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11.04.2006 General News

NDC calls on members to attend Mrs. Rawlings' trial

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Accra, April 11, GNA - Members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) are to be present at the Fast Track High Court in Accra to show solidarity with some members of the Party, who would on trial on Wednesday. Members of the 31st December Movement; June 4th Movement and members of other progressive organisations should also be present at the precincts of the Fast Track High Court, Accra, Former Vice President Professor John Evans Atta Mills announced at press conference on Tuesday. He said the "NPP (New Patriotic Party) Government should not think that we are going to sit down for them to use the fa=E7ade of the legal process to destroy the rule of law and to create disorder in this country. "Tomorrow at the trial of Kwame Peprah, Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings and the others, we intend individually to come and see for ourselves what is going to happen at this trial and to send a message to the NPP Government that our leaders are not alone." Prof Mills said: "This show of solidarity will continue everyday of the trial until the case is finally disposed of or until the NPP Government sees wisdom in withdrawing the charges. We will do so in all other cases the Government intends to bring up." He said eight top-ranking NDC personalities, sympathisers and persons, who served in the NDC Administration would on Wednesday April 12 2006 appear before an Accra Fast Track High Court on charges of "wilfully causing financial loss to the State' in connection with roles they allegedly played in the divestiture of Nsawam Cannery. "The 30-count charges against them include a ridiculous one of converting into separate count each time interest on a loan was supposed to be paid and was not paid. "The accused persons are: Mr Emmanuel Amuzu Agbodo, Former Executive Secretary, Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC); Thomas Benson Owusu, Former Accountant DIC; Mr Kwame Peprah, Former Minister of Finance and Chairman, DIC and Mrs Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings, President of 31st December Women's Movement and Chairperson of the Board of Directors of, Caridem Development Company Limited (Caridem)." The others are: "Ms Sherry Ayittey, Managing Director, Caridem; Ms Georgina Okaiteye, Director / General Manager, Caridem; Mr George Mould, Director, Caridem; Mr Larry Adjetey, Director/Secretary Caridem and Caridem Development Company. Prof Mills said the decision to put the NDC members on trial was a way the Government was adopting to divert attention from the numerous allegation that had been made against it. He catalogued these allegations to include the amassing of wealth and illegally and dishonestly acquiring properties and the Government's sale of plots in the plush areas of Accra to themselves and their cronies and lackeys. The other allegations the Professor listed included the appearance of Dr Richard Anane, Minister of Road Transport, before the Commission of Human Rights Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) Investigative Panel about his abuse of office, and conflict of interest and the trial of Mr Eric Amoateng, NPP member for Nkoranza North in the United States for trafficking in narcotics. Prof Mills said the "NPP Government has decided to fight back by launching a new offensive against the NDC. Unfortunately, it has decided to fight back in a manner that threatens to revive all old antagonisms and hatreds that raised the political temperature so high in the NPP Government's first year in office".
He said; "the NPP Government is toying with the destiny of this country and playing games with the institutions of this country and engaging the Judiciary to play the political hatchet men and women on behalf of the NPP Government against the opposition NDC".
Prof Mill cited the case of Mr Ato Ahwoi, a leading member of NDC, "who has been in court for almost four years over a simple matter of a Hearts of Oak player transfer case. Mr Tsatsu Tsikata has been in court for over five years over the Valley Farms Case".
Prof Mills said he could not "keep quiet when I see the political Executive trying to misuse the Judiciary for political ends. We have seen the manipulation of the judicial process for political purposes" and cited the case in which the number of Supreme Court Judges was increased to reverse the decision of the Court in Mr Tsatsu Tsikata's case. 11 April 06