The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has once again failed to file its statement of case to a suit filed by former Secretary of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), Charles Bissue.
Counsel for the OSP, Isidore Tuffour pleaded with an Accra High Court hearing the case to grant them ample time to prepare and file their statement of case, indicating that the office is handicapped in respect of resources in managing legal matters.
According to him, he had just been appointed by the OSP to represent it in the case owing to some constraints the office is facing.
“I have just been appointed to fill that void,” he told the court.
Counsel for the plaintiff, Nana Agyei Baffour Awuah, told the court that the OSP’s excuse is not tenable.
He stressed that the failure of the OSP to file its statement of case over the past two months and with the earlier adjournment granted by the court on similar grounds, “smacks of a deficit in candour”.
“At no point has the first Defendant not been represented by Counsel in this matter. Counsels were coming to the court to represent the 1st Defendant, knowing that they would able to prosecute this matter”, he added.
He continued” The Special Prosecutor himself is a lawyer, so coming to the court to say you’ve not been able to file your statement of case over the two months since this matter was instituted, smacks of a deficit in candour of the 1st Defendant’s office.”
Baffour Awuah however, admitted on grounds of satisfying legal protocols and in the interest of justice, that an adjournment be considered to enable the OSP file its statement of case.
Justice Olivia Obeng Owusu, who presided then adjourned the case to April 17, 2023 to enable the 1st Defendant file its statement of case.
The former Secretary to the IMCIM, Charles Bissue filed an application on December 23 2022, and subsequently amended the application January 4, 2023, to restrain the OSP from investigating and prosecuting him over allegations made by Anas Aremeyaw Anas in a purported corruption documentary; ‘Galamsey Fraud’, that was published in February 2019.
Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his private investigative firm, Tiger Eye P.I were joined to the suit as 2nd and 3rd Defendant respectively.
Mr Bissue argued among others that, an attempt to investigate the matter would amount to a review of an investigation long concluded by the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service.
Subsequent to which, and through his lawyers, a supplementary application was filed against the Special Prosecutor, Kissi Adjabeng over a possible conflict of interest and bias in this case.
The OSP filed a conditional appearance and affidavit in opposition to the application on January 11 2023, arguing the case be struck out. With this, it was expected of the OSP to file a statement within 14 days after filling the conditional appearance. But this was never pursued by the OSP.
During sitting on January 24 2023, Counsel for the OSP told the court they were just about finalizing their statement of case, and as such pleaded for more time to respond appropriately.
It was with this plea the court granted an adjournment to 13 March 2023 hoping to be furnished with the statement of case to enable it advance the matter.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi