Drama unfolds at Akamba committee

Tue, 8 Nov 2005 Source: GNA

Accra, Nov 8, GNA - Drama unfolded before the Akamba committee on Tuesday when Mr. Kwaku Ansa-Asare, Director of the Ghana School of Law (GSL), lost his temper, while he was being cross-examined by Dr Bimpong-Buta, former Director of the school.

The sitting which happened to be the last public sitting, of the committee saw Mr. Ansa-Asare hurling insults at Dr. Bimpong-Buta and walking out of the sitting.

The drama begun when Dr Bimpong-Buta told Mr Ansa-Asare that he had lied before the Supreme Court in the year 2004 about his directorship of the GSL.

He said Mr. Ansa-Asare, though he knew very well that he was not the substantive Director by all legal implications had told the Supreme Court that he was.

Mr. Ansa-Asare said Dr. Bimpong-Buta was asking silly questions and even threatened to "cane" him.

He then told the committee that if they did not stop Dr. Bimpong-Buta from questioning him further, they would see his other side. Mr. Ansa-Asare then walked out of the sitting in protest and anger amidst calls for restraint by the committee members.

Earlier, Mr Ansa-Asare had prayed the committee to end the sittings since, according to him the issues were becoming too politicized. He had also said there was no case before the committee about his directorship of the GSL and would therefore, not touch on that case.

Mr. Ansa-Asare had also said that the impression created by testimony that had been given by Mr. Brian Wutor, Chief Accountant of the GSL that he (Ansa-Asare) had stolen 3.8 billion cedis in HIPC funds belonging to the GSL was totally false.

Mr Ansa-Asare said that impression was created due to the kind of approach the committee adopted in questioning Mr Wutor. The GSL Director said the money had been used to purchase books for the GSL, adding that there were documents to prove that.

He said the reason why all the books could not be accounted for was that they were all not supplied immediately after they were purchased, adding that he was still receiving books from companies that were supposed to supply the GSL.

He said about 90 percent of the books had been received by the GSL, adding that the rest were to be supplied soon.

Mr Ansa-Asare denied allegations that he transferred moneys belonging to the GSL into his personal Stanbick Ghana Limited Account. He said he had no personal account with Stanbick, and that he had only used Readwide to make money transfers when it came to the purchase of books by the GSL, adding that money belonging to Readwide was rather kept in that account.

Mr Ansa-Asare said he did this because the foreign publishers who sold books to the GSL were agents of Readwide, thus minimizing total cost by absorbing the cost of transfer.

Mr. Ansa-Asare said he should even have been commended by the committee for being charitable since he was the owner of Readwide. The GSL Director insisted that, "nobody took even a cedi of the 3.8 billion cedis as indicated in the receipts".

He said it was unfortunate that Mr Wutor claimed that he did not know whether the books were supplied or not, since he signed as having received the books.

He said the Judicial Secretary was in the best position to tell about the whereabouts of the books.

Mr Ansa-Asare said it was not true that he gave out a contract for the renovation of the Law School without the approval of the General Legal Council (GLC).

He said there were documents to reveal that the contract was signed in the year 2001, when he was not yet Director of the GSL. Mr. Ansa-Asare, who tendered the documents to the committee, said he only continued with what had already been started.

He said contrary to what had been alleged, the rewiring of the electrical system of the GSL was done with the full approval of the GLC. Meanwhile public sittings by the committee have been brought to an end. The committee would however continue working on the case in their bid to find the truth.

The five-member committee headed by Justice Joseph Bawa Akamba, was set up by the GLC to investigate allegations of corruption and abuse of office by Mr. Kwaku Ansa-Asare, Director of the Ghana School of Law.

Source: GNA
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