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General News Mon, 12 Jul 2010

Court dismisses application to recall Zita

Accra, July 12, GNA - An Accra Fast Track High Court on Monday dismissed an application seeking for leave to recall Zita Sarba Okaikoi, Minister of Tourism, who testified in the case of Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, Former Minister of Information and National Orientation and others.

Mr Augustine Obuor, a defence counsel, had prayed the court for leave to recall Ms Okaikoi because she had lied on oath and should be charged with perjury. He contended that the Tourism Minister lied to the court when she said she did not attend a Tender Committee Meeting after taking office. Meanwhile, Mr Lawrence F. Dzakpa, Principal Accountant of the Ministry of Information in his evidence indicated to the court that the Tourism Minister was present at the said Tender Committee meeting.

Chief State Attorney, Anthony Gyambiby contended that the application by Mr Obuor was

frivolous, vexatious and unmeritorious, which should not be entertained. He said if a witness testified and his or her evidence was contradicted by another person; that

did not constitute perjury. Mr Gyambiby said that could also be addressed by the defence when filing addresses before the

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court. He said recall of witnesses was done when a fresh matter arose but not when contradictions

were observed. Dismissing the application, the court noted that defence counsel's submission was not

supported by law and that it was in the bosom of the court or the Attorney General to prosecute a

person, who had committed perjury. The court said perjury could not have taken place if one person's evidence contradicted another

person's evidence. Mr Obuor represented Kofi Asamoah Boateng-Boateng and Alysius D.Y. Sampong. Meanwhile, the court has granted Stephen Asamoah-Boateng leave to travel outside. Mr Dzakpa, who was being cross-examined by a team of defence lawyers, had also been

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discharged. Asamoah-Boateng, Former Minister of Information and National Orientation, his wife, Zulieka

Jennifer Lorwia and six other public officers have been charged with conspiracy to defraud the

State. Also in court is a non-legal entity firm, Supreme Procurement Agencies Limited. The accused persons are alleged to have conspired to defraud the State of GH¢86,915.85 in

renovation works undertaken at the Ministerial Block of the Ministry during Asamoah-Boateng's

tenure of office. Other accused persons are Frank Agyekum, Former Deputy Minister of Information and National

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Orientation, Dominic A. Sampong, Former Acting Chief Director, Ministry of Information and

National Orientation, Kwabena Denkyira, Former Director of Finance and Administration of the

Ministry, Prosper Arku of the non-legal entity firm, and Yasmine Domua, a businesswoman. They have all pleaded not guilty before the court presided over by Mr Justice Charles Quist. The court has admitted them to GH¢10,000 bail each with a surety. The case was adjourned to July 28, 2010.

Source: GNA