General News of 2014-01-07

Vikileaks committee just wasted tax payers money - Lawyer Ampaw

A Private Legal Practitioner, Maurice Ampaw, believes the committee set up by the Chief Justice to investigate the claims by former Deputy Communications minister, Victoria Hammah, just wasted tax payers money without doing what was expected of them.

He described as “funny”, the way and manner “serious issues” are handled in the country, stressing that “this will never happen in a foreign country”.

Lawyer Ampaw was reacting to the dismissal of the famous “Vikileaks” secret tape recording, the contents of which Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, allegedly influenced the decision of the nine-member justices of the Supreme Court who sat on the 2012 election petition case, whereupon a committee was set up by the Chief Justice, Theodora Georgina Wood, after General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie petitioned the judiciary for further investigations.

The Justice Date-Baah Committee dismissed the case because the allegations lacked evidence and also the key actor, Victoria Hammah failed to appear before it.

In a letter addressed to Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie also known in political circles as Sir John, the committee indicated that they did not have the power to subpoena her (Victoria Hammah) to answer questions about the leaked tape.

“There was no evidence available to it to prove the allegations by Victoria Hammah that Hon. Nana Oye Lithur influenced some or all the justices of the Supreme Court who sat on the presidential election petition or broke a rule in the outcome of the case. The statement could not be substantiated and therefore dismissed.

“…This was the final recommendation of the committee despite the refusal of the principal actor Victoria Hammah to appear before the committee after three invitations was extended to the former deputy Communications Minister to aid in investigations” the letter, signed by the Secretary of the Judicial Council, Justice B. A.Opoku Acheampong read.

But speaking on Adom FM on the issue, Lawyer Ampaw expressed disappointment in the committee for “pampering” Victoria Hammah. To him, “the matter is inconclusive. The committee just wasted tax payers money. They have wasted our time as well. The judiciary has disappointed the whole nation. Gradually, the confidence people have in the judiciary is waning. Vic must speak…she must apologize”.

“The only way this issue will be resolved is when Vic comes out publicly to apologize to Nana Oye Lithur and the nine panel judges for embarrassing them. That is the only way to solve the issue.”

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