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Thursday, November 11, 2010

CID probes oil field shares

Source : The Ghanaian Times | Thu 11th November, 2010 14:20 GMT
The Police Criminal Investigations Department is enquiring into the circumstances surrounding the acquisition and shareholding arrangement in the oil rich Jubilee Field at the West.

The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mrs Betty Mould-Iddrisu, made this known in parliament on Wednesday, in response to questions on the outcome of the investigations by the United State Department of Justice on the Kosmos and EO Group's affairs.

The question stood in the name of Joseph Koji Adda (NPP-Navrongo Central and former Minister of Energy) which was asked on his behalf by Kobina Tahir Hammond (NPP-Adansi Asokwa).

Mrs Mould-Iddrisu explained that the US Department of Justice in a letter dated May 12, 2010 to the government, said it had closed investigations into the matter but would re-open it if any fresh evidence came up.

She told the House that she was unable to disclose the nature of the enquiry into the Kosmos and EO Group because the Mutual Legal Assistance under which the investigation was initiated was based on reciprocity with binding obligation of confidentiality on the parties.

In response to another question on the 'Justice for All' programme under which the courts move to the prisons to review the warrant of remand inmates, the Attorney-General explained that it was not the panacea for solving the problem of overcrowding in the prisons, which she described as systemic.

She said police investigations and prosecutions in the lower courts had not been done satisfactorily leading to over-crowding in the prisons, and the courts were unable to keep track of the remand prisoners.

Consequently, she said the entire criminal justice system was being reviewed over the next two years with the engagement of a consultant to help identify the exact problems in order to find lasting solutions.

The minister said 18 remand prisoners were tried and sentenced, 68 discharged 'and 19 granted bail by the special courts as at the end of September.

However, she said 13 of those released had allegedly committed fresh offences after their release and bad been rearrested, with one of them killed in a shootout with the police.

The Minister of Defence, Lieutenant, General Joseph Smith, was also in the House to answer a question pertaining to regional and gender balance in the selection of 453 persons of the 2009/20 I 0 batch of general recruits who reported for training on July 1.

He explained that the Ghana Army was given a quota of 900 for the recruitment exercise, made up of 90 per cent male and 10 per cent female, in line with the policy of the Armed Forces.

He said the first batch of 391 males and 60 females were undergoing training while the second batch of 534 were, undergoing medical examination out of which 450 would be shortlisted for training in January next year, than any shortfall in regional quota in the first batch would be addressed.

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