An Accra High Court presided over by His Lordship, Justice Eric Kyei Baffour has stayed proceedings in the case against former bosses of NCA and referred an issue of interpreting Article 19 2 (e) and (g), of the 1992 Constitution to the Supreme Court.
This was the ruling after the defence lawyers for Accused persons made an application praying the Court to order the Prosecution to furnish them with documents, a list of witnesses and a summary of witness statements they intended to rely on, three days before tendering such documents in evidence in Court.
Counsel for the Accused persons relied on Article 19(2) (e) and (g) of the 1992 Constitution in their argument. According to the judge, both counsel for Defence and Prosecution in their affidavits, placed rival interpretation on the provisions of the Constitution concerned.
The court also sought to enquire the following from the Supreme Court:
- If the Applicants are entitled to pre-trial disclosures in a summary trial.
- If yes, at what point should documents to be relied on by the Prosecution be served on the Defence.
- Whether in a summary trial, the prosecution is to furnish the Defence with documents it tends to rely on but would not tender.
In an interview with the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo, she said that the ruling in her opinion was good for the growth of the law.
When asked whether the ruling of the court was not going to impede a speedy trial, she responded that speedy trial was within the context of what happens in court and she did not think that there would be an undue delay in the hearing of the matter.
According to the judge, the referral will be sent to the Supreme Court hopefully by Friday, 2nd February, 2018 and a hearing notice will be served on the parties on Monday, 5th February, 2018.
Background of the Case:
The State, represented by the Attorney General’s Department, arraigned five persons before the High Court for their alleged involvement in the US$4 million NCA scandal.
The 1st Accused person, Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, is the former Board Chairman of the NCA, the 2nd Accused person, William Matthew Tetteh Tevie, is the former Director-General of NCA, the 3rd Accused person, Nana Owusu-Ensaw is the former Board member of the NCA who served as chairman of the Finance Sub-Committee of the NCA Board, the 4th Accused person, Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman is a former Deputy National Security Co-Ordinator and also a former Board member of NCA and the 5th Accused person, George Derek Oppong, is a Director of Infraloks Development Limited (IDL).
Mr. Tevie and the former Board Chairman, Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, Alhaji Osman a former Deputy National Security Coordinator and one George Oppong have been charged with conspiracy to willfully causing financial loss to the State and willfully causing financial loss to the State contrary to sections 23(1) and section 179(3)(a) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29). The five persons have also been charged with 16 other offences.