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17.01.2006 Crime & Punishment

Former Head of Civil Service to open defence

By GNA

Accra, Jan. 17, GNA - Dr Robert Dodoo, Former Head of the Civil Service, would on Thursday, January 19, open his defence at the Fast Track High Court (FTC) in Accra, trying him for wilfully causing financial loss of 70.8 million cedis to the State.

This followed an order by the Supreme Court (SC) that the Former Head of the Civil Service from 1994 to 2001, should go back to the lower court to answer his charges.

The Supreme Court maintained that the FTC was right when on July 13 2004 it asked the accused to open his defence since he had a case to answer.

Dodoo, who had told the FTC 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 also ordered Dodoo to return to the lower court to answer the charge preferred against him.

He then proceeded to the Supreme Court to challenge the Court of Appeal's ruling that he (Dodoo) had a case to answer at the lower court.

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. The Ghana News Agency, however, learnt that the trial judge at the FTC, Mrs Avil Anim-Yeboah had travelled out of the country.

The evidence before the FTC is 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.

Shortly after the accused assumed office, he was instrumental in the award of a contract for the provision of a lift for the office of the Head of the Civil Service annex building. That Dodoo 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.

Immediately after the award of the contract, Dr Dodoo endorsed the contract and took a personal and active part in pursuing the release of the funds for the lift.

That Dr Dodoo 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," Prosecution said. However, the contractor failed to undertake the job adding, "up to date no lift has been supplied by him. An audit inspection revealed the loss of 70.8 million cedis to the State", the Prosecution said.

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