General News Tue, 22 May 2012

Acquisition Of Gov't Bungalow: Supreme Court Rules In Favour Of Jake

The Supreme Court, by a majority decision, has dismissed the conflict of interest case in which two deputy ministers of state are challenging the right of Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, NPP National Chairman, to acquire a state bungalow he occupied as minister of tourism and chief of staff.

The court, by a 4-3 majority decision, ruled that the two deputy ministers failed to prove the conflict of interest allegation it leveled against Jake Obetsebi Lamptey.

According to the court presided over by Justice William Atuguba, the former erstwhile Kufuor appointee did not abuse any law of the land by purchasing the house.

The court averred that Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey had the right under the constitution to purchase the bungalow in which he lived because the bungalow was bought in his capacity as a citizen and not a minister.

The plaintiffs; Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Deputy Minister of Information and Dr. Omane Boamah deputy Sports Minister dragged the NPP chairman to court accusing him of abusing his office in his purchase of a government building at the No 2 Mungo Street in the Ridge residential area.

But in their ruling, one of the judges, Justice Brobbey pointed out that allegations of conflict of interest and corruption against any public officer needs to be proven beyond all reasonable doubt. He was also quick to stress that Ghanaians should not see the verdict as support for the practice whereby public officers exploit their official positions for private gain.

Other members of the court who gave the ruling included Ms Justice Sophia Akuffo, Mr Justice S. A. Brobbey, Mrs Justice Sophia Adinyira, Mrs Justice Rose Owusu, Mr Justice Jones Dotse, Mr Justice Baffoe Bonnie, Mr Justice B. T. Aryeetey and Mrs Justice Vida Akoto Bamfo.

Source: peacefmonline