Judge advises Godfred Dame to recuse himself from Ato Forson trial

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Attorney-General Godfred Dame
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The trial judge in the Ato Forson, Justice Efia Serwah Asare-Botwey has advised Attorney-General Godfred Dame to recuse him from the ongoing case in the interest of justice and and the public.

“Having listened to the conversation between [Richard Jakpa] and A-G, the allegation that A-G sought assistance to implicate [Ato Forson] was not borne out of the mouth of the A-G but [Richard Jakpa],” TV3’s Laud Adu Asare who was in court on Thursday June 6 reported the judge as saying.

The court also dismissed the application for mistrial filed by Ato Forson, Adu Asare further reported.

Lawyers for the Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel  Ato Forsonfiled filed a supplementary affidavit in support of the motion on notice for an order of mistrial, injunction and or stay of proceedings in the ongoing ambulance case.

This followed the allegations made against Godfred Dame by Richard Jakpa.

The trending recording of a telephone conversation between Mr. Jakpa and the Attorney-General Godfred Dame, had been annexed to the affidavit.

Also, certain quotations contained in some media reports, particularly by Accra-based Asaase Radio that border on alleged professional misconduct on the part of the A-G, had been cited and annexed to the process.

Dr  Ato Forson was requesting the honorable court to declare a mistrial in the interest of justice, which must not only be done but be manifestly seen to be done.

The Minority Leader averred that the Attorney-General had embarked on reprehensible and unlawful conduct, conduct unbecoming of an Attorney- General, let alone the Minister for justice, for the sole purpose of securing his conviction. And that, if the Court were to ignore these rather grave matters to proceed with the trial regardless, that would amount to a real travesty of justice, as the Court would have disregarded credible and cogent claims of misconduct by the Attorney General.

He argued that if a mistrial was not ordered and such blatant disregard for the rule of law and the ethics of prosecution by no mean a person than the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice was glossed over and allowed to pass without any consequences, public confidence in the administration of justice would be adversely affected.

 

But Godfred Dame opposed the application for mistrial stating it was unknown in the laws of Ghana.

“That no proper grounds have been canvassed by the applicant to warrant a grant of this application, which is unknown to the laws governing criminal law and practice in Ghana.

“That the instant application is a smokescreen and a veiled attempt by the applicant to abort his legitimate prosecution for actions committed as a public officer which led to the State losing colossal amounts of funds. Same is incompetent as no one has immunity from prosecution under the laws of Ghana.

“That I respectfully say that the Attorney-General is vested with the constitutional responsibility to prosecute all crimes within the Republic and cannot be prohibited from discharging this constitutional duty in respect of any person in Ghana as all persons are equal before the law,” he said in his affidavit in opposition to the motion filed by Ato Forson.