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15.07.2005 Crime & Punishment

Dodoo's appeal records ready for Supreme Court

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Accra, July 15, GNA - The Appeal Court has now released records of proceedings on Dr Robert Dodoo, Former Head of the Civil Service, to enable him go to the Supreme Court to determine whether or not he has a case to answer at an Accra High Court.

Dr Dodoo, who is charged for wilfully causing financial loss of 70.8 million cedis to the State had earlier appealed and lost at the Court of Appeal and was ordered to go back to the High Court to open his defence.

The High Court presided over by Mrs Avil Anim-Yeboah on Friday, therefore, fixed hearing of the case to Wednesday, October 19, to enable the Supreme Court to do its work.

Dodoo initiated the appeal to challenge the Court of Appeal's ruling that he had a case to answer at the High Court.

Mrs Penelope-Ann Mamattah, Principal State Attorney, is prosecuting the case, while the defence team for Dodoo is led by Mr T. N. Nelson Coffie and assisted by Mr George F. Gardiner and Mr Bruce Acquaye Thompson.

On April 1, 2004, after Dodoo had completed his evidence, he was asked to open his defence but he objected to the Court's decision. The Court was told that in 1992 the Greater Accra Regional Tender Board awarded a 600-million cedis contract to M/S Charkson Construction Company for the building of a two-storey block, as an annex to the main office of the Head of Civil Service.

After the accused assumed office, he was said to be instrumental in the award of a contract for the provision of a lift for the annex.

According to evidence before the Court Dodoo was said to have signed a letter requesting the Minister of Finance to release 70.8 million cedis to Mr William Kofi Partey of Electovator Engineering Company Limited (EEC).

The Ghana Supply Commission (GSC) then put the award on tender and the EEC emerged as the winner.

The Prosecution said the accused endorsed the contract and took a personal and active part in pursuing the release of the funds for the lift and caused the transfer of the Principal Budget Officer of the Ministry of Finance, who stood in the way of an early release of the funds.

"Eventually after a lot of pressure, the amount of 70.8 million cedis was approved and paid on the strength of the letter written and signed by Dodoo," the Prosecution, said adding that the contractor failed to undertake the job and "up to date no lift has been supplied by him. An audit inspection revealed this loss of 70.8 million cedis to the State".

The Trial Judge said after considering the submissions of both the Prosecution and the Defence the Court had come to the conclusion that a prima facie case had been established against the Former Head of the Civil Service and asked him to open his defence on July 13 2005. Dodoo, who had told the Court that he did not have any case to answer, then appealed against the lower court's decision at the Court of Appeal.

The Appeal Court upheld the High Court's ruling and ordered Dodoo to return to the lower court to answer the charge preferred against him. The Former Head of the Civil Service has since started processing documents to go to the Supreme Court to challenge the Court of Appeal's decision and it is now that the documents are ready.