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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New Judge for Tarzan, Mpiani

Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby and Kwadwo Mpiani
Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby and Kwadwo Mpiani

A new judge has been found to sit on the case involving Dr. Charles Yves Wereko-Brobby aka Tarzan, former Chief Executive Officer of the defunct Ghana @50 Secretariat, and Kwadwo Okyere Mpiani, former Chief of Staff and Chairman of the National Planning Committee (NPC) for the celebration, who have been charged for causing financial loss to the state.

The new trial judge, Justice Samuel Marful-Sau of the Court of Appeal, was the same judge who handled preliminary proceedings when the case was first called on April 22, 2010.

The original trial judge, Justice Charles Quist declined jurisdiction because, according to him, his wife had worked with the first accused person, Dr Wereko-Brobby in a professional capacity when he was then CEO of the Volta River Authority.

Justice Samuel Marful-Sau on Friday entered the courtroom at exactly 10:04am but proceedings were cut short because a motion on notice to strike out the charges against the accused persons filed on May 24, 2010 by Dr. Wereko-Brobby and Mr. Mpiani could not be heard.

This was because the prosecution, led by Anthony Gyambiby, Chief State Attorney, told the court that the Attorney-General’s Department had on June 10, 2010 filed an affidavit in opposition to the motion and that Dr. Wereko-Brobby and Mr. Mpiani were yet to be served with the processes.

“We filed the processes yesterday and I can confirm that the defense have not been served. There is nothing we can do. We have to wait for them to be served,” the prosecutor said.

The case was then adjourned until June 25, 2010 but the judge made it clear to the prosecution and defense that he could preside on the case only on Fridays.

Dr. Wereko-Brobby and Mr. Mpiani are saying that the charges preferred against them by the state constitute “a violation of their constitutional right under Articles 278 (1) (a) and 280 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) of the 1992 Constitution”, but the state insists the two men have a case to answer in the Ghana@50 celebrations.

At their first appearance, the two accused persons pleaded not guilty to the four counts of willfully causing financial loss to the state and were both granted GH¢35 million self-recognizance bail.

In the first count, the prosecution maintained that the two former NPP officials, between May 2006 and December 2007, willfully caused financial loss of GH¢499, 995.63, by spending in excess the amount of $31.8 million approved by Parliament.

The second charge says that the accused, between February 2007 and January 2009, willfully caused a financial loss of GH¢2 .116, 906.91 in the form of interest paid as a loan from the Prudential Bank Limited, without authority.

In the third count, the two men stand accused of causing financial loss of GH¢966, 048.52, being bank overdraft from the Prudential Bank Limited without authority in or about September 2006.

The fourth count says the two men, between May 2006 and December 2008, willfully caused financial loss by expending GH¢935,249.8, being the income of the Ghana@50 Secretariat without authority.

Credit: Daily Guide Ghana

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