… Minority condemns the decision

Haruna Iddrisu,Minority Leader (1)

Haruna Iddrisu,Minority Leader (1)

The Minority in Parliament has described the decision by the Attorney-General (AG) to discontinue the trial of members of the Delta Force, who aided the escape of their colleagues from lawful custody, as a “travesty of justice and a lack of respect for the Judiciary”.

It has, therefore, demanded that the decision of the AG was immediately reversed and the accused re-arraigned before court.

In the view of the Minority, discontinuing the case by a government that claims to be proponents of the rule of law was a slap in the face of the administration of justice, and the judiciary.

A Kumasi circuit court yesterday struck out the case in which eight members of Delta Force, the vigilante group affiliated to the New Patriotic Party (NPP), were being tried for aiding the escape of their 13 colleagues.

According to the prosecutor, ACP Okyere Darko, the AG, Gloria Akuffo, had instructed the police to stop pursuing the matter because they had insufficient evidence against the accused persons.

Presided over by Justice Patricia Amponsah, the court, discharged the eight persons and dismissed the case.

But addressing a press conference in Accra yesterday, Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said the decision by the AG to drop the case was a confirmation of the claim by leading members of the NPP at the time of the attack that the accused will be set free.

“We are of the view that the government is pandering to partisan pressures to the detriment of justice and upholding the independence of the Judiciary,” Haruna Iddrisu, Tamale South MP, stated.

He said the discretionary powers given the AG in Article 296(a) and (b) of the 1992 Constitution has not been used fairly.

The Minority, Mr Iddrisu said considers the entry of Nolle Prosequi as a “gross abuse of discretion and we call on the President to demonstrate his leadership and not be led by the various lawless forces within his party.

“We find it a bizarre that the Attorney General, who assured the entire citizenry of her commitment to fairness and strict adherence to ethical principles, will claim that she exercised the said constitutional discretion on grounds merely that there was a lack of evidence to prosecute the case in question.”

The sitting judge, court clerks, court bailiffs, court warrant officers, journalists as well as notable figures in whose presence the freed members of the Force perpetuated the act could be a source of evidence for the logical prosecution of the case, Mr. Iddrisu indicated.

He said their expectations were that the accused persons would have been duly cited for contempt of court and successfully prosecuted saying the decision by the AG was a bad precedence.

By Julius Yao Petetsi  

 

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