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02.11.2005 General News

Bimpong-Buta's testimony saddens me - Ansa-Asare

By GNA
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Accra, Nov. 2, GNA - Mr Kwaku Ansa-Asare, Director of the Ghana School of Law (GSL), says it saddens his heart that a former Director of the School should attack a former Chief Justice.

He said Dr Bimpong-Buta, Former Director of the GSL, could not be pardoned for his indiscretion when he appeared before the Committee. Mr Ansa-Asare said this on Thursday when he appeared before the Committee of Inquiry, which is investigating allegations of abuse of office and corruption against him.

"I caution this Committee that we have lost focus and we are now using this platform to attack personalities whose integrity should never be in doubt," he said.

Reacting to evidence that Dr Bimpon-Buta gave before the Committee on Tuesday, Mr Ansa-Asare said, as a former member of the General Legal Council (GLC) Dr Bimpong-Buta should have known that he had the responsibility to protect the Council as well as the Chief Justice. He said he would have prayed the Committee to stop Dr Bimpong-Buta if he were present when he gave his evidence. "It is now time to expose some of these people."

He prayed the committee to put an end to "the unfolding embarrassing drama".

Mr Ansa-Asare re-iterated that the Committee was set up by Mr Ayikoi Otoo, the Attorney General "to do the dirty work of some people, who know themselves".

He said Dr Bimpong-Buta's evidence should not have been tolerated at all by the Committee.

The GSL Director said his (Ansa-Asare) Directorship had never been an issue before the Committee, adding that Dr Bimpong-Buta had once taken the matter to the Supreme Court to contest his (Ansa-Asare) Directorship but lost the case.

Dr Bimpong-Buta, in his evidence before the Committee, said among other things that by all legal implications Mr Ansa-Asare was not and had never been a Director of the GSL.

He said a letter which was signed by former Chief Justice Mr Justice E. K. Wiredu in his capacity as Chairman of the GLC in 2003, stating that he (Dr Bimpong-Buta) had been replaced by Mr Ansa-Asare as the Director of the GSL, was declared null and void by a Fast Track High Court in April 2004.

Responding to another allegation made by another witness, Mr Ansa-Asare denied that he had opened a secret account with the International Commercial Bank (ICB).

He said the ICB account was opened following the plea of the entire staff of the GSL at a staff meeting.

Mr Ansa-Asare said there was nothing secretive about the account since it was set up with the full approval of the GLC. He said two signatories, namely the Director and the Chief Accountant, had to officially approve before withdrawals of money could be made from the bank.

Mr Ansa-Asare said: "It pains me that the Attorney General should believe in this nebulous allegation and set up a Committee on it." Mr Ansa-Asare said he even set up an internal audit system to audit the accounts of the GSL.

The GSL Director said he was surprised that he was being blamed for the lack of a procurement entity at the GSL, adding that the problem had been existence in the School during previous administrations. He said it was the responsibility of the GSL to set up a procurement entity and not his responsibility. Mr Ansa-Asare said it was not true that books that he was supposed to supply for a Police Prosecutor's Course that was organized by the GSL had not been delivered.

He said there were documents to prove that the Legal Directorate of the Ghana Police Service took inventory of the books, which were supplied, adding that even the Police Council wrote to the effect that the books had been supplied.

Mr Ansa-Asare also denied allegations that the books were more than necessary.

He said the GSL received Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Funds for developmental projects such as the purchase of a bus for the school and legal documents were available to show how the funds were used.

The GSL Director said the funds were never misused.

Mr Ansa-Asare said it was not true that he had raised school fees from 700,000 cedis to 15 million cedis per annum.

He said he only made the recommendation that fees paid at the GSL were not realistic after which the GLC approved of new fees. Mr Ansa-Asare said respective categories of students paid monies ranging from 2.5 million cedis to 15 million cedis a year following the GLC's approval. He said he even arranged for needy students to be assisted.

"The Ghana School of Law Director does not increase fees. It is only done by the General Legal Council."

He said since he did not believe in the Government alone bearing the responsibility of taking care of the GSL, he used fees of students to purchase a bus for the school as a pro-active Director The GSL Director said it was, therefore, not true that he had misapplied fees of students. Sitting continues on Tuesday November 8.

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