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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bawku MP saga: Atuguba unfazed with Appeals Court ruling

Raymond Atuguba, counsel for the Bawku herdsman, Sumaila Bielbiel has played down effects of an Appeals Court verdict which upheld the stay of execution filed by Bawku MP Adamu Mohammed Daramani.

“Nothing has changed for my client in this case. My client remains exactly in the same position he was yesterday after ruling of the Appeals Court today,” he told Joy News’ Evans Mensah.

A high court ruled in favour of Sumaila that the Bawku MP held dual citizenship and was therefore not qualified to contest in the Parliamentary election.

The court subsequently warned Adamu Mohammed not to hold himself out as MP for the constituency, a decision the defence counsel argued was perverse and appealed for a stay of execution, which has been granted and a cost of GH¢20,000 awarded against Sumaila.

But the prosecution counsel says the decision causes no fatal injury to his client’s case.

“There is a valid High Court judgement that has not been set aside which says that Adamu is certainly a holder of British passport. That he holds allegiance to Britain and that his continued sitting in Parliament violates article 94 of the constitution. This judgement remains untouched,” he emphasised.

He said Wednesday’s decision by the Appeals Court which was only to ‘delay’ the implementation of the earlier judgement by the High Court, was inconsequential because they, having been notified of the appeal, ceased moves to eject the Bawku MP from Parliament.

If anything, he said the ruling will rather force the accused to open their defence, something he said they have been running away from.

Atuguba also accused Mr. Egbert Faibille, a counsel member for Adamu Mohammed, for using his newspaper and the radio to spread false information on the matter.

But Mr. Faibille, rebutted the claims made by the prosecution counsel.

He said the ruling by the Appeals Court empowers his client to continue sitting in Parliament until all appellate processes on the case had been exhausted.

He challenged Atuguba’s claim that they (prosecution) ceased the implementation of the High Court ruling.

He cited a letter written by the prosecution, threatening legal action against Parliament if it did not implement the ruling of the High Court, when indeed he Atuguba was aware of the appellate processes filed by the defence.

He also accused Atuguba of making imputations into the ruling of the Appeals Court, which according to him were non-existent in the original verdict.

Listen to excerpts of the exchanges between Messers Faibille and Atuguba in the attached audio.

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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