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21.10.2004 General News

Bambagate: A-G’s Claim Was A Hoax

By Chronicle
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- Papa Owusu Ankomah backtracks and says there is no police report - After saying police report exonerated Moctar Bamba The Attorney General (AG) and Minister for Justice, Papa Owusu Ankomah has backtracked from his earlier statement that Moctar Bamba had been exonerated by a police report on admitting yesterday that there was no report on the scandals involving the Ex- Deputy Presidential Minister.

He admitted also that he had not seen any report from the police on 'Bambagate', neither had his office received any report from any of the security agencies. But he maintained his personal opinion that the disgraced former minister had committed no criminal offence.

Speaking in an interview with The Chronicle following his infamous statement in Sekondi two weeks ago, the Minister said “As far as I know, Bamba has committed no criminal offence.”

According to him, the decision to investigate Bamba was the responsibility of the police service, adding the police had not submitted any report of investigations to his office. “You should go and ask the police,” he said, adding that it was only when the police and the other security agencies had recommended prosecution that the A-G could begin prosecution. The Backtracking

Surprisingly, the A-G said last week that when the story about Bamba entered the public domain in March this year, the police were tasked to conduct a thorough investigation into the case and submit a report for action.

The Justice Minister stated emphatically that the police, after conducting impartial investigations into the allegations, exonerated Bamba from any wrong doing, adding that the former minister's act was only a “judgmental error.” The A-G made these comments during a meeting with the media in Sekondi to formally introduce himself as the NPP parliamentary candidate.

He added at that meeting that Bamba, upon realizing his judgmental error, had to pay dearly by resigning from government. The Justice Minister noted also at the Sekondi meeting that those who were found to have acted wrongly after the police investigations had been arraigned before court adding that if the police had recommended the prosecution of Bamba, he would have been prosecuted.

“I, as Attorney General will not cause the prosecution of anyone until I am satisfied that there is sufficient grounds to do so. It will be travesty of Justice to rush a person to court without any compelling evidence to prosecute him.”

During yesterday's interview with Hon. Owusu Ankomah, he noted that aside the fact that there hadn't been any report on the issue, he was also not aware of any committee of inquiry set up to investigate the allegations against Hon. Bamba. He said the Attorney General's Department prosecutes cases based on recommendations submitted to it by the security agencies, which in this case hadn't happened. “I was not here when the story broke.

I learnt it was one Raymond Archer who wrote the story, and I think the police was investigating somebody and Bamba's name came up, so you should go to the police,” the A-G concluded.

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