14.08.2009 Politics

Bring Asabee to court - Judge

14.08.2009 LISTEN

Accra, Aug. 14, GNA - An Accra Fast Track High Court on Friday ordered the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) to bring former Information and National Orientation Minister, Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng to court early on Monday morning.

The former Minister was to have been arraigned on Friday at the court presided over by Mr Justice Charles Quist for alleged malfeasance in respect of renovation works carried out at the Ministry, but he was not produced in court.

The ex-minister has been in the custody of the BNI since Thursday.

According to one of his lawyers, Mr Willie Amarfio, the judge had indicated that he could not grant bail to Asamoah-Boateng because he had not been brought to court.

Mr Amarfio told journalists that their client and five others had been charged with conspiracy.

He said Mrs Zulieka Asamoah-Boateng, wife of Asamoah Boateng, Mr Frank Agyekum, former Deputy Minister for Information and National Orientation, Mr Kofi Asamoah Boateng, a Director of the Information Ministry and two others as those who would be standing trial with the ex-Information Minister.

According to him they were being jointly held for violating the Procurement Act and failing to follow due process in respect of renovation works carried out at the Ministry.

He said the charges preferred against their client would fail since the GH¢80,600 allegedly obtained for renovations works was still lying in government coffers.

He said if Mr Boateng was not produced in court, they would advice themselves by filing a writ of Habeas Corpus on the Director of BNI and the Attorney General.

At about 1400 hours lawyers of the ex-minister and attorneys from the Attorney-General's office had waited for more than two hours for Asamoah Boateng to be brought to answer charges of malfeasance.

At about 1545 hours lawyers representing the state and Asamoah Boateng, marched to the judge's chambers for a meeting.

They converged at 1648 hours at the court room picked up their books and then walked out.

The charged audience could not hide their disappointment by shouting "Sakawa", "what kind of Sakawa is this".

As the audience, some clad with red band and black clothes left the court and converged at the forecourt of the Supreme Court, the audience chanted war songs.

Policemen were detailed to provide security at the premises.

Mr Anthony Gyambiby, Chief State Attorney represented the state, while Nene A.0. Amegatcher led the defence team.