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26.08.2005 Crime & Punishment

Ansa-Asare Case: Transcript

Chronicle

Below is the transcript of the cross-examination:

Mr. Ansa-Asare (AA): Maxwell, did you say that Mr. Wutor of the accounts office gave you the information that the Law School pays for utility bills of my residence in my hometown in Larteh?

Mr. Opoku-Agyemang (OA): I didn't mention Mr. Wutor AA: Can you reveal your source of that information?

OA: A reliable source in the Board of Legal Education accounts office and in fact he also informed me that the amount was ¢19 million and at the appropriate time, he would bring the evidence.

AA: Are you serious on oath telling this committee that the Law School has spent ¢19 million on telephone, electricity bills, water at Larteh, my hometown?

OA: I said utility bills, I was not specific.

AA: Maxwell, you do agree with me, don't you, that this is a fact-finding body?

OA: Yes, I do agree.

AA: You therefore agree with me, don't you agree with me that to assist the committee, we have to state facts but not to speculate?

OA: What I have stated are facts.

AA: So when you say utility, what exactly do you mean?

OA: I mean utility bills!

AA: In Ghana, Utility bill is a term of fact meaning telephone, water and electricity

OA: That is not correct, you did not add refuse collection bills

AA: You are a lawyer, a journalist, a law teacher, a worker, what do you understand by utility bill?

OA: Electricity is one, water is one, I want to explain, but this time I mean electricity bill but the appropriate time the person will bring more information but I have brought the lead and clue.

AA: What period does the ¢19 million cover?

OA: I cannot give the specific time now.

AA Did I hear you on air that you were the one who supplied a copy of your petition to The Chronicle?

OA: My Lord I don't understand the meaning of supply.

AA: Were you the one who gave the information to The Chronicle?

OA: What I said about Chronicle's story here was, the petition I gave to the Attorney General and the Chief Justice at the durbar formed the basis of The Chronicle's story and I wonder why I had not been sued since I submitted the petition to these people.

AA: Can you say as a fact that the General Legal Council (GLC) doesn't pay for water and telephone bills at my house in Larteh?

OA: Let me affirm to this statement for now, I will say yes because I cannot talk about that but even though I am limiting myself to electricity, I think the committee will not limit itself to only electricity since it is a fact- finding committee.

AA: Because it is my house and I live there, I am putting it to you that I have paid electricity bills on my Larteh residence from my own pocket and not with money belonging to the GSL.

OA: That may be so for some period but the period I mean, the GSL paid ¢19 million.

AA: Did you cross check for the period the ¢19 million covered?

OA: I crosschecked even yesterday with the figure.

AA: Will it surprise you that as I speak now, there is no meter for the computation of the bills?

OA: It will surprise me unless that is the system that operates in Larteh.

AA: I am putting to him further that I have even sued the electricity company for what I considered overcharge for billing me ¢6million.

OA: You said you did not have a meter, how then did you know that they had over billed you?

AA: I don't usually stay there, anyway the matter is in court.

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