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01.11.2005 General News

Ansa-Asare's position is fraudulent - Dr Bimpong-Buta

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Accra, Nov 1, GNA - Dr Seth Yeboah Bimpong-Buta, former Director of the Ghana School of Law, on Tuesday described the position of Mr Kwaku Ansa-Asare, Director of the Ghana School of Law (GSL) as fraudulent. Mr Bimpong-Buta said Mr Ansa-Asare was not and had never been the Director of the School and that his "position as Director is at best mistaken and at worst fraudulent".

Dr Bimpong-Buta testifying before the Committee investigating allegations of abuse of office and corruption against Mr Ansa-Asare said he Bimpong-Buta was the substantive Director of the School and under some bizarre conditions the position was wrested from him and the legal battle he had waged to resume his position as the Director of the School succeeded but only led to out of court settlement.

He said it was also not true that Mr Ayikoi Otoo, the Attorney - General, had set up the Committee to ensure that he (Bimpong-Buta) resumed duty as the substantive Director of the GSL.

Dr Bimpong-Buta said on January 5, 2001, he was in his capacity as the Director of the GSL, appointed as the Editor of the Gambia Law Reports under the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation (CFTC) for a two-year term with the prior approval of the Government of Ghana and the General Legal Council (GLC).

He said upon the approval of the GLC, he went on his secondment to the Gambia with effect from April 13, 2001,without any pay from the GLC. Dr Bimpong-Buta said the GLC decided before he left Ghana for the secondment that he was entitled to remain in the services of the GLC until the attainment of his 65th birthday on June 4, 2005.

Dr Bimong-Buta said when he returned to Ghana on April 13, 2003, he was prevented by Justice E. K. Wiredu, the then Chief Justice from assuming duty, "apparently on the bases of a letter dated 2nd January 2003 and signed by the then Chief Justice which was purported to have been authorised by the GLC".

Dr Bimpong-Buta said this authorisation was supposed to have been done when the GLC held its meeting on July 2002 to appoint Mr Ansa-Asare as the substantive Director of the GSL.

The former GSL Director said he wrote several letters to the GLC to no avail and took the matter to the Supreme Court where it was ruled that the Court had no jurisdiction over his claim.

He said when he brought a fresh action on April 6, 2004 in the Fast Track High Court in Accra against the GLC, Mr Ansa-Asare and one Mr M. N. Okyere, the former Registrar of the GSL, the court declared that the letter dated 2nd January 2003 and signed by Justice E.K. Wiredu in his capacity as the Chairman of the GLC to appoint Mr Kwaku Ansa-Asare as the Director of the GSL with effect from October 1, 2002, was a nullity and of no effect.

He said the reason for the declaration was that the GLC at its meeting held on July 11, 2002, never made or authorised the said appointment. Dr Bimpong-Buta said the Court also declared that he (Bimpong-Buta) by all legal implications had the right to retire as Director of the GSL at the age of 65 years.

He said the GLC did not file its defence to the action although it was ordered by the High Court to do so within two weeks as from July 8, 2004.

Dr Bimpong-Buta said his suit against the GLC was subsequently settled out of court with the GLC agreeing that he (Dr Bimpong-Buta) be paid compensation made up of his salary as Director of the GSL together with all allowances from April 14 2003 to June 4 2005 with 10 per cent interest on the total sum.

He said while he was satisfied with the settlement, he felt it a duty to draw the Committee's attention to the fact that the GLC had never at any time appointed Mr Ansa-Asare as the substantive Director of the GSL. Dr Bimpong-Buta said the GLC had rather approved Mr Ansa-Asare's appointment as the Acting Director of the GSL and directed that the post of substantive director be advertised.

He said minutes on a July 11, 2002 meeting by the GLC stated: "In the case of Mr Bimpong-Buta, who had been seconded to The Gambia Law Reporting, members envisaged that by the time he returned to Ghana he might have reached the special age of 65 years granted to him." Dr Bimpong-Buta said although he returned to Ghana on April 14 2003 and reported for duty on April 15 of the same year: "I was unjustifiably prevented from re-occupying my position as Director of the GSL by the then Chief Justice, Mr Justice E. K. Wiredu without any approval by the GLC." He re-emphasised that it could never be true that Mr Ayikoi Otoo, Attorney-General had set up the inquiry into allegations of malfeasance against Mr Ansa-Asare to pave the way for him (Dr Bimpong-Buta) to go back to the GSL to re-occupy his former position as Director. Dr Bimpong-Buta said the Attorney General as a member of the GLC had taken part in the decision to compensate him (Dr Bimpong Buta). He noted that he ceased being Director of the GSL from June 4, 2005, which was well before the Committee was set up and that he had already reached the age of retirement.

Dr Bimpong-Buta said by all legal implications he could never have become Director again.

He said he was not a party to the allegations of financial malfeasance that were being made against Mr Ansa-Asare. "It is highly improper for Mr Kwaku Ansa-Asare whom I taught at the Ghana School of Law to bring my name into the controversy in his bid to defend himself," he said. Sitting continues tomorrow.

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