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17.07.2008 General News

Parliament observes silence for Ala Adjetey

By The Statesman
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Parliament yesterday observed a one-minute silence to the memory of the late former Speaker of Parliament, Peter Ala Adjetey, who died Tuesday at dawn after a short illness.

Earlier in the day the Vice President, Aliu Mahama and the Leadership of Parliament, led by First Deputy Speaker Freddie Blay, as well as the Ga Manste, Nii Tackie Tawia III, had visited the bereaved family to mourn with them.

Their mission was not only to mourn with the family, but also to enquire about preparations being made to give him a befitting burial.

They expressed sympathy for the family and assured them of their preparedness to support them before, during and after the burial.

Back in the House, the Deputy Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Osei Prempeh, announced that the police were still investigating circumstances that led to the death of Issah Mobilla in military custody on 9 December, 2004 before prosecutions could begin.

This was part of the Minister's answer to a question posed by Inusah A.B Fuseni (NDC, Tamale Central) who asked him about the status of the case involving persons suspected to be behind the murder of Alhaji Issah Mobillah.

According to him, though the A-G had fully studied the document, he was of the view that the police needed to conduct more instigations into the matter for prosecution to begin.

"Mr. Speaker, considering the fact that the courts would go on recess from the end of July until mid October, it is hoped that the police would use the vacation period to do the work required so that prosecution could start in the next legal year", he added.

Throwing more light on the issue, Prempeh stated that Alhaji Issah Mobillah was picked up by the police on 9 December, 2004 in connection with sporadic firing of guns in Tamale on the night of 8 December, 2004 and dawn of 9 December.

He pointed out that he was later transferred from the Custody of the police to Military Custody after allegations that his supporters were planning to attack the police station to release him; but whilst in Military custody he was alleged to have collapsed and rushed to the hospital where he died.

Though he agreed to the Member's concern that the prosecution of the case had delayed, he said, "it is not an isolated incidence; most cases before the Attorney-GAeneral delay, some even go beyond three years due to staff constraints, but we are working hard to reduce the backlog of cases before us, and I am sure very soon, delays will be a thing of the past", he stressed.

When questioned whether the A-G had given the police a time frame within which to finish their investigations, he said, "The A-G does not set time frame for the police".

When some Members tried to draw his attention to the cause of Issah's death as being severe damage to the brain and torture, he responded that "though it could be true, it can only be ascertained during cross-examination" and that he could not discuss details before the House because it was not a court.

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