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22.09.2005 General News

Ansa-Asare withdraws writ

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Accra, Sept. 22, GNA - Mr Kwaku Ansa-Asare, Director of the Ghana School of Law (GSL), on Thursday formally withdrew from the High Court his application that the five member Committee of Enquiry investigating allegations of wrong doing against him be prohibited from doing so. This was after Mr Justice P. K. Gyaesayor, an appeal Court judge sitting as a vacation judge at the High Court, had overruled a request by Mr Joe Ghartey, Deputy Attorney-General and counsel for the committee, that the case should be dismissed.

Mr Ghartey had argued that Mr Ansa-Asare had clearly disregarded the procedure of the court.

Mr Ghartey said the applicant should have filed his statement before the court within 14 days of filing his application and it was, therefore, premature to hear the case.

He, therefore, prayed the court to dismiss the case. Mr Ansa-Asare told the court that the statement by the Defence that the application was premature was untenable. The applicant stated that the 14 days was to elapse on Friday and called on the court to receive oral submissions.

He argued that hearing of the case should not be interrupted. Giving his reasons for overruling the request, Mr Justice Gyaysayor said it was only after the 14 days that the Deputy Attorney General's objection became valid.

He said so far as that period had not elapsed, the case could not be dismissed.

Mr Ansa-Asare said: "I will formally withdraw the application having been assured that I would be treated fairly."

Mr Ansa-Asare said all he needed was an assurance from the Committee of a level playing field where every one would be given a fair hearing. He said this would enable him to restore his credibility in the eyes of the public.

The Deputy Attorney-General told Mr Ansa-Asare on behalf of the Committee that being a sub-committee of the General Legal Counsel and also by the ethics of the legal profession it could not do anything to tarnish his image.

Mr Ghartey told the court that Mr Ansa-Asare had told him behind the scenes that his intention was not to halt the Committee's proceedings but to ensure justice.

Mr Ansa-Asare, who refused to attend sittings by the Committee as a result of his disagreement with its conduct, was now expected to attend its sessions.

In an application for an Order of Prohibition, Mr Ansa-Asare contended that the conduct of the Committee constituted a breach of Article 17 of the 1992 Constitution.

He averred that members of the Committee had not afforded him equal treatment before the law and had been discriminatory in the way they treated him as compared to their treatment of Mr Maxwell Opoku Agyemang and Mr Albert Adare, who are petitioners in the enquiry.

The application also stated that the discriminatory behaviour of the Committee was exemplified by their involvement in the attempt to suborn Mr Peter Worglo, a worker at the School, to give false evidence about the registration of his daughter, Irene.

It said the Committee members had made public utterances that he had something to hide and that he had improperly withdrawn billions of cedis from the accounts of the School when they did not have any proof of such withdrawals.

"The Committee accused Mr Ansa-Asare of creating unspecified abnormalities in the school regarding which no evidence had been offered before them.

"Significantly, Maxwell Opoku Agyeman was allowed to offer testimony regarding facts of which he had no personal knowledge and to make bare allegations of impropriety against Mr Ansa-Asare without any proof whatsoever."

He said the bias of the respondents and their hostility towards him were palpable, unconcealed and could be seen and felt by all present at the proceedings.

The Committee would continue with sittings on Wednesday September 28.

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