Crime & Punishment Thu, 24 May 2012
The Accra Fast Track High Court hearing the case involving Mr. Adamu Dramani Sakande, Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central over his alleged dual citizenship on Thursday adjourned to May 31.“ My Lord, we did not receive addresses of the defence on time and therefore, pray that you give us a week to study and come back," said Mr Anthony Rexford Wiredu, Chief State Attorney.
The court presided over by Mr. Justice Charles Quist, upheld the prayer of the prosecution and asked it to file its address and consequently adjourned the case to May 31.
The MP was, on July 31, 2009, brought to court charged with nine counts relating to his nationality, perjury, forgery of passport, election fraud and deceiving public officers to be elected as an MP; but was exonerated on six of those charges on July 8, 2010.
He is currently facing three charges of false declaration of office, perjury and deceiving a public officer.
Mr. Sumaila Biebel, a cattle dealer in March 2009, filed a suit at the High Court challenging the eligibility of the MP on the grounds that the MP held both British and Burkinabe passports. The High Court in a default judgment on July 15, 2009, ordered the MP to vacate his seat.
Disappointed with the court’s decision, counsel for the MP appealed against the decision, resulting in the Court of Appeal declaring in a unanimous decision that Mr. Biebel should have gone by an electoral petition, since the matter bordered on electoral dispute.
Under the law, all matters relating to electoral disputes are to be heard as electoral petitions and those petitions are to be heard 21 days after the results of the elections have been declared.
Aggrieved by the Court of Appeal’s decision, Mr. Biebel went to the Supreme Court, which decided to take evidence from him.
He has since testified and been cross-examined by Mr. Faibille Jnr, Counsel for Dramani.
The defence filed a submission of ‘no case’ after Mr. Biebel had completed his evidence-in-chief and had been cross-examined.
It said Mr. Biebel failed to fully comply with the rules of evidence and for that reason, there was no evidence before the Supreme Court.
The defence said the standards for submitting exhibits had not been met by Mr. Biebel and for that reason the court should strike out his case.
Mr. Biebel is also the complainant in the criminal action against the MP at the Court.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Wednesday, May 23, ruled on Mr. Dramani’s submission of ‘no case’ and asked him to open his defence and fixed June 6 for hearing.**