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07.07.2004 General News

Supreme Court orders Tsikata to file written statement

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Accra, July 7, GNA - The Supreme Court on Tuesday, ordered Tsatsu Tsikata, a former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), to file a written statement before July 19, instead of the oral one that he had wanted to depend on.

Tsikata had filed an appeal at the Supreme Court challenging an Appeal Court's ruling which had ordered him to go back to face the charge against him at an Accra Fast Track High Court (FTC).

He is seeking a relief from the Supreme Court to quash that decision and order, and also to uphold his submission of "no case".

The Court presided over by Mr Justice William Atuguba stated: "Owing to the nature of the case, the appellant should submit a written statement."

The five-member panel included Ms Justice Sophia Akuffo, Ms Justice Georgina T. Woode, Mr Justice S.A. Brobbey and Professor Justice Modibo Ocran.

Earlier, Mr. R. S. Agbenotor, a Co-Counsel for the appellant sought permission for adjournment at the instance of Prof. E.N.O. Dankwa, a leading Counsel for Tsikata, who was not in Court.

Counsel had told the Court that a letter dated July 2, this year, attached with a hearing notice, summoned Tsikata to appear before the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) today, Wednesday and that Prof. Dankwa had accompanied him.

"My Lords, my instruction is to ask for adjournment", Mr Agbenotor said.

But the Supreme Court did not take kindly to that explaining that NRC, like any other High Court, was inferior to the Supreme Court and that Prof. Dankwa should have attended the Supreme Court first, before appearing before the NRC.

Mr Osafo Sampong, Director of Public Prosecution and Mr Augustines Obour, Assistant State Attorney, are representing the State. The case was adjourned to July 28, for continuation.

The appellant is charged with wilfully causing financial loss of 2.3 billion cedis to the State.

Tsikata, who is also charged with another count of "intentionally misapplying public property, contrary to Section 1(2) of the Public Property Protection Decree 1977 (SMCD140)", had denied the charges. He had been admitted to a 700 million-cedi self-recognisance bail.

Sometime in March 2003, the FTC over-ruled the submission of no case and ordered Tsikata to open his defence in the case.

Tsikata then filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal in November 2004 but it was dismissed on the grounds that it lacked merit and therefore, ordered him to go back to the FTC to open his defence.