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20.01.2010 Social News

Herdsman testifies in Daramani's case

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Accra, Jan. 19, GNA - Mr. Sumaila Biebil, a Bawku-based herdsman on Tuesday narrated to an Accra Fast Track High Court how he lodged complaint over the citizenship of Adamu Daramani, the embattled Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central.

Daramani is before court for having multiple nationalities.

Adamu Daramani, aka Adamu Daramani-Sakande, aka Adamou Sakande, a Security Management Specialist, is facing nine counts, including being a prohibited immigrant and forgery of travelling certificates.

Other charges are false declaration for office, perjury, deceiving public officer, unauthorised voting and other registration offences.

Daramani has pleaded not guilty and the court, presided over by Mr. Justice Charles Quist, admitted him to GH¢10,000 bail with surety.

Led in evidence by Mr. Anthony Wiredu, Principal State Attorney, Mr. Biebil said in 1998, he went to London following an invitation extended to him by the late Hawa Yakubu.

According to the witness, he attended a wedding ceremony and there Daramani introduced himself as a native of Bawku and citizen of London.

Witness who spoke through an interpreter said he spent five days in London.

In 2008, witness said he met Daramani during the 2008 campaign and was later elected MP for Bawku Central.

However, witness said he heard on the radio that non-Ghanaian citizens could not contest for political elections, and therefore talked to his lawyers about the matter and they confirmed that.

Mr. Biebil said one of his lawyers asked him to report the matter to the National Security or the Police.

"I therefore, reported the matter to the Police who said they were going to investigate the matter. The Police later served me with some documents."

Witness said he later read in the newspapers about Mr. Daramani's multiple passports.

Answering questions under cross-examination by Mr. Egbert Faibille one of Daramani's counsel admitted that he (witness) hailed from Bawku and had never seen Daramani's relations in Bawku.

Witness also denied that he knew Daramani's ancestral home in Bawku.

He admitted that he had never seen Daramani's passport but only saw a photocopy of it published in the Daily Graphic.

Witness said he was not aware that people denounced their citizenship before they could opt for any political position.

When asked whether he had evidence that accused had denounced his citizenship, he replied in the negative.

Mr. Biebil admitted having a passport obtained through an application to the Ghana Immigration Service.

The prosecution's case is that in 2008, after the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections, information reached the complainant, Mr. Biebil that the accused, who won the Bawku Central seat on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), had multiple nationalities.

As part of Mr. Biebil's civic responsibility, he noticed that Daramani had violated the law and taken Ghana for a ride, and reported to the authorities and investigations revealed that Daramani had multiple nationalities.

The prosecution said investigations had revealed that Daramani had a Burkinabe passport number C10098625, which was issued in November 1999 and would expire in September 2009.

He said Daramani as a Burkinabe, travelled on the said passport to Ghana on March 19, 2004 and departed on March 30, the same year.

The prosecution said Daramani also possessed and owned a United Kingdom passport number 094442650 on which he travelled to Ghana and arrived in the country in December 2005, sought and obtained a Ghanaian Entry Visa with the Ghana High Commission in London.

In addition, when Daramani returned to Ghana in 2007, he managed to secure a Ghanaian passport, thereby evading and abusing the county's electoral system and laws.

The prosecution said Daramani used the same representation to get his constituents to nominate him as parliamentary candidate, and was accepted, thereby making them to believe that he was a Ghanaian and filed all the requisite forms.

It pointed out that Article 94 (2) of the 1992 Constitution, forbids aliens from contesting elections in the country.

The matter has been adjourned to February 2.

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