Judge in the ongoing ambulance trial to recuse himself from the case.

That, he said, was to ensure justice prevailed in the matter.

Justice Afia Serwah Asare Botwe, the Presiding Judge in the ongoing ambulance trial of Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, a former Deputy Finance Minister Leader, on June 6, advised the AG to recuse himself from the case.

Her advice followed a leaked tape involving the AG and Mr Richard Jakpa, the third accused in the case, in which the AG is alleged to have tried to coerce the third accused to implicate Dr Forson.

Speaking on “The TV3’s KeyPoints” programme, on Saturday, Mr Appiah-Kubi expressed worry about the content of the leaked tape.

He noted that professionally, the content of the recordings did not auger well for the image of the AG considering that he (the AG) was also the Minister for Justice.

He, therefore, urged the AG to heed to the Judge’s call and recuse from the case, saying, the AG was no more credible in the ongoing case because he was also on trial for his actions.

“Indeed, he should not have waited for the Judge to advise him to do that. Once you are in a case like that and you, yourself have been singled out for decisions of the court, then it means that you are not as competent as you were before in appearing before the Judge because you are also on trial,” he explained.

He added that: “Professionally, it is not a friendly advice. If you are involved in a trial particularly, this is a criminal trial and knowing yourself as also a Minister for Justice, not only the Attorney-General, for justice to prevail, I’m sure you don’t want to be a judge in your own court.”

“When you are personally implicated in issues like that, the honourable thing to do is to recuse yourself and let the case be heard by the court with participation of other lawyers and we have a lot of lawyers who are most competent to prosecute this matter.”

On the admission of the audio into evidence, Mr Appiah-Kubi who is also the Member of Parliament for Asante Akim North, said the Judge’s decision was backed by the law.

“In all cases, there has been admissibility of evidence based on its relevance and if the trial judge thinks that piece of evidence is relevant to the subject and the determination, he or she is supported by law to admit it and that is what, I’m sure, informed the decision to admit it,” he said.

The private legal practitioner cautioned the media against passing comments on the matter that could be prejudicial to the case.

Mr Martin Kpebu, also a Private Legal Practitioner, on the same programme, described the content of the leaked tape as “damming” and urged the AG to file a Nolle Prosequi to discontinue the case.

According to him, that would have brought more respect to the country's criminal justice system and curb similar prosecutorial manipulations in the future.

“Stopping the trial altogether, obviously, is a bigger decision to make and of course, it would have been good to us. It would have set our criminal justice system on a higher pedestal or higher excellence,” he explained.

Professor Ransford Gyampo, a Political Science Lecturer, University of Ghana, believed that the trial was politically motivated to “cow the minority in Parliament into submission”.

He also noted that the case, particularly the content of the leaked audio, had eroded public confidence in the country’s judicial system, and reiterated the calls on the AG to recuse himself from the case.


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