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11.02.2009 General News

Ruling on Tsatsu's applications on February 25

Ruling on Tsatsu's applications on February 25

The Supreme Court (SC) will on Wednesday, February 25, give its ruling on two applications filed by Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), praying the court for an extension of time to file a supplement to the statement of case, and the submission of additional and fresh evidence that could not be presented in July last year when his Motion for Review came up for hearing.

The seven-member panel of the SC, presided over by Mr Justice William Atuguba, fixed the date on Tuesday, after listening to oral submissions from Counsel on both sides.

In his submissions, Professor Emmanuel Victor Oware Dankwa, Counsel for Tsatsu, argued that, in the affidavit in support of the motion, his client stated that in his Review Application filed while he was in prison, he indicated that he would file additional written submissions.

Counsel submitted that with the limited facilities at his client's disposal in prison, he could not complete the writing of the arguments in support of his application before filing.

Prof. Dankwa indicated that as a result of his subsequent ill-health and hospitalization, as well as the time needed to brief him, after his recuperation, his client had further delayed in the filing of the additional arguments.

This, Counsel said, had resulted in his seeking leave for extension of time for the filing of those additional arguments.

Prof Dankwa indicated that the fresh evidence will include that which conclusively established that Mrs Justice Abban had pre-determined the outcome of the application which he filed to call further evidence before her sitting on June 18, 2008, to hear the application.

In counsel's view, in having his client imprisoned on that fateful day, immediately after striking out the said application, the trial judge was rather acting in collusion with the Executive, contrary to her constitutional mandate, and her judicial duty to act fairly.

Prof Dankwa argued that the additional evidence will further include that of the determination on the part of Mrs Justice Abban, to act arbitrarily against him, reflected in statements she made on June 19, 2008, a day after sentencing his client.

Counsel also indicated that another fresh evidence will include the corrected certified true copy of the proceedings before Mrs Justice Abban on October 27, 2006, which he said, was only obtained from the Registrar of the Fast Track High Court after tape recordings of the proceedings had been used to verify the record some time after the SC heard the case in July 2008.

According to counsel, further evidence will come from playing the tape of the proceedings at the trial court on June 18, 2008, before the SC.

Prof Dankwa was of the view that the above listed pieces of evidence, will further establish the exceptional circumstances justifying the SC to review its decision of October 16, 2008.

“It is in the interest of justice that the said evidence would be allowed so that the truth about what took place before Mrs Justice Abban's judgement can be the basis for this Honourable Court in administering justice in this case,” Counsel submitted.

Replying, Mr Matthew Amponsah, Chief State Attorney who represented the Attorney-General's Department, said he was opposed to the application for leave for the extension of time on the part of Counsel on the other side, to adduce fresh evidence.

Mr Amponsah argued that by his application, Counsel was only wasting the court's time, because in his candid opinion, the records were already before the SC, and that there were no discrepancies in them.

Counsel also submitted that request that the tape of June 18 be played before the SC be refused and turned down, because in his view, the recordings on the tape had been reduced into writing, and for that matter, formed part of proceedings before the Honourable court.

Mr Amponsah further submitted that counsel's request for the tape to be played, was only going to waste the court's precious time, and delay the proceedings.

Counsel, therefore, prayed the court to dismiss the application, because it was incompetent and without any merit.

The six other members of the panel of the SC were Mrs Justice Sophia Akuffo, Mr Justice Julius Ansah, Mrs Justice Sophia Adinyira, Mrs Justice Rose Owusu, Mr Justice Jones Dotse and Mr Justice Paul Baffoe-Bonnie.