Joe Ghartey JOE GHARTEY, the former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, has accused Tsatsu Tsikata, former boss of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) of embarking on a tour of the regions to peddle falsehood about him.
The former minister is alleging that Mr. Tsikata is spreading reports in the media that he, Joe Ghartey, had untruthfully said that there were only 300 remand prisoners held illegally at the Nsawam Prisons.
Mr. Ghartey said he had never made such a statement and that though he would have ordinarily ignored Mr. Tsikata, the latter was taking the “untruth” on a regional tour.
Mr. Ghartey, in a statement, explained that he had said no such thing and that Mr. Tsikata was basing his claim on a Daily Graphic report of September 17, 2008.
He indicated that the said report stated that “three hundred remand prisoners are still being held at the Nsawam Medium Security Prison even though their warrants had expired, an Executive Director of the Centre for Human Rights and Civil Liberties (CHURCIL), Kojo Graham has disclosed.”
Joe Ghartey posited that it was clear even from the report that he was not the source of the story and that the story was attributed to the NGO in question.
The statement explained that CHURCIL had been tasked under the Justice for All Programme and it gave its report during a stakeholders' meeting that was held at the Justice Ministry on September 15, 2008.
It continued: “The Prison Service Council had supplied the AG's office with a list of prisoners on remand which was in excess of 300 remand prisoners.
“A sub-committee had been set up which had gone to Nsawam Prison to interview the remand prisoners. At that stage the report we reviewed was that out of the about 600 remand prisoners that had been interviewed, 300 had expired warrants.
“Indeed in the same report, a representative of the Chief Justice reported that 426 cases had been put before vacation judges who were hearing cases. The persons involved in these cases were on remand therefore I could not have said that only 300 persons were on remand with or without warrants.
“The next day, I had a meeting with the NGO, CHURCIL where it was agreed that together with the Bar Association and lawyers from the AG's office, they would immediately take action on the 300 remand prisoners that CHURCIL had reported on.
“These facts are available to all who want to verify except those who do not want to accept the truth; I will assume that the facts were not known to Mr. Tsikata and that is why he has continuously attributed the statement to me. However, if after this clarification he continuous to repeat the untruth, then I will leave the general public to judge his motives,” the statement concluded.