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Crime & Punishment Thu, 17 Nov 2011

Witness refutes claims of prosecution at the trial of Bawku MP

Accra, Nov.17 GNA - Mr Marlon Praises Anipa, a United Kingdom based Mental Health Consultant, on Thursday refuted claims by the prosecution at the trial of Adamu Daramani Sakande, Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, that his plane fare was paid by the MP to come and defend him.

He said even though the MP was a colleague whom he had known for years, his testimony at the trial was to serve the course of justice and anyone who found himself in such a situation.

He said he was capable of doing something for himself and that he bought his own plane ticket to come down to testify in the case.

Mr Anipa said the case was a landmark one and most Ghanaian diasporians in the United Kingdom would be interested in the outcome of the matter.

He said his motivation for coming down was that he had the intent of settling down in Ghana and in the future his own children could benefit from the outcome.

Mr Anipa also insisted that he accompanied the accused to the Stanley Jones Law Firm where he renounced his British citizenship by going through the required process.

He explained that with the availability of the internet, one could renounce his citizenship right from his home through the internet but however people normally went to their solicitors to do it because they believed the process was a bit faster.

Asked by Mr Wiredu whether the stamp on the form that he witnessed at the Law Firm was that of the British Home Office, he said he could not tell because he only witnessed the signing of the form by the accused and that whatever went on later at the Home Office he did not know.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has ruled to allow Mr Sumaila Biebel, the complainant in the matter to file a Statement of Case to call more witnesses to testify in the on-going trial.

The Supreme Court also ordered the complainant to serve a copy of the statement on the accused and his counsel. The case has been adjourned to December 5, 201.

Adamu Daramani Sakande, MP) for Bawku Central is standing trial for an alleged multiple citizenship which he has denied charges.

It is the case of the prosecution that the accused person was not a Ghanaian, and does not qualify to be elected as an MP, because he also holds Burkinabe and United Kingdom passports, on which he had traveled to Ghana.

The prosecution further noted that the MP never renounced his nationality of those countries before presenting himself to be nominated and elected as a parliamentarian in the December 2008 elections.

According to state prosecutors, the accused person, who is also a Security Management Specialist, entered the country on December 20, 2007, adding that the accused person, on October 15 2008, in Bawku, falsely made a statutory declaration to enable him qualify as a parliamentarian, having sworn a statutory declaration on October 15, 2008 that he was a citizen of Ghana.

The accused person is also alleged to have deceived a public officer, when on October 15, 2008, with the intent to facilitate the obtaining of an appointment, he deceived a public officer acting in the execution of a public office duty.

The accused is also alleged to have, before the 2008 elections, made a false statement in an application to have his name included in the voters register. The accused is also alleged to have registered as a voter when the voters register was opened, and subsequently, went ahead to vote in the December 7, 2008 general elections, when he was not entitled to do so.

The prosecution further told the court that information reaching the complainant in the case, Mr. Sumaila Biebel, a cattle dealer and native of Bawku, indicated that the accused person was Burkinabe, British, and Ghanaian.

According to the prosecution, the complainant, as part of his civic responsibility, reported the matter to the authorities, and investigations revealed that the accused person had a penchant for the acquisition of multiple nationalities.

The prosecution further indicated that investigations also revealed that the MP had a Burkinabe passport, number C10098625, which was issued in November 1999, and was expected to expire in November 2009. The prosecution further pointed out that the accused person traveled to Ghana on the said passport, on March 19, 2004, and departed on March 30, 2004. The prosecution had stated that the MP wielded a British passport, with number 094442659, on which he traveled to Ghana on December 13, 2005, after he had sought, and obtained, an entry visa from the Ghana High Commission in London.

Source: GNA