04.12.2008 Social News

Appeals court to deliver judgment on Tsatsu’s appeal on December 18

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The Court of Appeal will on Thursday, December 18 give judgment on an Appeal Application brought before it by Tsatsu Tsikata, former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), against an Accra Fast Track Court decision which landed him in jail on June 18.

Mrs Justice Mariama Owusu, presiding over the three-member panel of the Court, with Mr Justice P. K. Gyaesaayor and Mr Justice Kobena Acquaye as the other members, fixed the date after the court's sitting on Thursday.

Tsatsu was not in court because he is currently on admission at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. However, some family members and sympathizers, including Captain Kojo Tsikata (rtd), Mr Fui Tsikata and Professor Kofi Awoornor, as well his counsel, Professor Emmanuel Victor Oware Dankwa, were present in solidarity.

In his appeal application, Tsatsu is praying the court to reverse the determination made by Mrs Justice Henrietta Abban that she was competent to hear his motion for bail in spite of pending allegations of bias against the trial judge.

In the statement of case, his counsel argued that the trial judge could not be a judge in her own cause, by deciding that she was not disqualified by bias from hearing the application for bail.

Counsel submitted that Mrs Justice Abban erred in her constitutional duty to be fair and candid in the exercise of discretionary power, by failing to make available her judgment to Tsatsu, and yet expected him to proceed with an application for bail.

It was counsel's contention that the trial judge should have adjourned proceedings for the complaint of bias to be determined by another judge.

Moreover, she should not have proceeded with the bail application when allegations of bias against her were pending.

Counsel submitted that the decisions of Mrs Justice Abban on July 30, should be set aside by the Court and the application for bail pending appeal be restored.

Mr George Kwadwo Ofori, Principal State Attorney who represented the Attorney-General, argued that no substantial miscarriage of justice actually occurred when the learned trial judge on July 30, dismissed Tsatsu's motion for bail pending appeal.

Mr Ofori submitted that contrary to constitutional requirements, Tsatsu refused to move his motion for bail, when he was required to do so.

He contended that in conceding to the request of the Attorney-General to strike out the said application, the learned trial judge was only doing what was required of her as a judge, and could not be said “to be biased, arbitrary and capricious”.

He therefore prayed the Court to dismiss Tsatsu's appeal application as being frivolous and devoid of any merit, and additionally, make an order refusing the restoration of the motion for bail pending appeal. On June 18, Mrs Justice Abban, Appeal Court Judge, with additional responsibility on Tsatsu's case as a High Court Judge, convicted him for wilfully causing financial loss to the State and sentenced the former GNPC boss to five years' imprisonment.

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