A-G Begs For Time Over NSS Boss Trial
Alhaji Alhassan Imoro
A state attorney in the trial of Alhaji Alhassan Imoro, the embattled Executive Director of the National Service Secretariat (NSS), yesterday asked the Economic, Financial and Tax Division of an Accra high court to further remand the NSS boss in the custody of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) for two more weeks.
This, Cynthia Lamptey, Director of Public Prosecution, explained, would enable the prosecution to complete its investigations into the alleged charges of stealing preferred against the man.
The NSS boss is alleged to have, from the month of September 2013 to July 2014, at the NSS headquarters in Accra, stolen GH¢86.9 million belonging to the Government of Ghana.
According to the prosecution, investigation so far had revealed that for every month – starting from September 2013 to July this year – an amount of GH¢7.9 million was paid to 22,612 non-existent or 'ghost' service persons.
At the trial, Ms. Lamptey told the court, presided over by Justice Georgina Mensah Datsa that though the offence for which the accused had been brought to face the law was bailable, it was necessary that Alhaji Imoro was remanded as 'investigation continued'.
She said it was alleged that the former NSS boss engineered the fraudulent payments from the top, a reason why the police ought to be given another opportunity to complete with its nationwide investigation.
Defence Counsel Amazed
However, lead counsel for the accused, Dennis Adjei Dwumor, described the turn of events as a surprise insisting, 'It's amazing when the republic wants to use the court to violate the rights of its citizens. If the state is not ready the accused person must be allowed his rights.'
He noted that Alhaji Imoro had been in custody since his arrest on October 10, 2014, though the charge against him is bailable.
According to Mr. Adjei Dwumor, his client had earlier been discharged of the charge of stealing by an Accra circuit court where he had been arraigned for the same offence.
Earlier, an Accra circuit court presided over by Francis Obiri, had struck out the case because the court had received a letter from the Attorney-General's Department ordering that the matter be transferred to the high court for trial.
This was just at the time when the trial judge was about to give a ruling on an earlier application for bail filed by Adjei Dwumor.
It may be recalled that the court had on two consecutive times remanded the former NSS boss at the instance of the prosecution and fixed yesterday, November 3, for a ruling on case.
The prosecutor, DSP Abraham A. Annor, had prayed the court to remand the accused person because the police had not completed their investigation.
He said the request was necessary, in view of the volume of work to be done, indicating that it was only appropriate for the court to keep the accused away from the people the prosecution might contact and the documents it might require in the trial.
Meanwhile, Justice Mensah Datsa granted the request of the Attorney-General (A-G), stressing that the prosecution must at the next adjourned date 'come with an advanced stage of their investigations.'
She stated that the accused must be given access to his lawyers.
The case has been adjourned to November 17, 2014.
By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson
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