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28.01.2009 General News

Law on causing financial loss not constitutional – Tsatsu

By gna
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Mr. Tsatsa Tsikata, former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), on Wednesday said the law on “causing financial loss to the state” was not constitutional because it was not properly defined in the 1992 constitution.

He said even though the Supreme Court had made its own interpretations of the law in previous rulings, he believed the law did not meet constitutional standards.

Mr. Tsikata was speaking at a press conference in Accra on issues relating to his incarceration and the abuse of the judicial process by the executive arm of government.

He maintained that he never sought the pardon granted to him by former President John Agyekum Kufuor because it was clearly in bad faith from someone who had been the prime mover to have him imprisoned.

He said the first Attorney General in the Kufuor administration, Nana Akufo-Addo, had summoned him in the name of the President which clearly shows that the hand of the President had been evident.

Mr Tsikata said his pursuit of the judicial process to have his name cleared of the charges against him was in the interest of justice and the accountability of office holders.

He also said his complaint to the African Commission on Human and People's Rights to review its earlier decision to raise a preliminary objection on the grounds that he had not exhausted local remedies has been granted.

He said the Commission at its session in Abuja on November 2008 decided the matter in his favour and declared that his complaint was admissible and would now put the matter on its merits at the next session in May 2009.

He also said even though he believed that he was innocent of the charges against him he was prepared to go back to jail should he lose his appeal at the Supreme Court.

“If I was indeed guilty against the state of that offence, I should be made to suffer that consequence,” he added.

He said Nii Osah Mills, former President of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), was forced to resign because of his conviction that he (Tsatsu) was innocent of the charges against him.

He said it was important that all actors in the saga disclosed their interest so that members of the Bar Association as well as the public know where they were coming from.

Former President Kufuor in a statement on January 6, 2009 granted “free, absolute and unconditional pardon” to Mr Tsikata.

On June 18, last year, an Accra Fast Track High Court presided over by Mrs Justice Henrietta Abban, an Appeal Court Judge sitting as a High Court Judge, sentenced Mr Tsikata to five years' imprisonment for wilfully causing financial loss to the State and misapplying public property.

Tsikata was charged with three counts of wilfully causing financial loss of GH¢ 230,000 (2.3 billion old cedis) to the State through a loan he, on behalf of GNPC, guaranteed for Valley Farms, a private company, and another count of misapplying public property.

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