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30.04.2008 Politics

I was jailed by Castle, not Afreh...Sipa Yankey alleges

By Bismark Bebli - Ghanaian Chronicle

HAVING BEEN in the cold for sometime now, the former Director at the ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, under the National Democratic Congress (NDC) regime, Dr. George Sipa Yankey has dropped a bombshell over his incarceration.

Dr. Yankey, now a practising financial consultant, and Prof. John Evans Atta Mills' spokesperson on Trade and Industry, gave a chilling account of his incarceration, saying that the judgment by the late Justice Kwame Afreh was written from the seat of government, the Osu castle.

“The day that he was supposed to give judgment, he was called to the Castle and he was away for several hours and when he came back you could see that he was haggard, angry looking, and then he told the court that yes I promised to give a long ruling but I have changed my mind”, he alleged.

Giving his harrowing account on Joy FM Super Morning Show yesterday, Dr. Yankey said two of the officials who masterminded the ruling against them were dead while the other one is alive.

To him, it was Justice Afreh who urged those standing trial for causing financial loss to the state in the infamous quality grain trials, to make submissions of no case and further hinted them that considering the nature of the case, he was going to give a long ruling, which made him to adjourn the case for sometime.

He continued, “Let me shock you today, I will shock you. The Judgement that Justice Afreh read was not his judgement. You would be shocked, you would say how? Justice Afreh taught me in the Law School, I know his style of writing, I have read a lot of his judgements…he is not the abusing type. Now when Justice Afreh came to deliver his judgement, it was full of insults and abuse against the former Head of State, Professor Mills and people who were not standing trial before him. “This was not the nature of Justice Afreh.” And you know what happened, in the court it was very clear, everybody in the courtroom was shocked.

This was a judge who had written a judgement for several weeks and months and as he was reading it, maybe he forgot that he was speaking into the microphone, he could not even recognise some of the words and kept asking himself 'what is this word', 'and what is this word', which was picked by the microphone to the hearing of all, that was repeated several times as he delivered the judgement. And people were shocked; how can a man write a judgement and over several weeks after going through the judgement was not even able to detect his own words.” You know, it's sad that this man is dead, I feel so sorry, and I wish he was alive so that he would have told his story, he said.

Dr. Yankey, a former Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Gateway Programme, told the host, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah that he had forgiven the Late Justice Afreh and others who manipulated the system against him and other NDC officials including Mr. Kwame Peprah, former Minister of Finance and Economic Planning. He contended that the allegations of malfeasance levelled against him by the NPP administration has no merit but was due to political witch-hunting and victimisation. “If the head, the Minister of National Security should have to run away for his dear life, then that tells a lot about how vindictive this government is.”

Dr. Yankey, who intimated that he was a true CPP man but decided to join the NDC because, as he put it, the NDC is the only party that cares for the masses, said he initially declined to be a politician because of the trauma that politicians in Africa go through.

He however, believes that prison life has toughened him and that he has the conviction that joining forces with the NDC would be one of his ultimate aims to help Atta Mills' government to further revamp the agricultural sector especially in the production of rice.

“I have now seen why people like Kwesi Pratt and others do not fear. After my incarceration, the fear has gone away and I know that besides death there is nothing to fear than prison.”

Dr. Yankey, also a former President of ECOWAS Bank for Investment Development averred that the vindictive character and intimidation of the NPP against the former NDC officials are now manifesting in the Alan Kyerematen's exit saga.

He said “The case of Alan has proven how vindictive the NPP government is.”

According to him when the issues were going on some of his NPP friends did sympathize with him and told him how their businesses were being crumbled because they held different views in the ruling.

He said it was unfortunate that President Kufuor and his Vice, Alhaji Aliu Mahama after receiving bags of rice from the products of Aveyime failed to start the project until seven years later under their regime, to create jobs for the people.
Prof. Mills' spokesperson on Trade and Industry contended that the NDC has identified areas in the Northern, Western and Brong Ahafo regions for the production of rice to make Ghana self-sufficient in rice production.

Dr. Yankey, who indicated that he has been operating freely outside the nation because the law of causing financial loss does not exist especially in the UK, said under Prof. Mills' presidency, the NDC would set up Structural Adjustment Fund to help companies that are not doing well to buck up so that they would not fold up.

Stating various issues that would engage the attention of Prof. Mills after 2009, Dr. Yankey said the NDC would improve upon the efficiency and infrastructure of the telecommunication system and would also help to provide more jobs for the youth.

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