‘We Told You So’ - The Informer Told You So – ‘We Told You So’
• Three Judges Floor Her Committee’s Report
• Badly Expose Supreme Court’s Justice Dotse
• Judiciously Damn Gertrude Aikins’ Charges
• And Vindicate The Wronged ACP Kofi Boakye
• As Chase For Asem Dake Is Set To Begin
News Desk Report
The credibility of the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana, Mrs. Georgina Theodora Wood, is on the line. Three judges of the Appeal Court, per a unanimous landmark ruling, last Friday, have badly exposed the inconsistencies, fabrications and hastiness in the recommendations captured in her Committee’s Report, the basis for which a Tema-based Alhaji Issah Abbass and Kwabena Amaning (a.k.a Tagor) were charged, prosecuted and convicted to 15 years imprisonment. According to Justice E.K. Piesare, Justice Yaw Ampau and Justice E.A. Addo, there was no basis for recommendation of criminal prosecution against the convicted gentlemen, in the first place, and as such the charges and the conviction by the High Court were totally wrongful. After carefully studying the facts of the case, as presented at the High Court, the three Judges contended that their senior colleague, Justice Jones Victor Dotse, now at the Supreme Court, erred in the first place by calling on the gentlemen to open their defence, because there was no case for them to answer, after the prosecution had wagged the tongue for days, without establishing a prima-farce case against the two. Justice Jone Dotse, who after his ruling was promoted to the Supreme Court, where he now acts more or less as a Special Assistant to the Madam Chief Justice, had his ruling shabbily torn into pieces with stronger, coherent and direct legal arguments which described his ruling as ‘a nullity and a cancerous tumour in the country’s legal anatomy that needed to be flushed out of the system.’
On Miss Gertrude Aikins, the Director of Public Prosecution, who submitted that the two convicts and the Director General of Police Operations, ACP Kofi Boakye, had conspired to go look for the missing 76 parcels of cocaine aboard MV Benjamin, take possession of the drugs, sell and share the proceeds, the three judges ruled that there was no such conspiracy on the tape which was tendered in as evidence.
The purpose of the meeting that took place in the official bungalow of the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Boakye, it has been established, was not for the wrongfully convicted two, to go look for the missing cocaine and reap the benefits there from. It was made clear that the meeting took place, on the orders of the ACP who was anxious to clear his name and thereby unravelling the mystery behind the missing cocaine. It was, however clear, from the tape recording, which was the basis for the prosecution, that the Senior Police Officer directed the gentlemen to put their ears on the ground for further information on the whereabouts of the 76 parcels of cocaine, identify the owners of the consignment and get him informed, so that he can close in on them and ‘sought them out.’ This was because the ACP’s name had been mention, through rumours, that he in the company of other Police officers, had gone to cart the cocaine aboard the MV Benjamin.
The three judges sought to teach the DPP some basic law by stating that “A confession statement is sufficient to sustain a conviction when it is direct and positive.” They therefore ruled that Justice Dotse’s reliance on the recorded conversation, was wrong in law, since that could not be termed as an admission of guilt or a confession statement, in jurisprudence.
They explained that the actions and statements by the ACP was meant to extract evidence or proof, from the others, as to how his name came-up in the rumour mill, gather their knowledge as to the location of the drugs and the men suspected to be behind the shipment. This, the Appeal Court held, was not a wrongful act unbecoming of a top Police officer. It was the legalistic opinion of the court that the offences for which Alhaji Issah Abbass and Kwabena Amaning were convicted were never stated by Gertrude Aikins and Justice Dotse. More so, the place and time of committing the crime, a basic requirement in all criminal prosecution, was never stated, at or by the High Court.
The court pointed out that those were basic requirements that the prosecution (Ms Gertrude Aikins) should have been made to provide, but the trial Judge, (Justice Jones Dotse) glossed over them and mistakenly went ahead with the case and subsequently erring in his ruling.
“Failing to fill the gap was fatal to the case of the prosecution,” the Appeal Court has said.
The court noted that investigations did not list out their involvement in any prior act, while their statements on the tape were not made on any authority to warrant it being called a confession statement. The prosecution again failed to provide evidence that indeed there were 76 parcels of cocaine that had gone missing, apart from rumours in the country that suggested so.
With the above legalistic arguments, justice was finally done, when the three judges ruled acquitting and discharging Alhaji Issah Abbass and Kwabena Amaning. The two are expected to b released from the Nsawam Medium Prisons, today, after going through the due processes.
After the release of the two, the attention of the security services is on the two run-away prime suspects, Ghanaian-born Asem Dake Sherriff (the limping man) and the Korean-born Kwak Seong (Killer).
The Informer in the course of investigations into the MV Benjamin gathered that for inexplicable reasons, the two suspects, who managed to outwit the security services in the country, were never published as wanted men. As a result, Inter-Pol was also not informed to help track the two, who information in the underground world indicates, are hiding in Togo and Europe. Sources claimed that whiles Killer is busily engaging himself as a genuine international businessman in Togo, Asem has also been using the Togo-Italy corridor route, anytime he finds necessary.
THE ROLE JUSTICE DOTSE PLAYED
Meet Mr. Justice Jones Victor Mawunyo Dotse, a former New Patriotic Party (NPP) Volta Regional Executive Member, and currently a Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana. He was a noble Justice who was doing his best for the motherland. But when it came to the case of MV Benjamin cocaine, Justice Dotse, who was tasked to sit over the case, had to satisfy the national security interest and save the country from embarrassment.
The case was a matter of national security interest and that the welfare of the state rested on the shoulders of this judge. Guilty or not some faces must pay for the national security blunder or complicity.
Soon after being handed the case and the suspects had been arraigned before his fast-track high court, the security arrangement for Justice Dotse was altered. His Ridge bungalow was besieged with men who on the instructions of national security were there to install security gadgets and fittings. Justice Dotse, who was used to one Police officer as a security guard, had to come to terms with a new arrangement where three Police officers besiege his court, some stationed in his bungalow at night and two of such officers during the day. It was clear from intelligence accounts, provided to The Informer, that the judge was brought under severe pressure. The Informer gathered that during the trial of the two people, a blue-black Peugeot car being used by Justice Jones Dotse, got burnt in mysterious circumstances.
Strangely enough it was his usual sitting position at the back seat, which started burning and within minutes, the strange fire consumed the whole car. This development, according to friends of the Justice in Ho, the Volta Regional capital, shook the faith of the strict Catholic-born Justice of the Supreme Court.
The Informer gathered that on that very day the car got burnt, Justice Dotse for inexplicable reasons had decided not to use that Peugeot car on his errands. Close sources to the judge told The Informer that the family were of the belief that the incident was linked to his responsibility as a judge sitting on that infamous case.
When The Informer visited Ho recently, a friend of the Justice said the case had so much psychological impact on the judge and the stress he went through, was very visible, whenever he returned to the regional capital. The friend described the situation as “it was like an albatross around his neck that he needed to dispose off and be free.” So, on a day that the litigating parties were expected to have wrapped up their case and were ready to take a date for ruling, Justice Jones Dotse’s court was besieged with hundreds of armed-to-the-teeth police commandoes. When the court sat, Justice Dotse in his initial remarks commended Messrs Mr. Mohammed Atta, the counsel for one of the defendants, for a good job done on behalf of his client. The Appeal Court Judge who was sitting in as an additional High Court Judge then took a swipe at the attorneys for Kwabena Amaning a.k.a. Tagor (Mr. Ellis Owusu Fordjour, Nana Asante Bedietuo and Garbi Otchere Darko) for not doing enough to exonerate their client. The justice in a rare fashion took-on the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Ms. Getrude Aikins, and charged her for not presenting a convincing case on behalf of the state. He wondered as to whether the prosecution charges were instituted by an experienced person as Ms Aikins herself, because to him, the charges were not properly constituted. According to the judge, the prosecution had presented a shoddy case.
He announced he will give his ruling in an hour’s time and went into his chamber. He returned after a while, called for the files and wrote his ruling in the open court.
After almost an hour of writing, he read out his verdict which was a far-cry from his earlier remarks.